Love of community drives Lois, lest things fall apart
Friday, 25th May, 2018
FOUR out of five Tasmanians volunteer their time each year, but Lois Green is one volunteer who has made a career from serving her community.
On average, Tasmanians donate 12½ hours of their time each month, with that figure climbing to almost 23 hours for those aged 65-74.
Lois donates that much time each week.
She began volunteering in Coal River Valley when her children were at school more than 40 years ago – and she has no intention of stopping any time soon.
Starting in the Parents and Friends committee at Campania District School, the former teacher then moved into the Southern Tasmanian Kindergarten Parents Association, First Campania Scout Group and Campania Brownie Pack Group before starting a hockey league in the valley.
“There was only football for boys, and nothing for girls, so as a former hockey player I started hockey in Coal Valley,” Lois said.
Her involvement with her children’s activities came out of a desire to have them involved, as well as one of service.
“The Scout group stopped so we restarted it,” Lois said. “It was necessary because no one would do it, so you volunteered.
“If you want your children to be involved then you should volunteer to do it.”
Next was Meals on Wheels, where Lois was the secretary and president for 20 years, and then South East Community Care, for which she is serving her final year as president.
“I volunteered at the day centre at Brighton and with the local auxiliary and they nominated me for the board.”
In 2001 Lois became involved with Oak Lodge, a National Trust building at Richmond managed by the Coal River Valley Historical Society, where she is also active.
In this role she spends two or three days each week managing the house, which includes hosting school and community group visits, co-ordinating volunteer rosters and caring for the heritage garden.
“You meet some delightful people and you’re helping locals,” Lois said.
In the past year, she has joined the society’s sub-committee to preserve and restore the fire truck that served the valley community during the 1967 bushfires, and is also part of the Campania Red Cross.
In 2004 Lois was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for her outstanding service to the Coal River Valley community.
“It’s a lovely community; if you live in a community, you should give to that community,” she said.
“If you don’t have a committee for the organisations and activities, they cease.
“It’s the mark of what you do for the community to keep these groups going.
“It’s getting harder and harder to find volunteers for boards because you do have legal responsibilities and I wonder if that frightens people off.”
- National Volunteer Week is celebrated from May 21-27 with the theme Give a little. Change a lot.