The mood was informal but that did nothing to detract from the sentiment expressed by Taronga Western Plains Zoo staff and helpers at the annual morning tea held in the Savannah Room to commemorate National Volunteer Week on May 21.
While the volunteers munched on a selection of fruit, caramel slice and cheese and spinach triangles, HR Advisor (People Culture and Learning) Jodie Kubski praised the guests for their ongoing commitment and dedication to upholding the principles of the facility which houses a range of wildlife and a host of visitors from around the globe.
“We can’t describe what you do for us. You are a lovely group of people,” Jodie told the group.
“Without the volunteers, the zoo would be a different place. Volunteers are helping to make Australia a better place.”
In presenting the awards, Jodie said they upheld the zoo’s values which include being supportive, enthusiastic, accepting and taking responsibility, showing dignity and respect and innovation and initiative.
In response, volunteer Greg O’Malley thanked management for their support and for making the zoo such an interactive and special place to be.
“What we have here, it’s all due to the people that are here,” he said.
Commercial operations manager Zac Jones was alongside Jodie to present the awards which featured the National Volunteer Week slogan, ‘Give a Little. Change a Lot.’
In May each year, thousands of events are held across Australia to thank the nation’s six million volunteers including breakfasts, luncheons and award ceremonies. The annual celebration acknowledges the generous contribution of people who give their time and energy at no cost.
Award recipients and small description of their efforts:
Bob Coverdale – an asset to the zoo
Kelvin Amos – helpful and committed
Susie Hill – makes sure that everyone feels supported
Greg O’Malley – always very accommodating
Teresa Greenwood – never fails to acknowledge guests
Stephen Hollier – always enthusiastic
Xrys Robinson – invaluable
Jenny Tanner – provides assistance with visitors
Maggie Westman – passionate, enthusiastic and knowledgable
Mel Setterfield – a wonderful mentor, always finding new ways to support
Michael O’Leary – always available to help
Patricia Meyers – a big asset to the elephant team/ends