To navigate the archive:
Click on the link in the above box to go to the issue, then click your Back button to return to this page.
Some issues of Willing & Able (hard copy & enews versions) have been bouncing back recently.
If your organisation's contact details have changed, please advise VNQ of the new details.
WILLING AND ABLE
Volunteering North Queensland Inc.
Unit 6/56 Charles Street, Aitkenvale
Telephone: (07) 4725 5990
Fax: (07) 4725 5996
Welcome to another edition of Willing & Able for 2013! It's another full issue with information on training courses, several fundraising events (including the Bombo book project, which will be a regular feature in this newsletter), a grant opportunity for singers/songwriters and a link to the ATO website for taxation planning and tax schemes information. We also have several regular sections including reports from VNQ's manager, WHS Co-ordinator and Defence Volunteering Program officer, a useful contacts list and links to commonly used pages of VNQ's website and our Facebook page. I've also written an article on a common telephone scam and have more information on similar scams in my Editorial. Want more? Well, if you're looking for a great dessert idea for your next company morning tea, why not try a recipe for a tasty and easy to make Chocolate Layer Tart? All this and even more in this issue!
So why not sit down and put your feet up while you enjoy this edition of Willing and Able!
Credit where credit is due. Most of the information on the website and in this newsletter wouldn't be possible without the help of all the organisations who send VNQ information about special events or new resources that they want known. Thank you, all!
A special thanks to everyone who contributed articles especially written for this issue.
"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.
"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so."
"At first this idea sounds ridiculous. But if you really think about it, you begin to realize that it makes no sense whatsoever."
"A sense of humour is a major defence against going mad at the world's collective insanity."
Volunteer Managers Network Meeting & Training Session
Here are the details for the next Volunteer Managers Network Meeting & Training Session.
July 18 - 9:30am-12:00noon
Please RSVP by July 11 to:
VNQ's Networking meetings are held bi-monthly and are a great opportunity for people in the community sector to meet each other, network and share their experiences, knowledge and learning. Attendees can suggest topics for discussion, guests or issues.
VNQ Office Hours
Just a quick reminder that VNQ's Office Hours are:
Tuesday to Friday - 9:00am to 4:00pm
VNQ is not open weekends or Mondays.
With the end of the 2012-2013 financial year in sight, the ATO have developed some timely information on Taxation planning.
The section includes information on tax-effective investments as well as tax avoidance schemes and how to recognise and report them.
The Australian Taxation Office website also has a wide range of invaluable taxation information and advice for non-profit organisations.
Find all the info you need in their Non-Profit section.
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
Townsville Training - Saturday Skilling Series
Trainer: Gerard Byrne
Management Committee Essentials
Sponsorship & Fundraising
Bookings Essential - Limited Places
For more details or bookings contact VNQ on:
VNQ's Offices: Unit 6/56 Charles St - Aitkenvale
VNQ's training program is run in partnership with the Townsville City Council.
VET Fee-Help Courses & Dates
Careers Australia run regular Diploma courses which are funded by VET Fee-Help - a student loan issued by the Australian Government, designed to help ease the burden of up-front tuition fees and make higher education more available to more Australian citizens.
The following courses are coming up soon.
There are no pre-requisites or experience required, however enrolling students will be required to take a literacy and numeracy assessment.
For more information, or to enrol, visit the website at:
Hello Members and Friends,
National Volunteer Week with its theme, "Thanks a Million" has passed into history, but I still would like to add VNQ's voice to the accolades and share our wonderful week of celebration with you.
And what a week of celebration it was. We started with the Radio Triple T radio promotion thanking volunteers. This was followed by our Volunteer Managers Network morning tea on the Thursday. In keeping with the Volunteer Week theme we focused on highlighting and sharing tips and resources for successful volunteer management and recognition.
We began with an introduction to the National Standards for involving volunteers in Not for Profit organisations, developed by Volunteering Australia. They provide a framework and workbooks to help organisations keep their volunteers safe and happily involved. After the info session our three guest speakers shared their joys and challenges in running large and successful volunteer programs. And as an added bonus the morning tea was delicious.
The grand finale to the week was a partnership event with NQ Dry Tropics and the Upper Ross Community Centre that provided the opportunity for 100 volunteers of all ages and abilities to work together in the centre's community garden. Volunteers received training, and all were recognized with certificates of appreciation in a joyful and rowdy conclusion to the day.
Memories of the day still linger as a sweet reminder of what happens when people who care come together in a shared love of community. Thank you to all those volunteers who work in formal programs or behind the scenes on their own private projects, you help to make the world a better place.
We anticipate further such shared community events in the future. We also welcome new members and partners.
In conclusion, your membership is due at the end of the financial year. Thank you for your support over the past year, it is much valued and we look forward to working with you again in the year to come.
If you would like to become a member of VNQ or need to discuss your existing membership needs please feel free to contact us. We are only a phone call away.
Defence Volunteering Program
VNQ has again secured a grant to provide support and training for Defence personnel and their families to assist them with volunteering in the community.
VNQ manned a stall at the Defence Expo in February to showcase volunteering in Townsville to Defence personnel and their families who have recently been transferred here. A great deal of interest was shown with several Defence spouses attending interviews at VNQ and have since undertaken volunteer positions.
During April, Sally Lawrence conducted three sessions covering employment readiness which was attended by ten defence spouses. Topics covered included: resumes, addressing selection criteria, job interviews as well as employment seeking strategies. Volunteering was highlighted during the workshops as a means of obtaining experience, developing new skills and gaining confidence for job seekers. Great feedback was received after this training, so further sessions are being planned for June.
Since the Employment Readiness workshops one Defence spouse has secured employment with the Department of Defence. She stated that her attendance in the workshops increased her confidence and assisted in this very positive outcome. Another lady has a job interview arranged and also reports that she feels that she can approach this with heightened confidence. Four defence spouses who attended have interviews arranged with VNQ to explore volunteer opportunities.
Promotion of volunteering to Defence personnel has further been achieved by a presentation at the Soldier Recovery Centre who are very keen to have their clients participate as a means to assist in their rehabilitation.
Future plans within the Program include a meeting with a Defence employment agency, who assist those leaving the forces to gain civilian employment as well as further presentations to Defence personnel at Lavarack Barracks in June.
Six thousand Defence personnel are employed in Townsville and with their families make up approximately thirteen thousand people residing in our city. Therefore this group will be a valuable source of volunteers which will further enrich our local community.
Please contact me if you would like to find out more about the Defence Volunteering Project.
HEALTH & SAFETY
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
Chemicals are a fact of life, and are used to produce just about everything around us. Some chemicals are benign. Others are highly dangerous. For these reasons, legislation mandates chemical manufacturers/suppliers to provide MSDS to product users. You have heard of MSDS, but may not fully understand what they are and what they do. I hope that the following helps.
What is a MSDS? A document that provides information on the potential hazards of a chemical, and how to work safely with it; essential for the development of a work health and safety programme.
What information is on the MSDS? Product information, hazardous ingredients, physical data, fire/ explosion hazard data, the chemical's stability, substances with which it may react, toxicology properties and health effects, preventative measures, first aid measures, and the name of the person who prepared the MSDS.
When and how do I use a MSDS? Before using the chemical for the first time. Match its name with the name on the MSDS. Then carefully read the hazards listed on the MSDS and the instructions for the use, safe handling, storage, and emergency management of the chemical.
What if I don't understand all the information on a MSDS? Don't use the chemical, and raise your concern with your WHS Co-ordinator or supervisor.
Is my employer responsible for MSDS? Employers must ensure that when introducing a chemical to the workplace, a MSDS is available, and that workers who may be exposed to the product are trained in its use. The employer must also ensure that MSDS are updated every five years, and must withdraw a chemical and its MSDS if the chemical is no longer required.
Can I bring a chemical to the workplace if I bring a MSDS as well? Under no circumstances may a worker bring a chemical into a workplace.
At VNQ, there's a master copy of current MSDS in the cleaner's cupboard in the VNQ ablutions room, and kitchen chemical MSDS in a folder inside the under-sink cupboard. Just for fun at home, try searching the internet for MSDS on chemicals you use there. You'll find one on every single product! Google 'MSDS on (product name)', and read about it.
Congratulations to Happy Feat!
VNQ recently received the following letter. We would like to wish the Happy Feat group the very best of luck in being selected for this fantastic opportunity and congratulations for being considered for it!
If anyone wants to know more about Happy Feat or can help them with their fundraising, please contact:
It was amazing to be able to announce on our Happy Feat 3rd birthday that our team is being considered to perform in the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle!!!!
Here's a little bit about the Games:-
The Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games will bring together 32 nations from across the Asia Pacific region. Over 2,500 athletes and carers, 6,000 officials and supporters from overseas and interstate and 200,000 spectators will converge on the Newcastle-Hunter region for the duration of the Games. Over 5000 local volunteers are being recruited to make the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games 2013 possible.
As we celebrated our Happy Feat 3rd birthday last night, Larry from Jepson Media filmed our stars in order to send a DVD to John Foreman and the Special Olympic Games committee to help with their decision. (A huge thank you to Larry and Peter Jepson from Jepson Media for donating their time to produce this DVD).
Because we have 35 Happy Featers plus carers plus volunteers, our Happy Feat family is approximately 70 people. This means considerable costs are involved for travel etc. As I am already very busy with Happy Feat, working, family (plus organising this huge project), I don't have any time to fundraise.
So, this project can only go ahead if we find wonderful, generous sponsors to help make this a reality. I would love to hear from you if you have any ideas!
Isn't it exciting that our amazing Happy Feat team are being considered to perform at these Special Olympic Asia Pacific Games!!!
Townsville to Cairns Bike Ride
The Big W Townsville to Cairns Bike Ride is a 3 day fundraising ride in support of the Children's Cancer Institute Australia.
Rider registrations are now full, however you can still put your name down on a waiting list. You can also help through donations or by supporting riders.
Full details on the ride at:
To donate or support a rider go to:
Pyjama Foundation Fundraising Events
The Pyjama Foundation has a couple of events coming up. These events raise much needed funds for the Pyjama Foundation's 'Love of Learning Program' for local children in foster care.
PJ Night at the Movies
Wear your pyjamas and enjoy the movie 'After Earth'. Prizes, games & drinks/nibblies on arrival.
Please bring a new child's book to donate to the 'Love of Learning Program'.
Tickets can be pre-purchased from:
Kids' Disco Party
Wear your pyjamas & have some fun with music, kids activities & more. Sausage sizzle, cold drinks, cake and tea/coffee available for purchase at $2 each.
Bombo the Wonder Dog
VNQ are supporting our volunteer Suzi Vincent's fundraising venture to raise money for Legacy by selling the delightful children's book her husband, Tony, created during the last weeks of his life.
Tony died from metastatic melanoma originating from naval service during the Vietnam War. As a side affect, in the last six weeks of his life, he experienced heightened creativity due to changes in the brain: so began the adventures of Bombo the Wonder Dog.
Bombo, who resembles the family dog, is a very smart black dog. He has the kind of adventures that children and the young at heart dream of. Among other things he goes on a secret mission in nuclear submarine, a train trip in New South Wales and a plane ride over Antarctica - with 10% discount for other dogs!
Suzi and her children have lovely memories of this special time with Tony as he entertained them daily with Bombo's adventures. They are hoping to share some of them with you whilst at the same time supporting Legacy.
Bombo the Wonder Dog is a lovely story with many forms of transport throughout the book as they were Tony's (and Bombo's) passion. The book also carries a strong theme about caring for others and making people happy. It is suitable for boys and girls from pre-school age to lower primary school level, but everyone will enjoy it.
The book is beautifully illustrated in high gloss.
You can purchase your copy of Bombo from:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Please include your address and phone number if emailing orders.
GRANTS & FUNDING
Grant for Singers/Songwriters
The Grant McLennan Memorial Fellowship is an annual $25,000 grant that honours the musical legacy of Grant McLennan, one of the founding members of the Brisbane band, the Go-Betweens.
'Grant's Grant', as it is often referred to, is open to Queensland singers/songwriters and will provide the winner with a unique opportunity to develop their skills internationally.
The prize is an opportunity for the winner to travel to New York, London or Berlin for up to 2 months, to study the city's musical culture and the international musical scene and further develop their artistic skills.
Applications close June 28.
Full details & guidelines at:
The National Standards for best practice in management of volunteers is available for free download from the Volunteering Australia Website.
National Conference on Volunteering 2013
Calling for papers. Abstracts currently being sought.
For more details visit Volunteering SA & NT at:
Current Computer Scam Warning
We've all received at least one of them.
Those phone calls at odd times, often outside normal business hours, that come to us unsolicited.
Telephone marketing calls.
Sometimes they're legitimate, but sometimes they're not. Scams. People trying to get money or personal information through false or illegal means. The worst ones are those where the scammers are using real company names.
There's one scam in particular going around at the moment that a lot of people don't realise is a scam for that very reason.
The call often starts off with dead silence or a lot of noise in the background, then someone asks for "Mr or Mrs (name)". They give their name and say they're calling from Microsoft. Often they'll say they're from Microsoft's Tech Department.
They go on to say that they're calling because your computer has been sending them information that it has a virus or some other issue. They make it sound like it's a serious problem that needs to be urgently sorted out. Then they say that they can help and all you need to do is follow their instructions.
Their instructions usually include turning on 'remote assistance'. This is the computer equivalent of giving a stranger the key to your house. It enables them to gain complete control over your computer and gives them access to all of the information stored on it.
The claims they make about the 'problem' sound reasonable if you don't know much about computers. But in reality, they're not true. In a bid to curtail this particular scam, Microsoft has stated that they do not monitor computers in this way or call people about problems or viruses. It's just a scam to get people to allow access to their computers and all of the files and personal information stored on them.
No unsolicited call should ever ask you for personal details such as credit card numbers or ask you to do anything that gives them access to your computer.
So the next time you get a call like that - don't listen and don't do what they say. Just hang up on them.
Article by Nicole Robertson - Willing & Able Editor
I hope you found my earlier article on the Microsoft phone scam to be of interest.
It came about because I mentioned to a friend that I had received 'that stupid computer scam call again' and she confirmed that she'd received one recently as well. She suggested I write an article about it, as it's one of the more common phone scams that makes the rounds almost constantly, and one of the more dangerous as it still catches a lot of people, even though it's been around for a few years now.
I call it a 'stupid' scam, but that's only because I know that what they claim in the call isn't possible. The script that the callers follow has been written in such a way that it sounds plausible, if you don't know much about how computers work. Combine that with the faith most people have in a popular brand name and it becomes even harder to recognise as a scam.
It should be noted that I covered only one variant of this particular scam in my article. The script does vary. There are several versions, including ones that don't use the Microsoft name, but rather name a company with a similar-sounding name, or say the name so fast that you can't quite catch it, but it sounds like some big, official, technical, computer company. Many claim to be calling from a Tech Department, again sounding important and official.
Playing on our human nature to more readily trust those perceived to be acting in some official capacity is a big part of the scam.
If you wish to learn more about this line of phone scams, or more about scams in general, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has the website for you.
SCAMwatch has articles and great information on a wide variety of scams. From Internet and telephone scams to pyramid schemes, identity theft and more, everything you ever needed or wanted to know about how to keep yourself and your personal information safe is there.
With National Consumer Fraud Week coming up on June 17-23, what better time is there to visit?
See you all next issue!
It's been a while since this newsletter offered a recipe, so I thought I'd share a personal favourite.
Easy Chocolate Layer Tart
Time Required: 15-20 minutes + refrigeration time
Other things needed:
You can use a food processor to make the biscuit layer, but be careful not to use too much milk. I get much better results from using the soak method.
I hope you enjoy your tasty desert treat!
Complaints - Ph: 1300 362 072;
Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
Toll Free: 1800 062 058
ALL OMBUDSMAN SERVICES ARE FREE
Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland
Dispute Resolution Service
Office of Fair Trading - Qld Government
Don't forget VNQ's website is filled with information and links to all sorts of valuable resources.
VNQ on Facebook
If you're on Facebook, why not look up VNQ, make a comment or add yourself to VNQ's friends list?
SPREAD THE WORDSpread the Word about Willing & Able
Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to others who you think might be interested.
To subscribe to this bi-monthly newsletter contact:
For information on special events in the local area, visit the Townsville Community Calendar, brought to you by the wonderful volunteers at the Community Information Centre.
Or visit the Special Events page on the VNQ website.
Disclaimer: Whilst every care has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, VNQ takes no responsibility for any error, omission or other mistake. Information is correct as of the date of printing. Contact organisations concerned for further details. Articles are sourced from a variety of sites and publications, including submissions by organisations.