One of the great privileges of being mayor of the City of Launceston is the opportunity to meet community volunteers. Look behind any successful community organisation or event, and you will find someone volunteering their time for no personal gain and only for the benefit of others.
Launceston boasts a large contingent of these individuals, who give freely of their time, skills and knowledge to help make our city a better place to live.
Coronavirus: All the latest updates on COVID-19 for Tasmania
They support events like Festivale and Carols by Candlelight, local sporting clubs, charitable organisations, and help the homeless. They greet you at the gate, man the barbecue, point you to a parking spot, or fire the starter's pistol. They make the impossible, possible. Without their drive and selflessness, so many community initiatives and events would not occur and our city would be a poorer place, culturally, socially and economically.
This week marks National Volunteer Week, with the theme 'Changing Communities, Changing Lives', and usually at this time of year the City of Launceston hosts its annual Volunteer Recognition Awards. It's a special day on the calendar. Each year we ask Launceston residents to nominate volunteers they've encountered in our community, the people who do amazing things behind the scenes, the people who make it all happen.
We hold a formal public awards ceremony at the Town Hall, and it is a tremendous honour to present awards to the nominees; they come from all walks of life, bring all kinds of experience and skill to their roles, and are nearly always surprised to be recognised. Attending one of these events is a real insight into what community spirit is.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hosting those awards isn't possible for the foreseeable future, and earlier this year we made the difficult decision to postpone the presentation to a date yet to be determined.
The upshot is that we are continuing to accept nominations until an awards date can be fixed, so if you know someone in our community who deserves to be recognised for their volunteering efforts, consider nominating them. You can find details on how to do so on the City of Launceston's website at launceston.tas.gov.au.
Until we can hold our awards presentation again, I want to take this opportunity during National Volunteer Week to sincerely thank volunteers across Northern Tasmania for all you do to help make our community a kinder, more vibrant, rewarding place to live.
- Albert van Zetten, City of Launceston mayor.
Sign up to one of our many newsletters: