As a result of COVID-19, for the first time UWA Guild Volunteering held all events virtually for this year’s National Volunteer Week, which ran from 18 to 24 May.
Held annually, National Volunteer Week celebrates and acknowledges the extremely generous, invaluable, and honourable services volunteers provide in our society.
The theme for 2020 was ‘changing communities, changing lives’, which was very apt and appropriate considering the way UWA students, graduates, and the wider community have changed their lives to abide by COVID-19 restrictions.
It is more important than ever to realise that the very fabric of our society is dependent on volunteers, who often go out of their way without thought or recognition, to provide invaluable services helping the most vulnerable in this current, unprecedented situation.
Such events included an online virtual panel on how to make community impact during COVID-19, featuring Bre Shanahan, UWA Student Guild President; Antonia Taylor, Manager of UWA Guild Volunteering; as well as heads of non-profit groups, such as Ron Reid, Founder of Perth Homeless Support Group.
The final day of National Volunteer Week involved UWA students safely congregating on campus in a socially distant manner to put together a public message of hope that is pictured above.
The cards for the rainbow were created online by UWA Guild Volunteering Micro-Volunteering program, in which ordinary students created individual messages for volunteers helping out during this time, with the cards constituting the six colours of the rainbow.
Subsequently printed and installed on the front window of the Reid library facing Hackett Drive, the cards will be visible to UWA students using the library during the exam period, while also demonstrating UWA’s appreciation for volunteers within the community.
National Volunteer Week celebrates the achievements of all volunteers and is a great example of UWA students working with the community to support graduates, UWA staff, and the wider community in this unprecedent time.
The instillation is a timely reminder that our community stands in solidarity with volunteers whose vital work allows our society to become a more equitable place. The instillation will be available for viewing until the end of June.
By Elliott Wallace
• The membership of Convocation comprises all 130,000 graduates of UWA
• As a community and network of graduates, Convocation forms the electorate for elections of members to the UWA Senate and the Council of Convocation
• Further information on Convocation is available at www.convocation.uwa.edu.au