4 people sit on chairs on a small stage with a black background. From left to right they are Andrew Eales, Sara Quon, Brett Boatman and Kate Taylor

Volunteering for Community Impact


For the final of our Future Shapers days designed and delivered by participants, FS23 explored volunteering and the impact it has on individual and community wellbeing.

We gathered at the Centre for Rare Arts and Forgotten Trades to hear Sara Quon, CEO, Sovereign Hill share the importance of volunteering at Sovereign Hill and the organisation’s Volunteer Roadmap. An insightful panel comprised of Sara Quon, Andrew Eales, CEO Ballarat Foundation and Brett Boatman, DCO, Country Fire Authority Ballarat and facilitated by Kate Taylor, FS23, then explored the economic and social impact of Volunteers on our Regional Community.

We rounded out the morning with an experiential volunteer opportunity at the Food is Free Inc Green Space and a presentation on Food is Free Inc from founder and FS alumni Lou Ridsdale.

In the afternoon we moved to the Robert Clark Centre at the Ballarat Botanical Gardens to discuss the challenges and opportunities of volunteering for community organisations in our region with
• Ross Huntington – Rotary
• Terry O’Brien – Chair, Friends of the Botanical Gardens
• Andrew Howard, CEO and Maree Povey, Manager, Ballarat Hospice Care
• Doug Jenkins, Men’s Shed Ballarat East
• Mark Cartledge, Captain of Ballarat Fire Brigade
• Andrew Milligan, Sports Central

“I took so much away from the day and my mind is still processing all that I heard, observed and experienced. Some days I wonder why I am volunteering when some days it feels like another thing on the never-ending to do list but on reflection, I love volunteering as I enjoy the connection with others, giving back and contributing to my community. That needs to be the focus.”
FS23 participant