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If your organisation's contact details have changed, please advise VNQ of the new details.
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Issue 142


December 2014/January 2015

Volunteering North Queensland Inc.

Unit 6/56 Charles Street, Aitkenvale

Telephone: (07) 4725 5990

Fax: (07) 4725 5996



Hi folks!

Welcome to the annual Christmas edition of Willing and Able for 2014! This may be the last newsletter for the year, but it's still stuffed like a stocking full of information and news. In this issue, you will find the results of VNQ's recent AGM as well as details of VNQ's holiday closing dates and the core Community Skilling training schedule for 2015. There are also articles on a buddy system for new volunteers, the ACNC's public release of charity financial info, as well as a Safety Matters article. This edition also highlights the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Domestic Violence Women's Group in the Other Organisations section. But what would a Christmas issue be without special articles? As well as several Christmas Corner sections, there are also several tasty recipes to try out, as well as a small craft project that's great for either a kids activity or a gift idea and if you're planning on sending eCards this year, then the Christmas Resources section is for you! Also, please note that the usual Website News section has been moved this time around, making way for a couple of events to be featured on page 8.

So why not put aside the tinsel and bows for a time and enjoy this issue of Wiling 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.

VNQ Website:

VNQ Email:

VNQ ABN: 89 493 383 445

A Christmas Quotation

"I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
[ 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens ]

More Christmas Quotations

"Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone."
[ Charles M. Schulz ]

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.
To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy,
is to have the real spirit of Christmas."
[ Calvin Coolidge ]

Page 1


Volunteer Managers Network Meeting & Training Session

Here are the details for the next Volunteer Managers Network Meeting & Training Session.

February 19, 2015 - 9:30am-12:00noon
(morning tea will be provided)
VNQ Training Room
6/56 Charles Street - Aitkenvale

Please RSVP to:
Volunteering North Queensland


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.

For more information, please contact VNQ on:
Ph: 4725 5990


Volunteering North Queensland extend a warm welcome to the new and returning Management Committee and Members for 2014/2015.

Management Committee
President: Dr Dianne Rogers
Vice-President: Latesha Tuck
Treasurer: Margie Ryder
Secretary: Kimberley Wilson

Craig Anderson
Cr Sue Blom
Christine Yuen
Gerard Young
Meredith Winkler


Christmas Holiday Closing Dates

VNQ will be closed over the holiday season.

Close: December 18, 2014
Reopen: January 06, 2015

Wishing you all a very Merry and Safe Christmas!


Hello Everybody,

As this is the final newsletter for 2014 it's the perfect opportunity to review our activities for the year. Looking back, I'm proud to say that we've achieved our aims to provide an inclusive community hub to support the volunteer community. All in all, over 1000 volunteers were directly assisted towards volunteering. Some 349 people experiencing disadvantage received supported linking, and/or tailored training assistance. A further 3080 people were provided with information at various community events and some 7200 contacts were made with community groups or individuals to provide relevant information or support. The Community Education program provided some 579 training contacts with volunteers and managers of volunteers. A further 625 volunteers were given volunteer awareness information at the time of interviews.

At our AGM, in October, we said farewell to Debbie Mc Phee and welcomed Kimberley Wilson, Margie Ryder and Meredith Winkler. You will find our AGM book and reports on our web page:

Over the past months we have experienced some changes to our team. Paula resigned to continue her study and the Community Education position was temporarily filled by Kimberley Wilson who now holds a committee position. Ildiko moved away and we welcomed Deb Haines as our new Admin Assistant. Margaret and Debbie joined our team and Tanya, our referral officer resigned to take up paid employment. Last but not least, Jean, our stats officer, resigned after more than 17 years of unbroken service with VNQ. Thank you Jean, we wish you and all our retiring team good health and future happiness.

Thank you to our present team and management committee for contributing to our success in 2014.

I also thank our members, supporters and partners, Townsville City Council and Austin Tax Accounting, for their contribution towards the delivery of yet another successful community education program. I look forward to working with you all again in 2015.

Finally as we approach the holiday season I wish you the peace and joy of Christmas and all good fortune in 2015.

Kind regards,


Anita Berry
Manager - Volunteering North Queensland Inc

Updating Contact Details

If your organisation changes contact details or postal address, please let VNQ know, so we can update our records and keep in contact with you. Thank you.

To update details, contact VNQ on:
Ph: 4725 5990 or


Page 2


Core 2015 Training Program
Community Skilling Series

Presenter: Gerard Byrne & Guest Speakers
Time: 9:00am-12noon
Venue: VNQ Offices

Grants Writing Seminar
March 07

Management Committee Essentials
May 02

Marketing for Community Groups
July 04

Project and Event Management
September 05

Grants Planning for 2016
November 07

More details & training will be announced through the year on VNQ's Website - Training page.

Bookings Essential - limited places

For details or bookings contact:
Volunteering North Queensland Inc
Ph: 4725 5990 or

VNQ's Offices
Unit 6/56 Charles St - Aitkenvale

About Gerard Byrne

Gerard Byrne B Com FCPA FAIM is a nationally recognised authority on submission writing and community skills development and co-author of the acclaimed 'Grants in Australia: Management and accountability made easy for not-for-profit organisations' manual.

He is one of VNQ's most experienced presenters on submission writing and corporate governance.

VNQ's training program is run in partnership with the Townsville City Council. tcc_bwlogosmall.jpg

Management Development Toolkit

February 20, 2015

A one-day leadership development course for current and aspiring Queensland based managers, focused on four aspects of effective leadership:

  • Understanding one's management style
  • Operating within a framework of values & ethics
  • Building great teams through positive influence
  • Understanding ways to build resilience

For full details, or to register, contact:
Australian School of Applied Management
Ph: 1300 138 037 - Nick Williams


Don't forget VNQ's website is filled with information and links to all sorts of valuable resources.

Updated weekly - Special Events Page
Find out what's on in the local area!

Updated every issue - Newsletter Page
Willing & Able is always available online!

Updated recently - Training Page
Workshop details, resources & more!


Christmas ECards

Running late with your Christmas preparations? No time (or patience) to wait at the post office in a queue that stretches out the door? Forgot to post a card and now it won't get there in time? Or maybe you want to send a simple card to an online friend, or a forum of friends, or everyone who visits your website?

Whatever your reason, here are three websites where you can send free Christmas eCards:

123 Greetings


All Down Under

Page 3


Christmas Safety

Where has 2014 gone? It seems like only yesterday that we were preparing for Christmas 2013, and now we're doing it again! Christmas is certainly a wonderful time of the year, but Christmas and Easter are more dangerous than any other time, and this is not just my say-so. The statistics on road accidents, presentations at hospital emergency departments, ambulance attendances for other than road accidents etc. all speak volumes. So I thought that I'd write generally on the topic for this final edition of 'Willing and Able' for 2014.

If you consider every regular activity that we undertake, you'd have to agree that driving is by far the most dangerous of all. Why is it more dangerous at Christmas? Generally, because we go out more. There are the parties, family celebrations etc, and many people use the roads for holidays away, necessitating driving for longer distances. Alcohol, speed, failure to wear seat belts are proven elements in local accidents. Tiredness, reluctance to have regular rest stops, unwillingness to stop overnight if driving for more than 4-5 hours a day, (I call this the 'get-there-itis' syndrome), impatience with other road users, and of course simply failing to drive to traffic and weather conditions, all feature commonly in the Christmas road toll on open roads.

As indicated, alcohol is very often a contributing factor in traffic accidents, but it is also often involved in off-the-road accidents as well. For example, lighting up the home bar-b-que after a few too many beers has been the cause of many serious burn accidents.

Then there are the accidents that kids have with their Christmas gifts. Falls from bicycles, skateboards, and home playground equipment by kids inexperienced in using these items are commonplace. You probably have memories of Christmas day within your own family, and accidents involving kids.

Christmas in North Queensland is in the middle of summer. Many love the beaches or their favourite water-hole during summer. It is at this time that the incidence of severe sunburn and its resulting dangerous after-effects rises significantly. Remember, too, that marine stingers are most prolific between November and May, and the numbers of stings requiring medical treatment are highest during the Christmas break. Lastly, don't forget the need for general water safety.

As you plan your 2014 Festive Season activities, I urge you to take the greatest of care of yourselves, your families, and your friends. As you do at work, think safety at Christmas. Supervise the younger kids as they use their Christmas gifts in the yard. Use protection against sunburn. Exercise water safety, and if you're travelling, stop to rest often. In whatever you plan, have a simple course of action ready for the unexpected.

Finally, I wish you all a very Merry, Holy, and safe Christmas. I am looking forward to returning to VNQ in 2015, so until we meet again, keep safe. We all owe it to each other, to our families, and to our friends.


Clement PLATH
VNQ WHS Co-ordinator


Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island Domestic Violence Women's Group

Wednesdays during 2015 - 10:30am-1:30pm
Townsville West Community Centre
15 Lonnegan Street, Garbutt

Talk about domestic and family violence in a safe environment and get support and information.

Light refreshments provided. Ladies are also welcome to bring some food to share if they wish.

For more details contact:
Mob: 0439 586 940 - Enid or
Mob: 0428 898 543 - Fay


"A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, But softly gives itself away;
While quite unselfish, it grows small."
[ Eva K. Logue ]


National Standards

The National Standards for best practice in management of volunteers is available for free download from the Volunteering Australia Website.

Page 4

The Buddy System For New Volunteers

One tried-and-true technique for bringing new volunteers on board is the "buddy system," asking an experienced volunteer to guide a newcomer at the start of service. In principle, this is a great idea, both to personalize orientation for the newbie and to give some recognition to the veteran. To make the process most effective, however, take some time to define what you want the buddies to do together, including some optional ideas for making their short partnership really useful.

Consider designing a badge of some sort for the two to wear during their time together. Maybe something like "Trainee" and "Tour Guide." This formalizes the relationship and also lets everyone else know that the buddy orientation process is going on. Have them take a "selfie" and print it out for the volunteer office bulletin board.

For the Experienced Volunteers
Give them the newcomer's position description so that the two can focus on what the volunteer will actually be doing - don't assume they both know exactly. Also share some background on the new volunteer to break the ice in getting acquainted. If you have anything special you want the newcomer to learn about, say so!

Do a mental walk-through with the veteran, considering the sequence of things that might be helpful in welcoming someone or being alert to possible issues needing attention. For example:

  • Recommend how much time the buddies should spend together on day 1, doing what. Shadowing the veteran? Taking a detailed tour of the facility? Meeting other volunteers and staff on the same shift?
  • Talk about how to end day 1. Reflection? Debriefing?
  • Do you want the two to exchange phone numbers or e-mail addresses for possible questions/answers afterwards or before the second shift?
  • Outline what the buddy role is on day 2. This is not necessarily as obvious as the things that might be done on day 1. What about on day 3?
  • What to do if they have any negative experience with the newcomer or if any concerns surface that the person might not be a good match for the position.
  • How many "formal" buddy connections should happen before the relationship ends? This is from your point of view - they can, of course, remain friends by choice!
  • Do you want some sort of brief report afterwards?

For the New Volunteers
Obviously you also need to prepare the newcomers for the buddy relationship. What can they can expect in terms of the process, time frame, etc.? Then share some information about the assigned buddy and his/her experience with the organization. Clarify:

  • Questions they can (and maybe should) ask of their buddies - versus issues they might instead come back to you about.
  • What to do if their buddy isn't helping.
  • What to do if they begin to feel they chose the wrong assignment.
  • Do you want some sort of brief report afterwards?

A Definite End Point
When you will you consider the buddy relationship to be over and how will that be communicated? Don't let it just peter out over time. End the process well and everyone benefits.

The Girl Scouts have the tradition of "flying up" when a girl moves from one program stage to another. That's a lovely idea that can work well in volunteer management. At some point - whether by the end of the first day or after two months of training - the completely new volunteer will feel acclimated (and, you hope, welcomed). Why not acknowledge that as a milestone?

Take back those buddy badges and thank both volunteers for participating. Formally welcome the new volunteer to the ranks.

If all this seems like a lot of formality, it really isn't. It's a call to think through what you want, explain it consistently to everyone, and make sure it does what you want it to.

P.S.: Although buddy systems are common when both volunteers work onsite in a facility together, the concept can also work for remote volunteers in the field or working online. The interactions will be by phone, e-mail, or video call, but the principles and benefits still apply.


Article originally presented by Energize Inc on their website at:


The Guinness World Record for the largest Christmas bauble was set by Sergio Rodríguez of San Pedro Garcia, Nuevo León, Mexico, in 2000. Made of galvanized steel, it measured 4.2m (13.77ft) in diameter. That is one big bauble!

Page 5


ACNC - Charity Financial Information

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) are making financial information from Australia's registered charities available for free to the public for the first time.

As part of their 2014 Annual Information Statements, all charities except for Basic Religious Charities and those registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations are required to provide financial information to the ACNC. This financial information will then be published on the ACNC Charity Register.

Reporting is necessary and charities that do not comply with their obligations will suffer penalties.

Charity financial information is available at:

Full information and guidance for charities on their financial reporting obligations are available at:

Charities in need of further assistance can contact:
Ph: 132262 or


Christmas is a time for traditions. It's also a time for shortbread. So why not combine the two? Here's a recipe from the Editor's family cookbook for a tasty treat at Christmas (or any other time of the year!).

Almond Topped Shortbread

9oz plain flour (1.125 cups)
2oz rice flour (¼ cup)
3oz castor sugar (.375 cups)
7oz butter (200g - plus extra to grease the tray)
Vanilla essence
Salt (a pinch to a good shake - to personal taste)
Roasted almonds - 1 per biscuit to top

1. Cream butter and sugar.
2. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
3. Knead on a lightly floured surface.
4. Divide into balls and press lightly out on tray.
5. Top each ball with a roasted almond.
6. Bake at 250 c for 10-15 minutes.


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.

Price: $15
Postage: $3

You can purchase your copy of Bombo from:
VNQ Office
Unit 6/56 Charles St - Aitkenvale


Email: or
Mobile: 0409 880 902


Please include your address and phone number if emailing orders.
Payment can be EFT or cheque.

Page 6


Around this time every year, a few things start showing up more prominently on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Recipes for delicious-sounding treats that make you hungry just reading them (especially if there's a picture included) are common throughout the year, but they seem even more numerous during November/December.

I'm not really into cooking, but I do have some recipes in my personal collection of 'stuff I like to cook that actually works 99% of the time'. I thought that I would share one of them with you here, but there are more elsewhere in this issue, too!

This one is both my favourite slice recipe and my favourite recipe in general. I make it a lot and it's always a big hit with my family. I hope you enjoy it!

Chocolate Slice Recipe

1 ¼ cups self raising flour
1 tbsp cocoa
¾ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup castor sugar
120g (6 tbsp) butter (plus extra to grease the tray)
1 egg

You can also add other ingredients, such as raisins, mixed fruit or chopped peanuts. If adding peanuts, decrease the amount of coconut used to ¼ or ½ cup.

I often make this recipe using ¼ cup coconut and ½ cup chopped peanuts.

1. Mix all dry ingredients into a bowl.
2. Add melted butter and beaten egg then mix well.
3. Press the mixture into a lightly greased tray.
4. Bake at 180°c for 10-12 minutes.
5. Leave in tray to cool, then cut into squares.

Great on its own, or top it off with chocolate icing or a drizzle of melted chocolate.

For a Christmas version, put a layer of red, white and green sprinkles on top!


I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

See you all next issue!



Fruit Cake Recipe

1 ? cups glacé cherries - halved
? cup sultanas
½ cup chopped glacé apricots
½ cup chopped pineapple
? cup chopped mixed peel
½ cup blanched coarsely chopped almonds
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
250g softened butter
1 tblsp each grated orange and lemon rind
1 cup castor sugar
5 eggs
¼ cup sweet sherry (can be made without it)

1. Combine fruits & almonds, toss with ¼ cup of flour.
2. Sift together remaining flour, baking powder & salt.
3. Beat butter with grated rind & add sugar gradually until thick & creamy.
4. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.
5. Stir in flour alternately with sherry.
6. Fold in the fruit-nut mixture.
7. Pour the mixture into a greased & lined 20cm square cake tin & back at 160°c for 1 ¾ - 2 hours.
8. Allow to cool slightly before turning out to cool completely. Wrap up airtight to store.

Christmas Craft - Scented Sachet

These sachets are quick and easy to make and don't need many materials. Perfect for holiday crafts for the kids or a stocking stuffer with a personal touch.

Printed fabric
24cm of 2cm wide lace (or narrower)
½ m of 1cm wide ribbon (or narrower)
Needle & thread (or sewing machine)
Potpourri or scented soap

1. Cut a piece of fabric around 24cm x 12cm.
2. Sew lace to the outside of both narrow edges.
3. Fold the fabric in half, right sides together, so the lace edges meet, then sew up both sides.
4. Turn the sachet right side out and half fill with potpourri or scented soap/soap slivers.
5. Fold the ribbon in half and tie in a knot about 5cm down. With the knot at the back of your sachet 2cm from the top, tie the remaining ribbon tightly around the sachet drawing it closed. Finish off with a bow.

Page 7


Commonwealth Ombudsman
For complaints and general inquiries about Australian Government Departments or agencies.

Complaints - Ph: 1300 362 072;
Ph: 07 3005 7000 (Brisbane);
Fax: 07 3229 4010 (Brisbane);

Queensland Ombudsman
If you feel you have been treated unfairly by a Queensland public agency or its staff.

Toll Free: 1800 068 908; TTY: 3006 8174;
Ph: 07 3005 7000; Fax: 07 3005 7067;

Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
Dispute resolution service for unresolved complaints about telephone or Internet services within Australia.

Toll Free: 1800 062 058


Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland
Level 2, St. James Place
155 - 157 Denham Street, Townsville;
Ph: 4799 7020, 1300 130 670;
Fax: 4799 7021; TTY: 1300 130 680;

Dispute Resolution Service
Level 2, St. James Place
155-157 Denham Street, Townsville;
Ph: 4799 7870, 1800 809 605;
Fax: 4799 7871;

Office of Fair Trading - Qld Government
Townsville Courthouse
31 Walker Street, Townsville
Ph: 13 13 04; Fax: 4799 7488

Townsville Community Legal Service
2/181 Sturt Street next to Bendigo Bank
Ph: 4721 5511; Fax: 4721 5499;


If you're on Facebook, why not look up VNQ, make a comment or add yourself to VNQ's friends list?


Spread 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.

Christmas Lights Tour
December 08-18
Cost: $10 per person

RSVP as soon as possible to:
Ph: 1300 761 011 or
Ph: 4417 1700

Stable on the Strand
December 18-22 - 5:30pm-9:30pm
Strand Park

Annual interactive Christmas event with kids' activities & lots more.

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. The opinions of the articles in this issue do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Volunteering North Queensland Inc.

Page 8


VNQ Christmas Message

VCRCG Emergency Checklist

Page 9