Celebrating our volunteers

Published on 09 May 2023

Using the Library Kiama Library front seat

This May, Kiama Council celebrates our fantastic volunteers during Volunteer Week (15-21 May). We’re also promoting volunteering opportunities in our community with a Volunteer Expo at Kiama Farmers Market on Wednesday 24 May (note the new date).

According to Volunteering Australia, 56.7 per cent of Australians volunteer either formally or informally. However, with volunteering on the decline in general, 83 per cent of volunteer organisations say they’re keen for more people to put their hand up for this vital and rewarding work.

Kiama Council offers a range of volunteer opportunities including at Blue Haven, our Family History Centre and Libraries, and at our Visitor Information Centre.

"No one has made it through life without someone else’s help. Volunteering matters profoundly. It builds communities and creates a better society for everyone," says Imogen Draisma, Kiama’s deputy mayor.

Find out how to volunteer at Kiama Council and read quotes from some of our current volunteers on why they love what they do.

Kiama Libraries and Family History Centre

Our two libraries and Family History Centre (FHC) have 25 volunteers who do 20 hours of work per week (collectively) in a number of different roles.

This year the library will host morning teas across the week to say thank-you. 

Here's what some of our volunteers had to say about working with us:

  • “I love coming to the library to volunteer and select books for Home Library customers. I enjoy working with the library staff, and it’s always so peaceful and quiet, a real escape, a beautiful place for people of all ages.” – Bea (Library volunteer)
  • "I enjoy helping people research their ancestry , the happy and sad discoveries that lie hidden in their pasts. Also, discovering family details which can be hidden within the legal documents of their land titles." – Don (FHC volunteer)
  • “I really enjoy volunteering at the Kiama Family History Centre because I’ve gained greater research skills and have a sense of purpose in helping others connect with their genealogy.” – Jann (FHC volunteer)
  • "It is always frustrating when you lose something but exceptionally satisfying when the elusive item is found. 
    Being a volunteer in the Kiama Family History Centre gives you that satisfaction. Not always is the lost relative found; but when the records start to tell a story and the people and places come together to give us the answer and to help our client/visitor fill in the blanks is deeply rewarding.
    We see strangers seeking information from the Centre and we utilise all the knowledge of the volunteers to endeavour to find the answers. We have laughter and sometimes tears.
    Working with other volunteers you become of the group, vast and different life experiences that provide a social environment that just makes you feel good.
    What more can we ask for." - Russ (FHC volunteer)
  • "I enjoy using my skills to help the Family History Centre improve its resources" - Mark (FHC volunteer)
  • "I enjoy volunteering at Kiama Family history Centre because of the great resources and friendly helpful staff and other volunteers." - David (FHC volunteer)
  • "I volunteer at Kiama Library delivering books to Kiama residents who are unable to access the library themselves. It’s a simple job but it gives me great pleasure supporting those who love to read and learn. The library staff are always warm and welcoming, and I feel like a valued part of the library community." – Christine (Library volunteer)


Interested? Fill out a form at https://library.kiama.nsw.gov.au/Using-the-library/Support-us/Volunteer

Visitor Information Centre

Visitor Information Centre

Our Visitor Information Centre (VIC) currently has seven volunteers who each work four hours per fortnight, providing around 16 hours a week of assistance to the centre.

One of our VIC volunteers says: “I love Kiama and I enjoy helping people. Volunteering at the Visitor Information Centre is the perfect fit. The staff are great, and you always feel valued for your contribution.”

Interested?  Pop into the Visitor Information Centre at Blowhole Point to fill out an application form.

Blue Haven

Blue Haven has around 80 volunteers who assist with many community-based activities. This includes driving or helping on community buses and/or cars, which transport clients to medical appointments, shopping trips, group outings and events. Volunteers also assist our clients to maintain community links, supporting community engagement and social connectivity which is integral to health and well-being.

Volunteers assist clients to attend day programs and activities including: musical reminiscence, pet companionship, arts, crafts, indoor bowls, bocce (a favourite), bingo, guest speakers, concerts and exhibitions.

Visits from local schools and pre-schools also provide the opportunity for intergenerational activities. Volunteers help make all of this (and more) possible.

Fred is one of our volunteer Blue Haven bus drivers, and also does volunteer work for Kiama Community Radio. We asked Fred his work driving the Blue Haven bus:

“I’ve done about 140 of these trips over the 3.5 years I’ve been volunteering and find it interesting and rewarding.”

Why did you volunteer? "I had just retired myself and thought that it might get me out of my comfort zone and also give something back to the community. It certainly has been a great experience and is one I’d recommend to anyone."

What do you enjoy about volunteering? "Meeting a range of interesting people, while helping people and giving something back to the community. I enjoy talking to each of the clients about their family and life story and most people are very happy to have a yarn about anything that’s on their mind."

We’d love to hear more… "As I also volunteer for Kiama Community Radio, I obtained approval to interview any willing client about their interesting lives. These can be found on the KCR website under ‘Tales from the Blue Haven Bus’!"

Interested? Find out more at https://bluehavenillawarra.com.au/about-us/volunteering/