Inside the Discovery Centre: Lyn, Rebecca, Helen, Gay, Lysette, Ann, and Robyn. Photo: Supplied.
“Why not volunteer with this view?” That’s the chorus from the group assembled in the William Gunn Jetty building overlooking Manly Boat Harbour – the location of the Visitor Information Centre.
A group of nine volunteers, along with Manager Rebecca Keim, are the everyday ambassadors for Wynnum Manly, promoting the beauty of Moreton Bay to those from near and far.
The Visitor Information Centre was established as an employment training project in the early 1990s, originally located in Cambridge Parade where Bare Naked Bowls is now. It moved to its present site alongside Tide on the Jetty seven years ago, and is managed by Manly Harbour Village Chamber of Commerce.
Volunteers are always learning about marine life and the new businesses springing up in the community. “I’ve leant that dugongs and bull sharks have been sighted in the harbour,” says one volunteer, and “that you can go paddle boarding around the harbour,” says another.
Unusual requests include how to scatter ashes over the bay and working out a full itinerary with transport options for a visitor who wanted to fill his weekend with sporting fixtures.
“We have locals who come in and have lived here for 20 years who are learning about St Helena and the other Bay Islands,” says one volunteer. Other locals pop in to plan their Queensland trip, taking advantage of the range of brochures and maps featuring locations across the state. The fantastic range of gift items, souvenirs and books is another drawcard.
Manager Rebecca oversees the running of the centre and its team of volunteers.
“We are a fully accredited Visitor Information Centre,” says Rebecca, who says the centre is required to be open from 9am to 3pm each day. This can be a challenge with a small team of volunteers, so Rebecca is always looking for new recruits.
“They need to be a people-person with a passion to learn about the area, and be able to commit long-term for two shifts a week either morning, afternoon or day.”
Rebecca encourages all those who have time or an interest to apply. A recent volunteer is 16-year-old Roberto, who took the opportunity to hone his skills in customer service and show future employers a commitment through volunteering.
Contact Rebecca at [email protected] if you’re interested in volunteering at the centre.