Making visitors feel good about exploring our region is at the heart of what dedicated Moreton Bay Region’s Visitor Information Centre volunteers do, and it has paid off by not only boosting tourism but earning them state recognition.
They received a silver award at the Queensland Tourism Awards in the Outstanding Contribution by a Volunteer or Volunteer Group category on November 8.
This award celebrates strong, ongoing personal commitment made by an individual or team of volunteers, contributing to the professionalism of the tourism industry and the positive image of tourism in Queensland.
And it’s worth reminding the community of the enormous contribution Visitor Information Centre Volunteers make, particularly during National Volunteers Week (May 18-24)
The Moreton Bay Region’s Visitor Information Centres are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but we chatted with long-time volunteers, Mel Fursman and Patricia Stabler, late last year. They’re proud of their achievement and the work they do.
Mel Fursman has volunteered at Clontarf Visitor Information Centre for almost 19 years.
“I thoroughly enjoy it. When you retire, you don’t want to sit, you want to meet people. I’ve met some wonderful people from here and all over the world,” he explains.
The team gets to know many of them well and they often come in asking where they should go for a day trip or weekend. It’s a personal touch, they’ll remember when they get home.
“The award is recognition of what we do and a lot of people dedicate themselves to this. We come from all walks of life,” Mel says.
Redcliffe Visitor Information Centre volunteer Patricia Stabler says volunteers are well-supported and trained, and know how important it is to welcome and inform visitors.
“It’s not what we tell them, it’s the way they feel,” Patricia explains
“We tell people about the whole region, not just Redcliffe, and about all the events and festivals … it’s a very vibrant community.
“It keeps you young you meet such lovely people. All the volunteers are such nice people, they wouldn’t do it otherwise.”
There are eight accredited visitor information centres across the region.
Sonia Littlejohn was on the committee that set up the first visitor centre in Pine Rivers at the library, 30 years ago. She has been a stalwart of the centre and when her husband David retired, he joined her there. That was 15 years ago.
Laura Elmouttie started volunteering not long after council opened the first centre at Clontarf, 20 years ago, and remained there until the Redcliffe centre opened. She’s now based at Redcliffe Parade.
Other long-serving volunteers include Gary Spillane - 15 years (Pine Rivers Park VIC); Gloria Gale - 10 years ( Bribie VIC); Ian Peters - 5 years (Woodford VIC); Chris Milledge - 5 years (Village VIC); Roz Akers - 5 years (Pine Rivers Park VIC); Roger Cordery - 5 years (Village VIC); Patricia Marks - 5 years (Clontarf VIC); and Lynn McAlister- 5 years (Redcliffe VIC).
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