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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Volunteers want to better their community and help others

The region's volunteers are inspirational examples of neighbourly spirit.

ELAINE COONEY February 28, 2014 4:10am

Campaspe News’ campaign to encourage volunteering in the district is gaining much support from the community.

Sporting and community groups jumped at the opportunity to speak about what difficulties they faced and what we, as a community, can do to help.

Following a Campaspe News article on the future of volunteering and why it was good for our health, Rochester Community House co-ordinator Amanda Logie was pleased with the feedback she received from the community.

She even picked up a few more volunteers.

Listening to these altruistic volunteers for the past few weeks, I noticed they all have one thing in common: a genuine desire to better their community and help others.

But where does this generous nature come from?

It mainly seems to be a learned attitude from their parentsmost of whom gave their time to different committees and organisations.

He will not be pleased I’m highlighting this... but it has to be said: Speaking to Kotta’s David Hammond last week about his charitable donation of hay bales to the people of Kilmore and Wallan really opened my eyes up to the kind nature of volunteers.

David is a volunteer with his local fire brigade and the Kotta Hall committee and was only too willing to give some of his hay to farmers in need.

He appeared to be a humble man who was surprised when I asked why he helped.

I’m sure he did not give it a second thought until I posed the question.

It seems like the country person’s way of life, nothing more.

Bamawm’s fire captain, George Calleja, told us about his emotional journey blacking out the fires near Kilmore and speaking to people who had lost property.

Again, he did not want recognition for the work he did and most of his efforts rest in the hearts and minds of the people he consoled along the way.

I’m sure there are people who will always remember the kind words George offered in their time of utter desperation.

After saving lives, animals and homes, district fire fighters and emergency service crews just change from their emergency uniforms into work or casual clothes and can be seen shopping, working or volunteering in other capacities in the district’s towns.

They don’t want medals or praise.

They are just doing their bit to make the country a safer place.

I think I can speak for all of us when I say ‘‘thank you for your amazing work’’.

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