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Thanks a Million to Beware Reef Friends

Tuesday 7 May, 2013

National Volunteer Week, 13-19 May, is giving Parks Victoria the chance to say a special thank you to its many volunteer groups across the state. There are around 200 volunteer and Friends groups who donate their time and energy to Victorian parks, reserves, and marine sanctuaries throughout the year. Last year they contributed over 20,000 days of unpaid work, and the figure for this year looks likely to pass that with currently over 19,000 volunteer days for this financial year.

The Friends of Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary have made a major contribution over the last few years giving lots of talks and presentations, doing research and recently cataloguing the invertebrates that call the sanctuary home. They’ve been particularly successful in surveying what lies beneath its waters, such as a sea urchin species from further north which is rapidly increasing in numbers on the reef.

Ranger Mike Irvine says “We have a great relationship with this particular group and really value the great contribution they make. They give their time and effort so generously in helping us make Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary a great place to visit, admire and enjoy. They’re partners who share our passion for this special place,” he said.

Parks Victoria’s volunteers come from community associations, schools, special interest groups and corporate organisations. Their activities range from tree planting and revegetation, to campground hosting, cultural site protection, running plant nurseries and clearing park tracks.

The theme of this year’s National Volunteer Week is‘Thanks a Million’, and recognises the huge contribution of volunteers in our communities. Around six million people of all ages and backgrounds volunteer around Australia each year, representing over a third of our nation’s population.

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Sally Nowlan