Stepping up to volunteer
Q&A with Friends of Tasman Island volunteer Georgie Carr
There are so many reasons to volunteer. From making new friends, learning new skills, or giving back to the community. We asked Wildcare Tasmania member Georgie Carr about her views on volunteering.
How long have you been volunteering?
For more than 16 years, I have volunteered as a Scout Leader. I have been a member of Wildcare for a while now, but actively volunteering for over a year. I’ve undertaken working bees at Melaleuca , on Maatsuyker Island, and I’m now working with Friends of Tasman Island with the virtual Lighthouse Climb fundraiser.
There seems to be a theme with the places I’m interested in, mostly wild, remote, islands, or hard to get to places that are surrounded by the ocean. My Dad built a yacht in the backyard when I was growing up, so I’ve had the privilege of living in a sailing family from a young age. I guess this in one aspect of my life that has fed into my love of wild places surrounded by the ocean. I feel a strong connection to the South West of Tas especially.
Why do you volunteer?
I volunteer for many reasons. Self-care, connection to country, altruism, and because these wild places are the earth’s lungs – vital for survival. We need to do better at caring for these magical places. They are unique and the sense of self you get from returning home to them is not something you can buy. It’s a precious country that needs protecting and caring for. The first nations people inspire me and I deeply respect them.
What’s the best thing about volunteering?
Getting to explore and visit remarkable places! I love how volunteering allows you to be at a different kind of pace in these areas. Rather than hiking through or sailing past, you are there for a greater amount of time to immerse yourself in the area. The community of Wildcarers is something unique and worth preserving. I especially enjoy meeting like-minded people. And, of course, knowing you’re making a difference.
Any advice to anyone thinking of volunteering?
If you’re thinking of volunteering – pick something that sparks a hint of your interest, you can’t go wrong.
It’s those things that you don’t expect, that make it worthwhile. Like after a day of volunteering – sitting back, watching the sunset, and the shearwater return home. The stars come out and then the moon sets, all while you’re eating dinner!
Unique experiences, like the distinct smell of visiting a shearwater island, the thrill of standing in 50-knot winds, or visiting a lighthouse you never dreamed possible of climbing make volunteering totally worthwhile.
What is involved in volunteering with the Friends of Tasman Island?
I attended a few meetings via zoom because the awe and magic of Tasman Island always intrigued me. Someone suggested a virtual Lighthouse Climb might be a fun way to raise money. So I offered to support a sub-committee to discuss the possibility.
It’s grown from there with a team of six FoTI members working together to run the virtual Lighthouse Climb for the month of STEPtember. I’m really looking forward to encouraging my Scout Troop, Family, and Friends to participate or sponsor us as we climb as many lighthouse units we can over 4 weeks to raise needed funds.
Explore opportunities that may spark your interest by joining as a member and checking the Event Calendar and/or Join a Group.