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Celebrating 40 Years

In 2016, Eastern Volunteers celebrates 40 years of service and commitment to the community. This page has been established to showcase our history in text , pictures and videos. Our the next few months watch the history of Eastern Volunteers unfold as we continue to add to this page so that we can share our past and celebrate our present.

On October 19th 2016, seventy five people came together to celebrate the Eastern Volunteers 40th anniversary with fun, color, stories and jellybeans at the Karralyka Centre. Our celebrations were shared with our staff, volunteers from past and present and many good friends and supporters.



Karing with Kerry newspaper column 1977

Eastern Volunteers Resource Centre Inc.

The beginning… Volunteers Unlimited proposed a volunteering pilot project sometime between late 1975 and November 1976 after networking with a Max Dumais, Director of Volunteer Resources Centre situated at 288 Wellington Street Collingwood. Adopting a question answer plan for your volunteer program titled -one hundred eleven questions- formulating your volunteer program, inspired by “Lets Measure Up”, a Boston Volunteer Bureau.

The program, developed by the board of the Volunteer Bureau/Voluntary Action Centre, Greater Seattle related to setting up, recruiting, interviewing-orientation, placement training, continuing support and an evaluation process that appeared to have been the initial instigator in the development of the volunteer program for the outer east.

The proposed Volunteer project funded by ACCESS under the Federal Governments Australian Assistance Plan established a community based volunteer recruitment and placement agency ‘Volunteers Unlimited’ around November 1976.

Its aims were:

  • To develop a volunteer program throughout the outer eastern region
  • Provide a register of volunteers
  • Provide a register of groups and individuals seeking volunteer assistance

This register was to be available to all existing groups who worked with volunteers e.g. citizens advice bureau, service clubs, churches, playgroups and was to compliment the services they provided. As well they provided an additional resource for volunteers seeking a diversity in activities which may not have been available through their existing facilities. The objective overall to locate volunteer resource’s within the community to complement existing services and assist the most disadvantaged in the community.

An initial grant allowed for a full time coordinator and office staff to be employed. There was enough funding to support an extensive publicity campaign with media advertising and a weekly column in the local press. This initial coverage recruited volunteers from all walks of life and was extremely successful.

A change in politics with the dissolution of the Whitlam Government saw ACCESS fold and Volunteers Unlimited sought out further funding from FACS. Although receiving a grant, this was considerably lower and forced staff cut backs leaving one part-time coordinator and the office manned by volunteer staff.

Three years later 389 volunteers had been successfully placed within 136 organisations. A total of 126 individuals had been helped in ways not met through usual channels.

1976-78 Kerry Willis appointed coordinator of Volunteers Unlimited. Financed by ACCESS to 30th June 1977 to provide a register of volunteers for groups, individuals who are seeking help. Will work with the Citizens Advisory Bureau to service clubs, churches and playgroups to compliment and provide a wider range of activities.

1977-78 ‘Karing with Kerry’ column and newspaper clippings featured Coordinator Kerry Willis

Outer Eastern Region of Victoria incorporating Upper Yarra, Lilydale, Healesville, Sherbrook, Knox, Ringwood, Croydon, Nunawading, Waverley.

Newspaper column ‘Karing with Kerry’ featured April 20th 1977 (Kerry Willis)

1979-80 Australian Association of Volunteers administrator appointed a new coordinator Bernice Jamieson 1979-80. Voice of the Volunteer column appears in local press.

1981 – 1986


A revolving door of volunteers and staff came and went. Funding was the main critical antagonist that would plague the eighties and almost see the collapse of Volunteers Unlimted. Transport has been the central theme since day one with the centre providing emergency transport support for the disadvantaged within the community. The emphasis was on community transport and the need for new drivers in the surrounding Maroondah region.

Volunteers Unlimited changed its name to the Eastern Volunteer Resource Centre on July 23 1984 and has continued to strive forward by providing a necessary transport service within the outer eastern region corridor supporting those most disadvantaged in the community. Driver transport provided by volunteers has drastically improved thousands of peoples lives.

1981-82  Peg Stevens is the new coordinator. Peg sees transport as the No.1 item with many as immediate emergency transport requests. President of the committee is Elvie Lamping.

1983-84  Lesley Lillycrapp is appointed the new coordinator in February 1984.

1984-85 Val Newman starts July 85 as the new coordinator. EVRC has been in operation for nine years and sees a rapid turnover in coordinators, staff, location amid continuous  funding concerns.

A snippet from our 84-85 Annual report..”3 quarters of 1985 have almost passed by and up to now there have been considerable changes within our organisation. Since the end of 1984 there has been a rapid turnover in connection with our co-ordinator . Barbara Munday commenced at the beginning of the year and instituted some very good ideas, such as a 2 day workshop and information days, which proved very successful.”

1985-86 Elvie Lamping retires.

1986 -1991

It is now 10 years since ACCESS set up “Volunteers Unlimited” as it was then known in the Outer Eastern Region, much has happened since then. The local community needs have changed, and amongst other things almost all the larger agencies now have their own Co-ordinators of volunteers. However Eastern Volunteers are still very much in demand for their range of services, which include :

*Transport for a wide range of clients

*Finding Volunteer Employment for all ages and both sexes

*Finding volunteers for agencies and people in need of assistance

1985-86 report:

Our drivers have been kept busy, they have driven a total of 11,292 kilometres over the last year. The number of hours worked by both inside (office) and outside (drivers, clerical, child care, home help, handymen etc.) volunteers total 1912 hours.

By Valerie Newman, the coordinator of Eastern Volunteers in 1986 “ I organised 2 workshops in August, the first was Values and Attitudes, and Rights and Responsibilities, and the second, Communication Skills and Assertiveness. The Leaders were volunteers themselves, and I would like to thank both Mrs Lorraine Duck from the Box Hill Citizens Advice Bureau and Mrs Beatrix Leicester who is an ex Personnel Officer with National Mutual, for all the work they put into organising and conducting the workshops.I am sure those who attended enjoyed themselves and left having learnt something new about themselves and about relating better with others.

An excerpt from the 1986-87 Annual report. ”During the year, we started our visiting service to special accommodation houses and nursing homes. Volunteers participated in a training session by Lorraine Duck and later a more specialised one conducted by Hugh Lindsay a member of our committee who has had plenty of professional experience in an area where sensitivity and compassion are vital.”

In 1987-88, Eastern Volunteers saw a major change by welcoming Elizabeth Harding as new Co-Ordinator. Elizabeth started the distribution of a bi-monthly newsletter. This has kept both volunteers and Management Committee up to date with events.

The 1987-88 report also highlights another project which was the coffee mornings for Volunteers. At these Elizabeth had some interesting speakers and encouraged a very good turn up of volunteers.

1991 – 1992 has been a year of significant change for the Eastern Volunteer Resource Centre. After spending a number of years at St. Paul`s Church Ringwood, we were offered free accomodation at the Maternal and Child Welfare Centre in Miles Avenue Ringwood. We thank Ringwood Council for their generosity and Scott Chapman of Ringwood Community Services Staff for his support. The move was made in April and I would like thank all those who helped in this exercise.

In 1991-92, a raffle was arranged by Bob, we managed to sell 698 tickets making a profit of $573.00. Many thanks to Bob for his assistance and support..
Thats when it started and with the recent one we raised enough funds to buy a vehicle for our transport services!

Requests for assistance for transport have again seen an increase in the number of kms covered. The total number of kms for the year was 50,000. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our team of dedicated drivers for their invaluable service time and patience. Thanks for a job well done.

Our volunteers have always been stars!

The then co-ordinator Anita Hinton mention in the 1992-1993 report “As you can see from my report, Eastern Volunteer Resource centre is expanding. In order to continue to provide the ever increasing demand for services, the financial support of Councils and Community Groups is vital. Our thanks again to Ringwood Council for their continuing financial support and provision of office facilities.”

We have always been thankful to our supporters!

From the 93-94 report “On reading the statistics for 1993-94, you will see there has again been an increase on the demand for transport services. Our special thanks must go to our dedicated drivers – together they have covered over 64,000 klms. A job well done”

From the 93-94 report “On reading the statistics for 1993-94, you will see there has again been an increase on the demand for transport services. Our special thanks must go to our dedicated drivers – together they have covered over 64,000 klms. A job well done”

We had the same exciting busy years during 95, 96, 97! In 1995 we introduced a series of workshops “Introduction to Volunteering”. These workshops were held on the 4th Monday of every month and proved to be a valuable resource for new or prospective volunteers.

From the 1996-97 annual report “The following statistics show the increase in requests for services, volunteer hours and number of people wishing to volunteer.
* assistance to individuals and agencies up 42.6%
* klms 39.4%
* transport number of services 43.4%
*EVRC volunteers office hours 22.1%

From the 2004-2005 report “EVRC continues to manage LinC for the social support program funded by HACC.
The program includes
* Transport to medical appointments
* Assisted shopping
* Bus/petrol vouchers
* Access to community groups
* Delivery of food parcels/shopping to homeless clients
* Fortnightly bus trips to Chirnside Park for assisted shopping

The 2008-2009 annual report mentions our website “The new look EV Website is a very useful tool for prospective volunteers and the on-line booking system is working well with volunteers using this method to book their interview day and time. A huge thank you to all EV volunteers who work extremely hard to support all Eastern Volunteers` events and assist in so many related tasks in our office”

The 2011-2012 Annual Report mentions the Business Booster Breakfasts we conduct to create new connections for Eastern Volunteers! These have proven to be very successful in spreading awareness about our work and services!

The 2013-2014 Annual report talks about Skilled Volunteering “While there were many oppurtunities to place skilled and expert employees from the business sector to help community groups with finance, human resource management and the like, the team also focussed on assisting people who had suffered workplace injuries to gain new work skills and transition into different career opportunities. In this regard the team spent quality time developing good working relationships with Job Services Australia providers and recruitment agencies”.

Last year`s report mentions “Innovative workshops and Training : Positive psychology, Social Impact and Social Return on Investment are just some of the more diverse topics on offer for the sector this year. In 2014-2015, Eastern Volunteers has trained over 400 managers of volunteers, with participant`s appreciating the networking, resources, tools and a reduced feeling of isolation in their role”.