Shining a light on our volunteers

Published on 04 May 2021

The Melbourne Portrait Studio

Hobsons Bay volunteers are being recognised for their contributions to the community and celebrated in a touring photo exhibition as part of National Volunteer Week 2021.

The photo exhibition opens at the Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre in Altona on Saturday 8 May, and features images of local volunteers alongside their stories about their volunteering journeys.

Over 12,000 people volunteer in Hobsons Bay, according to the 2016 Census, an increase of 26 percent since the last Census (the next census is on 10 August 2021).

People in Hobsons Bay volunteer across a diverse range of topics including supporting vulnerable and/or disadvantaged people, caring for the environment, protecting heritage and celebrating life in Hobsons Bay.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many volunteers and volunteer-involving groups have had to adapt and change, and have provided new and important opportunities and avenues for our local community to connect and support one another, even during periods of lockdown. 

The photo exhibition aims to highlight these efforts and showcase the benefits of volunteering.

Neighbours Kate and Daniel share how they started a Community Pantry in Seaholme after seeing first-hand how quickly people’s circumstances can change both financially and emotionally.

Kate shares how the local community keeps the pantry stocked and despite the horrendous impact COVID has had, the sense of connectedness and community has never felt stronger.

Vesna McDonald has volunteered with the Vinnies Retail Shop for almost eight years. She explains how the shop not only sells fairly-priced quality items but also offers a safe and warm environment for people who need to connect with others.

Altona Magic Soccer Club coach Adam Longshaw describes how he re-evaluated his work life balance and committed to volunteering not just as a coach but with general administration tasks, ordering uniforms and working with Council to ensure the club has a safe, inclusive and inviting facility.

Seabrook Community Garden volunteer Bridget Kirsch highly recommends volunteering as a way to be part of the local community. She explains how volunteering builds relationships with those around us and creates a greater sense of connectedness between us all.

Many volunteering activities result from a call to action, through the vision, interest or skill of an individual who saw a need and responded. During National Volunteer Week, which runs from 17 May to 23 May, Volunteer West will host volunteer information sessions. Hobsons Bay residents are invited to attend.  To find out more about volunteering opportunities in Hobsons Bay, please see below for times:

Tuesday 18 May, 11am to 1pm

Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre

5 Sargood Street, Altona

Thursday 20 May, 12.30pm to 2.30pm  

Williamstown Community and Education Centre

Volunteering Photo Exhibition can be viewed during the following dates:

Saturday 8 May – Tuesday 18 May

Louis Joel Arts & Community Centre

5 Sargood Street, Altona


Thursday 20 May – Wednesday 26 May

Williamstown Community & Education Centre 

14 Thompson Street, Williamstown


Friday 28 May – Wednesday 9 June

South Kingsville Community Centre

43 Paxton St, South Kingsville


Friday 11 June – Friday 18 June

Laverton Community Hub

95-105 Railway Avenue, Laverton


For information about the photo exhibition, please visit

To view the Hobsons Bay Volunteer Strategy and to find out more about volunteering locally, visit: 


Quotes attributable to Mayor of Hobsons Bay Cr Jonathon Marsden:

“Council has a Volunteering Strategy which recognises the immense contribution volunteers make to the social, environmental, cultural and economic fabric of our city.

“Volunteers are the backbone of a healthy and cohesive community and during the global pandemic we witnessed the power of volunteering, community spirit and paying it forward.

“Council not only supports and funds volunteer organisations but we also manage 200 volunteers who contribute to important community programs such as our Meals on Wheels service, Planned Activity Groups, Community Transport, Council’s Library Service, Visitor Information Centre, Youth Services, Community Hubs and Centres and our Conservation Team’s Friends group network.

“The photo exhibition will give the wider community the opportunity to see the positive contribution of our volunteers in action and will encourage more people to make a difference themselves.”


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