I was chatting with the lovely Karen Smythe, Chair of the Falls Creek Historical Society this morning, about the possibility of doing another fashion orientated event as a museum fundraiser this year of next year. Brainstorming ideas over the phone is frequently the way we get Museum stuff done as we both work full time and volunteer our time at the FCHS.

I’m the Secretary for the Falls Creek Historical Society. I’m a bit of a sucker for a volunteer role. Seriously, someone work out how to help me stop because I’m over committed and under available much of the time. Having said that, I love volunteering. Especially at Falls Creek.

Over the years I’ve been involved in Special Interest Groups, Committees of Management, and Non-Executive Boards for industry bodies, kindergartens, schools, sporting clubs and charitable organisations and I love it. I love helping because it makes me feel good. Not 100% of the time. Let’s be honest, raking the tan bark or cleaning ovens at Kinda isn’t high on anyone’s list of pleasurable activities but it needs to get done and the chat coupled with a post working bee morning tea or afternoon drinks are usually well worth it.

As human beings we often need a sense of connection and community. The value of friendship and community interaction is truly priceless – as human beings, having a sense of belonging and self-esteem are significant factors of our needs and mental health. (O'Shea,T. IMPACT Community Services’)

With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you. The right match can help you to make friends, connect within a small community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.

Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. It can reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. While it’s true that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience, volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day (HelpGuide.org).

Zappal (2000) tells us that volunteering is an activity that is freely chosen, does not involve remuneration, and helps or benefits strangers. It is estimated that in Australia 5.897 million people formally volunteer each year, almost one third (29.5%) of people being aged 15 years and over. Formal volunteering is when a person volunteers through an organisation (Volunteering Australia 2021).

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 1996 Survey of Voluntary Work shows us why people volunteer, …essentially for a wide variety of reasons. Consistent with other studies the 'altruistic' reasons tend to top the list. In Australia, volunteers contributed 596.2 million hours to the community in 2019 and the main reason people first became involved in volunteering was that they knew someone who was involved or that they were asked volunteer (Volunteering Australia 2021).

If you’re looking to find a way to give back to your community or get involved in a community as a new resident, volunteering may be the perfect way for you to spend some of your time.

Regardless of skill set, the various organisations at Falls that utilise volunteers love engaging with people with varied backgrounds. The Falls Creek Historical Society welcomes all volunteers as valued members of our team.

If you are looking to get involved in the Falls Creek community but can’t commit to the CFA or the SES and Race Club isn’t for you right now, why not volunteer at the Museum every now and then? You’ll learn lots about the village, get to flog some great Museum merchandise and will meet some lovely people along the way who are keen to stop and shoot the breeze as they while away an afternoon. Email Karen Smythe on info@fallscreekmuseum.com.au if you’re interested in finding out more.

Have a great week and see you in store!

Cheers, Nyree


Above Foodworks, slight right through the public seating, through the bathroom corridor & up the short flight of stairs.