Without them we are nothing (We love our Vollies)

24 November 2010

Sunday December 5 is International Volunteer Day – and a great opportunity to look back over the past year and recognise those who have helped us achieve so much by donating their time to Greenpeace.

As the Volunteer Coordinator for Greenpeace Australia Pacific, I know that our volunteers are absolutely awesome. In fact, more than awesome – they are enthusiastic, passionate, committed, hard-working, inspirational people without whom we could not be the Greenpeace we are today.

They have helped us to take our campaigns into local communities, to create banners in our warehouse, to spread the word online, and to get involved behind the scenes in our offices around the Australia Pacific region.

But, why take my word for it?

I asked fellow Greenpeacers their thoughts on volunteers, and have been overwhelmed with responses from people wishing to thank and recognise the contribution our valued volunteers make in honour of International Volunteer Day 2010. Here are just a few:

“Our wonderful office volunteers have been an incredible help this year. Not only do we appreciate their energy and enthusiasm, but their help with our mailings to supporters has also saved us a small fortune! This means that more of our supporters’ donations can go straight to our critical campaign work to protect our precious planet. That’s priceless.”
Charlie Adlum, Planned Giving Manager, Sydney

“Whether they have been here in the office taking our phone calls, making a cup of tea for us or representing the organisation in important meetings as activists. Whenever we have had fun, easy or strategic activities they have always been a great adrenalin rush to me. Where would we be with you our volunteers? Nowhere nearer to making this world any greener. Happy volunteers day!” Josephine Prasad, Media Advisor, Suva

“Each volunteer makes a much valued contribution to the work of Greenpeace. Volunteering is an empowering and enriching experience, both for volunteers and for staff members working with volunteers.”
Rochelle Porteous, Public Outreach Projects Campaigner, Sydney

“The people who volunteer for Greenpeace are some of the most committed individuals I have ever met. We could not do the work we do without support from these wonderful people. The Greenpeace Fundraising Team is deeply indebted to the volunteers who regularly come and help administrate our fundraising activities.
Chris Washington-Sare, Head of Fundraising & Marketing, Sydney

“Compiling the Greenpeace Truefood Guide requires many hours of repetitive phone calls, emails and meetings. The guide is the best tool available to Australian consumers who wish to exercise their right to avoid unsustainable, potentially unsafe, genetically engineered foods. Without the help of dedicated and generous volunteers, Greenpeace would not be able to provide this service, and the regulator’s failure would leave Australians without a choice.” Nathaniel Pelle, Truefood Campaigner (and former Greenpeace volunteer), Sydney

“Activists are awesome, without them there wouldn’t be a Greenpeace. It’s a privilege to be able to work with such passionate folk, who go above and beyond to move us towards achieving a green and peaceful future. Whether they are hanging a banner or painting one it just wouldn’t happen without them.” Stacey Nelson, Activist Network Coordinator, Sydney

“A team of volunteers is doing vital research for our political unit in Canberra. At the moment they are doing some research into the price on carbon that is needed to put Australia on track to achieving a peak in our emissions by 2013. This research will provide information on the price on carbon that is needed to unlock investment in low-carbon energy sources including renewable energy and solar thermal. Other projects include research that could help expose the true social and environmental costs of canned tuna.” Gemma Tillack, Political Advisor, Canberra

“Volunteers are such an important part of the Greenpeace family! They help in every aspect of our work and we could not do it without them! Volunteering with Greenpeace is a great way to match your environmental passion and help Mother Nature first hand.” Anna Parente, Community Fundraising Coordinator, Sydney

“Volunteering for Greenpeace is a rewarding experience. Every task undertook and accomplishment achieved, brings me the satisfying feeling of knowing that what I do is for a good cause of making  a more sustainable environment for the future. A big vinaka vakalevu (thank you) to all the volunteers and their hard work!” Ella Vela, Office Volunteer, Suva

“Greenpeace was founded as a volunteer effort and only continues to be successful because of the amazing volunteers who work across all of our campaigns. I am constantly amazed at the level of enthusiasm, commitment, professionalism and experience they bring into our offices. I had many wonderful experiences with our vollies this year, from celebrating our Oceans work with vollies at karaoke in Suva, to working on an update of our crisis communications plan with a vollie from the Netherlands, to seeing the steadfast commitment of our long term supporters who show up here to do behind the scenes (but important!) tasks such as making signs for marches and inputting data.” Dae Levine, Head of Communications, Sydney

On behalf of all of us here at Greenpeace, thank you to the volunteers who have helped us in 2010. We all look forward to working with all of you on exciting and inspirational campaign projects in 2011!

Cassandra Strakosch
Volunteer Coordinator, Greenpeace Australia Pacific

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