20 June, 2023
Volunteers celebrated at afternoon tea
Without our volunteers here in Gilgandra, the town would not have the charm that it does.
It’s the friendly smile we get walking
through the visitors centre, the passion
our historians have at the Gilgandra
Museum, the hands that keep our elderly
and children fed with Meals on Wheels
and breakfast club, hours spent at sporting
fields, op shops, raising money for
charity – that’s what makes Gilgandra so
Last week was Volunteer Week, and
Gilgandra celebrated by hosting some of
the dedicated ‘doers’ of the town for an
afternoon tea. Mayor Doug Batten
thanked the volunteers for their continuous
support, stating that they are the reason
Gilgandra was the only western
NSW small town with an increase in
population (ABS 2021).
“It’s because of the friendly people
that greet our visitors, that make them
want to come back and stay,” he said.
One of Gilgandra’s longest serving
volunteers continues her dedication and
support today. Shirley Marks, alongside
Max Zell and Pat Lummis were three of
the original volunteer members that put
their hands up back in 1988 to help at the
museum and visitor centre.
“Council was looking for volunteers
for the new local history museum and
visitor centre, and Max Zell was on
council, and so was the late Doug
Lummis, Pat’s husband, and they both
went on to be volunteers, and I thought it
looked alright so I put my hand up,”
explained Mrs Marks.
“It’s was good fun and it was interesting.
The tourists were lovely; they
always came in and said this was the best
visitor centre they’ve been to.”
Since then, Mrs Marks continues to
volunteer at the Gilgandra Museum. She
says it’s the interesting history that keeps
her going, and being able to pass that
knowledge on, as well as learning from
the visitors that stop by.
“I just love talking to people, and hearing what they have to say. They’re always very interesting,” said Mrs Marks.