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WILLING AND ABLE
December 2013/January 2014
Volunteering North Queensland Inc.
Unit 6/56 Charles Street, Aitkenvale
Telephone: (07) 4725 5990
Fax: (07) 4725 5996
The holiday season is almost upon us again, which means that International Volunteer's Day is also right around the corner! In this issue, we have details of VNQ's annual IVD celebration, VNQ's holiday closing times and the Mayor's annual Christmas Tree Appeal. We also have the dates for VNQ's Volunteer Managers Network meetings and a range of training workshops for next year, as well as a great WH&S article on personal responsibility, while this issue's Disaster Management article includes some useful links for the storm and cyclone season. Want more? Then look no further than the Other Organisations section, with not one, not two, but three organisations spotlighted! As always for the last issue of the year, I've added a few seasonal surprises as well, so keep an eye out for the Christmas Corner sections, a White Christmas recipe in my Editorial and several special events detailed on page 8.
I hope you enjoy this, the final edition of Willing and Able for 2013!
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.
Q. How long should a reindeer's legs be?
Q. What is odd about the Christmas Alphabet?
"Christmas doesn't come from a store,
"Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone."
"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred,
Volunteer Managers Network Meeting & Training Session
Here are the dates for the 2014 Volunteer Managers Network Meeting & Training Sessions. We hope to see you there!
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:
As this is the final newsletter for 2013, it's the perfect opportunity to provide you with a review of our AGM report that, I am proud to say, thanks to a great team, reflects another busy and productive period for VNQ.
In brief, we continued to provide an inclusive community hub to support the volunteer community. Over 1800 hundred volunteers received volunteering information about opportunities or were linked to community groups. A further 3000 were provided with information at expos and forums and community events. Through the use of various networks and electronic medias we estimate some 7200 contacts were made with community groups and individuals to provide relevant information or support. More than 951 people in our target groups received linking or training assistance. The training program provided over 1600 training contacts with volunteers and managers of volunteers.
At our AGM in October we farewelled and thanked our long time serving members Karon Pearce, and Ellen Conner and also Sally-Anne Lawrence. We also welcomed our new Secretary Latisha Tuck as well as Craig Anderson, Chantal Cullen and Suzi Vincent.
If you would like to learn more go to our website for a full AGM report. (link below)
We are now in the final stages of planning for International Volunteers Day on December the 5th. You will be receiving your invite in this newsletter or by email and if you haven't already planned your own celebration why not come along and join ours and have your nominated volunteers presented with a certificate of appreciation.
In conclusion, a heartfelt thank you to the VNQ team, our members and supporters for your support during 2013. We look forward to more of the same in 2014.
I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you the peace and joy of the Christmas season and all good fortune in the coming year.
VNQ's AGM Report - Now Available Online
VNQ's AGM Report for 2013 can be found online at:
Attached to this issue:
TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT
Townsville Training in 2014
Saturday Skilling Series
March 01 - Submission Writing
January 16-17 - Cultural Competency
February 27-28 - Cultural Competency Masterclass/Train the Trainer
February 21 - Effective Communication (Ayr)
(further regional dates TBC throughout the year)
February 01 & 08
For details or bookings contact:
International Volunteer Day - 5 December 2013
International Volunteer Day (IVD) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985 and is celebrated across the world by thousands of volunteers.
It's a day when volunteers are celebrated and thanked for the tireless work that they do and the immense difference that they make to all of our lives.
The theme for 2013 is: 'Young. Global. Active.'
More information, including a list of ways to thank your volunteers and printable certificates, can be found at the Volunteering Australia website.
VNQ's 2013 IVD Celebration
VNQ, in partnership with the Good Shepherd Home, Diversicare, NQ Dry Tropics and Conservation Volunteers Australia, would like to invite you to join in their 2013 International Volunteer Day celebrations.
December 05 - 10:00am-2:00pm
The event will include a presentation of certificates, as well as a light lunch and entertainment.
You can also nominate up to 5 of your volunteers to receive certificates of recognition for outstanding or long service. Please get in early to avoid missing out.
For further details, to nominate a volunteer for a certificate or to confirm attendance, please contact:
Volunteering North Queensland
The National Standards for best practice in management of volunteers is available for free download from the Volunteering Australia Website.
Storms and Cyclones
On Monday the 11th November I attended a 6 hour disaster information and prediction forum for Local Disaster Management Group Members and other Disaster Professionals. Like many there, I was interested to hear what the weather bureau was predicting for this Storm and Cyclone season.
It was suggested that the weather models are indicating:
Now is the time to start preparing or checking you preparations for Natural Emergency events. Leaving it to the last minute or believing it won't happen is foolhardy, and may well be a threat to life. Those lives could be yours and your family.
There is plenty of Natural Disaster information available to guide you in what to do. I strongly suggest that you take the time to become aware of this information, act on what is being advised thus ensuring you have a plan, emergency kit and evacuation kit ready NOW.
The State Government has launched the 'Get Ready Queensland" initiative (www.disaster.qld.gov.au).
The Bureau of Meteorology website (www.bom.gov.au) is rich with information and links on cyclone, flood and other natural event warnings alone with preparation information.
On Wednesday 13 November 2013 Newspapers from Cardwell to Bowen and Inland included a 37 page colour supplement called 'STORM and CYCLONE'. This supplement has all you need to know to be prepared. So it can not be really said "I didn't know".
If you need further direction, assistance or information, please contact:
Ph: 07- 4725 5990
Mayor's Christmas Tree Appeal
Townsville City Council's annual Christmas appeal for donations to aid local people & families in need.
Donations for 2013 close December 10.
See the TCC website for full details, including the list of collection points (red bins) for donations.
INFO FROM AROUND THE SECTOR
The 2013 Volunteer Manager Award of Excellence winner has been announced!
Congratulations to Libby Scheinpflug, Manager of Volunteer Services, Anglican Diocese of Brisbane.
Don't forget VNQ's website is filled with information and links to all sorts of valuable resources.
Updated weekly - Special Events Page
Updated every issue - Newsletter Page
Updated recently - Training Page
WORKPLACE HEALTH & SAFETY
Safety Matters - Personal Responsibility
WHS legislation clearly espouses the duties that we owe to our colleagues and to ourselves. We are to work safely, be involved in the development and maintenance of safe work practice, and most importantly, to look after each other. These responsibilities are the cornerstone of work health and safety philosophy. From time to time, though, we hear of workplace injuries that could perhaps have been avoided, had the worker taken more responsibility for his/her own actions. Examples are:
Case one: a truck driver is injured whilst trying to change a tyre, road-side, with the wrong tools. He successfully litigates against his employer for the correct tools not being in the truck. The questions arising are; why did the driver not ensure that the pre-journey inspection of the vehicle (if he did one) not include completeness of break-down equipment, and; why did he not ring for third-party assistance when he realised, road-side, that he was ill-equipped to manage the contingency?
Case two: a butcher successfully sues his employer for damages following an injury which would not have occurred, had the butcher been wearing a chain-mail glove on his non-master hand. The butcher claimed that there were insufficient gloves for all staff. The questions arising are: why did the butcher proceed with the task without having the proper safety equipment at his disposal, and; why did the butcher not check, at the beginning of his shift, the availability of all safety equipment required?
In each case, the worker chose to continue on-task without ensuring that each step could be safely completed. Whether or not there were safety procedures in place, job safety analyses performed, and adequate staff training, is unclear and largely irrelevant. It is the worker who is principally responsible for his/her own safety. In the cases cited, the workers were legally entitled to refuse to do the work without proper safety equipment. Why they chose to proceed, regardless, is open to speculation.
Considering the cases discussed, would you set out on a driving holiday with your family before ensuring that your car is serviced, its tyres (including the spare) are in good condition and correctly inflated, and that you have the correct wheel changing tools on-board? Would you attempt to carve the Sunday roast, knowing full well that your carving knife is blunt beyond belief and not therefore safe to use? If you answered 'no' to each question, why then would the same logic not apply to the workplace, were you in the position of the workers in the cases cited.
It's easy to blame someone else for a workplace accident that could well have been prevented by pre-consideration. Current legislation requires entities to maintain safety policy and procedure manuals including risk assessments, however, unless everyone is actively involved and encouraged to be involved in the development and maintenance of policy and safe work practice, the most comprehensive of manuals are useless. Ultimately, it is worker responsibility to ensure that their work and their workplace is safe. If in doubt, don't do it, or call for help.
Conservation Volunteers Australia - Gifts
Looking for something a bit different to gift this year? Want to help support a non-profit organisation in the process? Conservation Volunteers Australia offer a range of gifts with proceeds going to their projects.
Gift lines include:
2014 Conservation Calender - featuring the winning images from their recent Photo Competition. Includes 12 A4 sized images of Australia's environment and animals. All proceeds go to CVA.
Freecall: 1800 032 501 or order online at:
Christmas Cards - wide range of designs & can be personalised with your own greeting & logo.
Order online at:
Christmas E-Cards - customisable with your own message & logo. 20c per $1 donated to CVA.Order online at:
Hampers & Flowers - 10% of the purchase price (excluding shipping) donated to CVA.Order online at:
Did you Know?The Christmas Carol 'Carol of the Bells' is based on a Ukrainian folk chant called 'Shchedryk'.
NQ Dry Tropics
NQ Dry Tropics is the natural resource management body for North Queensland's dry tropics. That means we help to look after our natural assets like rivers and coastlines, paddocks and properties. Whether you're a farmer, grazier, school, community group or mum or dad we can help you to make a difference in your environment.
Did you know that NQ Dry Tropics is encouraging volunteerism in the community? That's right! We're calling people from all backgrounds and abilities to participate in environmental activities, not only for the benefit of our generation, but many more to come.
NQ Dry Tropics works with Volunteering North Qld and more than 40 community environment groups because we feel that the community plays a vital role in restoring and protecting native habitats. We work closely with environmental community groups to increase volunteers, provide funding and support on-ground projects. A focus for us is to connect groups together and build the capacity of the community to take action for environmental values.
Whether you are a volunteer, community group, disability support organisation, youth service provider, multi-cultural group or business looking for corporate volunteering opportunities, we would love to hear from you!
Get in touch with Laura or Jay from the Community Engagement team and find out how we can all gain the most from being part of a healthy empowered community.
Conservation Volunteers Australia
Over the past few months, students and staff from NQ schools have been assisted by teams from Conservation Volunteers Australia to create a variety of outdoor "biodiversity classrooms".
In August, with the added aid of NQ Dry Tropics' NRM Healthy Habitat Schools Program, Stuart State School students were helped to replace trees in and around the car park, and to revamp the frog pond.
In October, the Bohlevale School's Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden was revamped, while in November, Conservation Volunteers helped with aquaponics facilities, fencing the chicken coop and completing the kitchen garden.
Young students gain well rounded skills by learning to participate in diverse teams, become community minded and develop a greater understanding of their natural environment. Families and friends were also encouraged to come along on the day and help out.
The program is sponsored by Boral Limited.
For more information visit the website or contact:
Centacare's Volunteer Host Program has been running now for over 12 months. The program was launched in April 2012 and is becoming more well-known in the Townsville Community as a unique respite option for parents who have a child with a disability aged from birth to 12 years.
The program offers a break to parents by recruiting volunteers to become 'host parents' to their child. The child and volunteer are carefully matched to each others likes, interests, hobbies etc. and the child spends time with the volunteer on a regular basis in the volunteers own home, usually one day/weekend each month.
This volunteer experience is unique in the way that volunteers can assist and support a family (from the community) within their own home while still carrying out their regular family routines and outings.
To find out more about being part of this unique opportunity as a volunteer, please contact:
Mary Elwin - Volunteer Host Coordinator
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.
Email: email@example.com or
Please include your address and phone number if emailing orders.
Christmas Recipe Websites
A big part of any holiday season is always the food. Every family has its own favourites, but if you're in the mood to try something new this festive season, there are a lot of recipes and websites online. Here are a couple to start you off! Happy Holiday Cooking!
Taste.com.au - fabulously festive foods
AllRecipes.com.au - sensational seasonal selection
All this talk of recipes has me thinking about all of the treats that are made at this time of year. One of my mother's favourites is White Christmas, so I thought I'd pass along a recipe for it, for this issue's editorial.
I hope you enjoy the recipe and that you have a safe and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
See you all next year!
White Christmas Recipe
Recipe from: www.santas.net
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SPREAD THE WORD Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to others who you think might be interested. To subscribe to this bi-monthly newsletter contact: SPECIAL EVENTS 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. Carols by Candlelight Stable on the Strand New Years Eve With Attori & Friends 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.
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.
Carols by Candlelight
Stable on the Strand
New Years Eve With Attori & Friends
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.