Merry Christmas from the Volunteer Advisory Committee

Published 15 Dec 2016 
by Grant Duthie (VAC Youth Representative) 
about  Melbourne  
Grant Duthie, VAC Youth Representative.<br/> Grant Duthie, VAC Youth Representative.

2016 has been full of many great opportunities to volunteer with Bush Heritage.

This year the Volunteer Advisory Committee has undertaken a number of reviews into the volunteering program from reward and recognition, the program policy, the economic value of volunteering to more recently reimbursements.

Our policy review process has been a collaborative effort between volunteers, reserve and office staff. This ensures all volunteer policy outcomes are well-informed, accepted and moving towards best practise. 

It has been great to work alongside six other volunteers in the committee from all across Australia. Many of the volunteers are frequently on reserve and it is great to listen to their stories from the field.

As part of the committee, each volunteer is tasked with a project. This year I have been busily identifying a number of initiatives for youth engagement. In October, the VAC agreed on pursuing a youth mentoring program to launch in 2017.

The mentoring program aims to assist with the Bush Heritage Science Plan’s objectives to double science and research output as well as support young scientists. It also supports the strategic objective to increase the number of people we engage and who support our work.

The program is still in the development stage, and it will be targeted at university science students, in particular, those looking to gain career insights and research guidance on conservation and related-fields.

Last month I attended the National Private Land Conservation Conference in Docklands and I was so inspired to see all the initiatives underway in conservation. It was great to listen to Dr Jim Radford talk about establishing Pullen Pullen reserve. Bush Heritage is building so many positive stories in the community around its work and drawing in so many volunteers who want to contribute.

On behalf of the VAC, I would like to wish all Bush Heritage volunteers and staff a safe and enjoyable Christmas.

I look forward to serving on the committee in 2017 and continuing to build volunteer engagement.

Grant Duthie, VAC Youth Representative.<br/> Grant Duthie, VAC Youth Representative.