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Alex opening the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival as the Mayor of Maroondah.

Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Festival

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations No Comments

Eastern Volunteers is a community based not-for-profit organisation that provides volunteer assisted transport and volunteer recruitment across the Cities of Maroondah and Whitehorse and the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

Alex with Terry Macdonald, Chairman of Eastern Volunteers and Cr. Natalie Thomas, at the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival.

Alex with Terry Macdonald, Chairman of Eastern Volunteers and Cr. Natalie Thomas, at the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival.

The Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival was located at Ringwood Lake, bringing together the diverse communities within Maroondah. The festival included food, arts, rides, crafts and performers providing a range of activities throughout the day.

Alex opening the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival as the Mayor of Maroondah.

Alex opening the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival as the Mayor of Maroondah.

While food vendors and rides were located at the Festival, entertainment was also provided on the main stage and I served as the Master of Ceremonies, introducing each performance and discussing the aims and role of Eastern Volunteers.

These sessions included discussions with volunteers on their involvement with Eastern Volunteers and the benefits they receive from volunteering. While volunteering provides benefits to the wider community, it can also deliver new skills, enhance employment prospects and expand networks for the volunteer. The Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival is an example of an event that utilized a wide variety of skills and teamwork to deliver Maroondah’s largest multicultural event.

Alex with Staff and Volunteers from Eastern Volunteers

Alex with Staff and Volunteers from Eastern Volunteers

The Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival featured a wide variety of entertainment, including a roving performer, as well as a Chinese Lion Dance, Bollywood Dancers, the Police Rock Band, African Drumming from Rhythm of Life, the Karen Young Dancers, Reggae from Uprising Rebels, Scottish Highland Dancers and Japanese Drummers. In addition, Ultimate Martial Arts from Heathmont and Abandon Sane, local rock band also performed on the main stage. Vasili, from Vasili’s Garden on Channel 31 and 3AW, was also in attendance and provided a demonstration on making garden pots from recycled newspapers.

Alex with Vasili, from Vasili's Garden on Channel 31 and 3AW, at the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival

Alex with Vasili, from Vasili’s Garden on Channel 31 and 3AW, at the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival

Approximately 5000 people attended the festival and it was great to see the community embrace the festival and actively participate in the activities that were present throughout the day. Many volunteers and staff at Eastern Volunteers worked extensively on the Festival through organizing the group’s largest event in its history. The Festival was only possible due to this work and the commitment of sponsors who saw the benefits of partnering with Eastern Volunteers.

Alex with sponsors (Power Balance, Ringwood Honda and Bendigo Community Bank) who supported the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival.

Alex with sponsors (Power Balance, Ringwood Honda and Bendigo Community Bank) who supported the Eastern Volunteers Multicultural Spring Festival.

For further information on Eastern Volunteers please visit www.easternvolunteers.org.au.

Eastern Volunteers Business Booster Breakfast at Club Ringwood

By Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations No Comments

Eastern Volunteers is a not-for-profit community based organisation, which provides transport services for eligible Home and Community Care recipients, as well as volunteer recruitment to provide pathways for people to participate in the wider community.

This morning Eastern Volunteers held its inaugural business booster breakfast, aimed to strengthen connections between the business and community sectors. The breakfast introduced Eastern Volunteers to businesses within the community and launched Friends of EV, a program which will provide ongoing partnerships between the organisation and businesses. I attended the breakfast and spoke about the work that Eastern Volunteers undertakes within the community, through encouraging new volunteers and providing mobility for people that are often isolated in their homes.

Eastern Volunteers, was formed in 1976 and is a medium sized not-for-profit organisation, with approximately 20 staff members and over 100 volunteers, covering the Cities of Whitehorse, Maroondah and the Shire of Yarra Ranges.

For further details please visit www.easternvolunteers.org.au.

The Future of Volunteering – Strengthening Communities Through Volunteering

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations, Resources No Comments

The Future of Volunteering – Strengthening Communities Through Volunteering, is a conference organised in partnership between Boroondara Volunteer Resource Centre, Monash Volunteer Resource Centre and Eastern Volunteers.

The conference follows from the Community Conference organised last year by Eastern Volunteers, with an emphasis on strengthening communities and enhancing the ability of community based organisations in being able to attract and retain volunteers.

I was one of the speakers for the workshops that were held during the afternoon, where I discussed the potential of technology, including social media, in recruiting and maintaining volunteer involvement within an organisation. Community based organisations need to be able to communicate directly with the community and technology provides an opportunity for this to occur.

I also covered the need for integration via secure and centralised database systems to reduce duplication and to make it easier to manage contact details. This saves time by ensuring consistent information and ensuring that details are available for mail merges and marketing activities.
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Maroondah Transition Towns – Master of Ceremonies

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations No Comments

Transition Towns are a global concept, which aims to assist communities in the transition to reducing their environmental impact.  The Maroondah Transition Towns is a local group that aims to encourage community involvement in the transition towns project.

Syneka‘s founder, Alex Makin, was approached to perform the master of ceremonies role for a public meeting, which aimed to encourage interest and ongoing involvement in the group.  As the MC, Alex ensured that the meeting ran to schedule and that attendees had the opportunity to ask questions.

The conduct of questions ensured that any comments were brief and relevant. This ensured that all questions could be answered satisfactorily by the speakers at the meeting.  The success of the public meeting has ensured ongoing support for Transition Towns as it aims to improve the sustainability of our local community.

Changing Times within a New Era for Community Organisations

By Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, News, Presentations, Resources No Comments

All community and volunteer based organisations, regardless of their size or focus, are experiencing changing times with challenges in recruiting new volunteers, maintaining funding sources and meeting ever changing requirements.

This presentation explores new methods for recruiting and engaging the community, as well as retaining volunteers and the essentials for an organisation to meet these challenges within this new era.
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