Let’s celebrate our volunteers

19 May 2023
Healthy Community

This week is National Volunteer Week, Australia’s largest celebration of volunteers, and did you know that we have one of the largest volunteer communities in Victoria!

To celebrate, between Monday 15 and Sunday 21 May, we will honour our dedicated volunteers and the vital role they have in our community. 

Our Mayor, Cr Deirdre Diamante said volunteers are the backbone of the community, dedicating their time and skills to provide a range of services and improve the lives of residents of all ages.

“Whether they’re volunteering their time on our advisory committees, as L2P driver mentors, in community service support roles, sporting clubs or the many areas in between, we are so grateful for the incredible contribution of our volunteers,” Cr Diamante said. “I can’t wait to meet 100 of our volunteers when we host our annual volunteer reception on Wednesday night (17 May),” the Mayor added.

Reception guests will hear from 2022 Citizen of the Year, Margaret Kelly. Margaret has dedicated over 25 years to community service and voluntary work in Warrandyte.

National Volunteer Week is a great time to consider volunteering. Also honoured at last year’s Civic Awards, Doreen Stoves Volunteer of the Year, Varvara Ioannou said for her, volunteering had become a way of life.

“It has given me the opportunity to meet new friends and contribute to something bigger and better in creating a better world.”

Cr Diamante thanked all the inspirational winners of last year’s Manningham Civic Awards and encouraged the community to nominate for this year’s awards via our Civic Awards website before 10 July.

“The awards recognise residents who have made exceptional contributions to our community through volunteering and paid work.” 

Speaking of exceptional contributions, our dedicated advisory group committee members volunteer their time to provide advice to Council on the needs of the community. Manningham has six advisory groups: 

  • The Disability Advisory Committee
  • Gender Equality and LGBTQIA+ Advisory Committee
  • Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee
  • Manningham Youth Advisory Committee
  • Multicultural Advisory Committee
  • Recreation and Sport Advisory Committee. 

“Advisory committees strengthen the voice of people, build their capacity and support the community to be accessible and inclusive for all Manningham residents,” Cr Diamante said.

“At our April meeting we endorsed the appointment of our three newest Disability Advisory Committee members. On National Volunteer Week I’d like to thank you, and all our advisory committee members, from the newest to the longstanding, for volunteering your time to provide valuable advice from your lived experience.”

Another valued program that our Council delivers with the support of volunteers is the L2P Driver Mentor program. The program is funded by the Victorian Department of Transport, Manningham Council and Whitehorse Council. 

It supports young learner drivers who do not have access to a supervising driver and/or vehicle at home. Volunteers mentor young drivers so that they can achieve the hours required to obtain their licence.

Greg Longden, L2P mentor driver said, “There’s plenty of support programs for you as a mentor and it’s a great contribution and experience”. Greg also felt that “patience, a desire to give free time of your own, a desire to contribute to a young person and their future” is important if considering on becoming a L2P volunteer.

To learn more about these volunteering programs or the 2023 Manningham Civic Awards visit: