Volunteer Stories

1. Overview

Every volunteer experience is unique. Meet some of our passionate volunteers, and learn about the different ways they help support the community through volunteering.  



2. Bennett Brook Railway 

The Bennett Book Railway is proudly owned and operated by volunteer members of the Western Australian Light Railway Preservation Association. Starting from small beginnings in a members backyard, the railway have evolved to a fully fledged railway operation based in Whiteman Park.

Meet some of the railway's volunteer team...

Andrew has been a volunteer for the railway for many years. He now works as a technician for Western Power. He likes his volunteering at the Bennett Brook Railway as it's so different from his work.

Today he is playing the role of a railway Guard. The railway provides free training to achieve this role and anyone over 16 can apply.

Kim has been a volunteer with the railway since he was young. He likes trains. Kim works as a train driver for the Public Transport Authority. Kim likes getting outdoors and meeting people.

Today he is driving one of our historic diesel locomotives. It is a Planet Diesel made by F.C.Hibbard and co. in London in 1938. It worked at Kalgoorlie, on the “Lake View and Star” gold mine for many years before it was acquired by the Bennett Brook Railway. The railway provides free training to drive our trains and anyone over 18 may apply.

Hilary recently joined the railway as a volunteer in a customer service role. Hilary tells passengers about Whiteman Park and the Bennett Brook Railway. Anyone regardless of age can apply for these positions and training is provided.

Ken is a foundation member of the railway. He worked for the Public Transport Authority for many years and is now retired. He was a volunteer at Whiteman Park in 1982 building the railway from its inception.

He is now the railways event organiser and organises the very popular Ashley the Tank engine days held in May and September. Ken’s reward is the happy faces on the many passengers that come out to ride the trains at Whiteman Park.


3. Bicycles 4 Humanity

Bicycles 4 Humanity WA is part of an exciting global volunteer-run, non-profit organisation that uses donated bikes to help alleviate poverty through sustainable transport.

Meet some of their passionate volunteers...

Having retired, Cliff wanted to be useful and participate in a worthwhile charity. Bicycles for Humanity provided the passive activity he needed, while enjoying the company of others.

Garry is a keen cyclist and recently retired. He was looking for hands on activity and the role of bike repairer at Bicycles for Humanity won the day!

Ray has spent an extended period of time in Zimbabwe, and saw the need for assistance from the Western world. Bicycles for Humanity was an opportunity for him to be involved, and at the same time socialise with people.


4. Bullsbrook Recycling Centre

The Bullsbrook Recycling Centre is free recycling facility open to City of Swan residents.

Meet some of the friendly volunteers...

Carol works tirelessly in the shop area cleaning and sorting the goods that come in, and also selling items using the EFTPOS machine. Carol enjoys meeting the interesting customers at the Bullsbrook Recycling Centre.

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Lorri is a gardening expert and spends all day in the garden at the Bullsbrook Recycling Centre! Lorri founded a soup kitchen in Midland called Dream Catcher and saves the produce for them adding things from her own garden as well. The Centre has also started saving seeds for next year, thanks to Lorri. Usually Lorri goes home covered in dirt but she doesn’t mind too much.

Jim is a great handy man and helps the customers undo shelving or cupboards to fit them in their cars. The team all need a hand in their areas from time to time, and just don’t know what they did without him. Jim made a phone container from an old bin fixing the broken bin first and then making it lockable and cutting the top like a post box for the phones to be deposited. 

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Sylvia is the resident librarian and apparel assistant. Luckily, she enjoys sorting things out especially when they're in a muddle. The library is alphabetical now and the clothes are hung and sized which is great for customers.  Customers like to chat with Sylvia and there is always time while a puzzle gets sorted or the clothes are being folded. 

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5. Ed Connect

Ed Connect volunteers provide life-changing mentoring and learning support in schools for young people who are at risk of not fulfilling their educational potential.

Volunteer Jane with Amelia, Ruby, Azer and Symone.


6. Save the Children

Save the Children is Australia's largest aid and development agency dedicated to helping children in need. They have many op shops around the country where you can find recycled fashion pieces, toys, books and even some vintage and modern day gems.

Carmel has worked with Save the Children for the past eight years, and manages the Midland store. Her colleagues say she has been doing a fantastic job and is so lively and happy every day. She always brings a smile to her fellow volunteers and the customers faces.


7. Trillion Trees

Trillion Trees is 40 years old.  Through the years, together with 80,0000 volunteers, they have grown eight million trees and planted 15 million trees across Western Australia. All of this has been managed (also with lots of volunteer help) at their Hazelmere base in the City of Swan.

They must enjoy their time here and feel good about it because some of their volunteers have been there since the beginning – and they still rock up for planting days or to help in the Nursery from time to time!

Growing and planting trees is something that everyone can do. Volunteers come from all walks of life, diverse cultural backgrounds, a range of ages, and of varying abilities.

Meet some of the hardworking team who work together to heal the planet and create habitat for animals...

Volunteers Helen and Robert potting seedlings.

Volunteer Clint has been volunteering with Trillion Trees for more than a year.

Volunteers StuartKathrynAndrew and Maureen potting seedlings.