Below you can read about the experiences of other teams/departments/faculties that have already undertaken Community Volunteering. If you would like us to highlight your own experience, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to reading all about it!
M-power - The Gift of Giving
“Tis the Season to be Jolly”… for many in our community this is just a hollow mantra when Christmas comes around. At the end of 2016, Macquarie staff gave the gift of giving with North Ryde Community Aid (NCRA)'s Christmas Cheer hampers and our Community Volunteering Leave program. NRCA are a not for profit organisation reliant on government funding and community generosity to deliver a range of services and assistance to the socially and financially disadvantaged in our community.
Through generous donations from the community, service clubs and local corporations, NRCA each year coordinates a program of Christmas Hampers to ensure those who are isolated, or less well off, have a joyous "silly season". The hampers were packed and prepared by staff and volunteers and delivered by a dedicated team of volunteers to the socially or financially disadvantaged within our community.
Through The Gift of Giving, Macquarie staff held collection drives for donations to go into the hampers, and also gave their time to pack and deliver the hampers to local community members. If this sounds like a great way for you to give back this year, contact NCRA to discuss how you can become involved.
Sustainability gets down and dirty
In 2015, Macquarie Sustainability travelled to an Easy Care Gardening client to help maintain their garden by removing weeds and overgrowing non-natives. It was great getting out into the sunshine and nature for half a day, working together on a project where we could see immediate results, and giving back to our local community. A bonus to this activity was the appreciation of the client, and their most-hospitable welcome to us all.
If this sounds like an activity you and your team would enjoy for your Volunteering Day, contact Easy Care Gardening who will be more than willing to put you to work!
M-power - Lend A Hand
As an M-power theme within 2015, we saw a massive increase in staff taking the opportunity to utilise their volunteering leave. Check out our infograph below for the fantastic results this M-power had on community volunteering:
Human Resources team gets back to its roots!
"Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, and is fun and rewarding," says Tim Sprague the Director of Human Resources. The team from Human Resources recently got down in the dirt, spending the day volunteering with Bushcare@MQ - an on-campus group who work to help preserve the biodiversity of our beautiful campus. Tim says working with Bushcare@MQ was a natural fit for the HR team who are very interested with environmental issues on campus, and have been keen competitors in the sustainability challenges. Having studied biology as an undergraduate, it also gave Tim an opportunity to get back to his 'roots' - pardon the pun.
"I like thinking about how ecologies work and knowing we have helped build a clean, sustainable habitat. A lot of the work we do in HR doesn't produce visible results, so it's great at the end of the day to be able to look over our work and say "we did that, we planted those trees." More and more groups around campus are taking volunteer leave to contribute through activities with local communities. Volunteering is not only an opportunity to give back to the community; it offers teams the chance to work together in a different type of environment. Tim says being able to have this experience with his colleagues was one of the highlights of his day.
"Working with the HR staff out of the normal context allows a very different dialog. You hear life stories, people's hidden skills and talents and their tastes in things like food and music. People are made of so much more than what they bring to work and sometimes they need to be outside work to allow others to see it. I tried a couple of sing-alongs while we dug out weeds and I think the only thing my team learnt is that none of the notes I made were in any of the songs I
tried to sing."
Though it was hard work for the team, Tim says the sense of personal satisfaction and achievement the team gained from helping others made the day well
worth it. "We have received great feedback, it was great to be able to work as a large team and while muscles were stiff the next day it was thoroughly enjoyed by the team."
This story was featured in the 13 March 2013 issue of Staff News.
Ruff work for the Sustainability Team!
The Macquarie University Sustainability team took a community volunteer day in February to help look after animals and assist with the daily operations at the Sydney Dogs and Cat Home. For the pawticulars Staff News spoke to Sustainability Officer Belinda Bean.
"Walking dogs and playing with cats all day is not only fun, we were told that it is also enriching for the animals and a very important part of their care," said Belinda.
The groups did everything from taking the dogs out, to cuddling the cats and even a spot of laundry. They also bought along with them a store of animal goods including food, treats and toys, kindly donated by Macquarie University staff.
"We had a blast!" said Belinda. "Thanks to Macquarie University for the community volunteering leave and to the Sydney Dogs and Cat Home for having us."
This story was featured in the 28 February 2013 issue of Staff News.