• Andy and Zoe at Manly Library 

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

It’s National Volunteer Week (18-24 May) and what a great excuse to celebrate the incredible contribution our volunteers make to the Northern Beaches community.

Council has over 900 volunteers who work in 11 different services from delivering library books to looking after our marine life to hosting community Meals on Wheels lunches. We couldn’t do it without them!

We also can't forget the many volunteers who help our Northern Beaches community at a number of local community groups and charities, including our 2020 Australia Day Award winners - thank you!

While we have put our volunteer programs on hold at this uncertain time, it’s more important than ever to recognise and acknowledge the special people who have contributed over the past year.

There are so many great achievements to celebrate and wonderful stories to share:

Since July last year, our Meals on Wheels volunteers have delivered over 400 meals each week to our community- and they're delivering rain, hail or shine.

A big shout out must go to Janisse Massey, who at the end of 2019, celebrated 40 years of volunteering with the Manly Meals on Wheels Service.

It's been a big year so far for Bushcare! Our 280 volunteers have spent over 8,000 hours restoring more than 55 bushland reserves and propagating thousands of native plants at our two community nurseries.

Council has also expanded its corporate volunteering program, which has completed over 500 hrs of work. What an amazing contribution to the community and the environment.

Rob Coles and Peter Johnson are just two of the many fantastic volunteers from Friends of Cabbage Tree Bay. Together Rob and Peter identified and photographed over 30 marine creatures in Cabbage Tree Bay helping build a valuable educational tool.

Peter also researched, photographed and produced a chart of over 25 invertebrates on the rocky platform/intertidal zone. This information was turned into an amazing educational tool for children and adults by giving them the correct names of all the species. Kids could also take the sheet home to colour in!


There are a whopping 192 volunteers across our six library branches.

Since July last year, our volunteers have delivered 23,695 items to Home Library customers, volunteer Justice of the Peace have signed over 20,000 documents, 189 Family History sessions have been run and 91 tech help one-on-one sessions were conducted.

Find out more about what our Library volunteers have been up to.

The Aboriginal Heritage Office (AHO) has almost 90 volunteer site monitors. Their volunteers do an amazing job at identifying new engravings and have helped raise awareness about rubbish and graffiti that have been found at many of the Aboriginal sites.

Liza Blackstone and her family have been AHO volunteers since 2013. Her consistent enthusiasm has led to great information being gathered about the site she monitors. She has successfully encouraged friends and work colleagues to become volunteers and is always willing to learn about Aboriginal culture.

Anne Mairec and Shirley Neil are Manly Art Gallery & Museum's longest serving volunteers.

Shirley started in a volunteer guide program and has been with the gallery for 19 years. Anne joined in 1989 to work at the front desk on weekends. Both Anne and Shirley have a huge wealth of knowledge about the history of the building, the gallery’s collection and have a huge enthusiasm for the work they do.

Our Friends of the Mona Vale Cemetery gardening group has over 15 members who tend to untidy and overgrown graves.

Last year, one volunteer Brian Fowler went truly above and beyond completing a meticulous audit of around 3,000 graves at Manly Cemetery in record time with an amazing level of accuracy.

The Manly Visitor Information Centre has 36 dedicated and passionate volunteers who during busy summer months can speak with up to 500 visitors a day. They are our cheerleaders for the Northern Beaches.

Congratulations to Trish Thorpe, Gloria Elliott, Joan Buirchell, Liz McLean and Di Hunter who recently celebrated 10 years at the centre.

The Stony Range Regional Botanic Garden volunteers have cared for this garden in Dee Why for many years. They meet twice a week and are always looking for new members. Their nursery produces plants for the garden and to sell at the annual Spring Fair. The volunteers organise other community events at the garden such as art exhibitions, music events, evening spotlight walks and holiday activities for families and children.

Our volunteers also do a brilliant job helping to care for our other special gardens including the Bible Garden at Palm Beach, the Ivanhoe Park Botanic Garden in Manly and our community gardens at Manly Vale, Balgowlah, Seaforth, Queenscliff, Curl Curl, North Curl Curl and Avalon.

Since May last year, Council has had more than 1,000 event volunteers support with operations and customer service roles at events, predominately for Taste of Manly, Manly Jazz, Australia Day, Sun Run and Ocean Care Day.

A special mention to Manly Jazz volunteers Mark Allerton and Bob Burton who have been volunteering at the event for over 20 years. 




Thank you to all of our incredible volunteers for the work they do for our community. While Council’s volunteering programs are on hold, there are many community organisations that could use your help.

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