Wide Bay Volunteers events co-ordinator Kurt Schiffke is rounding up nominees for the Volunteer of the Year community awards.
Wide Bay Volunteers events co-ordinator Kurt Schiffke is rounding up nominees for the Volunteer of the Year community awards. Max Fleet

Nominate a volunteer

WHEN a series of natural disasters hit Queensland at the beginning of the year and caused a sharp downturn in the tourism industry, Kurt Schiffke suddenly found himself out of a job.

Keen to gain some new skills and keep himself busy, Mr Schiffke contacted Wide Bay Volunteers and offered to make his services available.

Now he has found himself the organisation’s events co-ordinator, helping to schedule volunteers to work with anyone who needs some help.

Mr Schiffke, 24, said volunteers played a big part in helping community organisations with day-to-day work.

“We help organisations like Neighbourhood Watch,” he said.

“They contact us and say they need 25 to 30 people for fundraising or other activities, and we look at a database we keep and pick out suitable people.”

Mr Schiffke said he was really enjoying his work at Wide Bay Volunteers.

“When I lost my job in the tourism industry, I realised I didn’t really have experience at anything else,” he said

“I decided I would try to get some other experience.”

Mr Schiffke said he put in about 15 hours a week at Wide Bay Volunteers, and he hoped to carry on volunteering even if he did find other work.

“It helps the community and other people, and I’m experiencing something I haven’t done before,” he said.

But Mr Schiffke’s most immediate concern is helping to organise the Volunteer of the Year Awards in Bundaberg.

With National Volunteer Week to run from May 9 to 15 this year, the awards will be in two categories.

Mr Schiffke said the General Volunteer of the Year was for people aged 26 and older, while the Youth Volunteer of the Year was for people between 14 and 25.

The Bundaberg award ceremony will be held at the Civic Centre on Thursday, May 12 from 10.30am.

To nominate a volunteer you think should be recognised, email Mr Schiffke or Mary Anderson at and a nomination form will be sent to you.

Nominations close on Friday, April 8.



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