National Volunteer Week celebration.

by Kate C
Publish date
12 May 2011
Comments (1)

National Volunteer Week (9-15 May 2011) is a celebration of the priceless contribution of the thousands of volunteers to charities, organisations, communities and institutions across Australia.

There are 529 active volunteers at Museum Victoria and their ages range from 17 to 91 years. They help manage the 16 million items in our collections, they run activities for visitors, they lead tours at each of our venues, they restore steam engines, and much more. To thank these generous people, MV throws a celebration in National Volunteer Week each year. Yesterday afternoon, volunteers gathered at the Melbourne Planetarium at Scienceworks to mingle, share food and drink, and enjoy a Planetarium show.

Volunteers at 2011 National Volunteer Week event MV Volunteers assembled at this year's thank you event in National Volunteer Week.
Image: Heath Warwick
Source: Museum Victoria

Barbara Horn, Director of Museum Operations, read out some statistics about our volunteers. In 2009-2010, volunteers donated an incredible 52,639 hours of their own time to Museum Victoria. At Melbourne Museum, they helped visitors construct 6,792 cardboard models of the Titanic and 11,650 Earth Capsules in Dynamic Earth, plus 1,200 Mobile Skeletons as part of Humanoid Discovery at Scienceworks.

Two remarkable volunteers – Vic Wilks and Tom Brereton – have each reached the milestone of more than 10,000 voluntary hours. Both started at Scienceworks in 1992 shortly after the building opened. Tom, who regularly announces the steam engine parade at Machines in Action Days, joked that they’d known each other “for a year or two.”

Volunteers Vic and Tom Scienceworks volunteers Tom Brereton (left) and Vic Wilks (right) have racked up over ten thousands hours each.
Image: Heath Warwick
Source: Museum Victoria

Vic explained what has inspired him to volunteer for nearly two decades. “In retirement, you need something to stimulate your brain. It’s also the social side of it, meeting all the other volunteers and staff and also contribute something back... hopefully it provides some benefit to the community and the museum in the process.” As a local Williamstown resident, he sees Scienceworks as an important community hub. “It was one of the first things we got in the western suburbs that provided something to the people. Most other museums and art galleries are in the city or the east side.”

A big thank you to all Museum Victoria volunteers - we simply couldn’t manage without them.


Volunteering at MV

Comments (1)

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Lenny 13 May, 2011 12:39
It's great to see the museum thanking the work done by your volunteers. Well done!
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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.