National Volunteer Week is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of millions of volunteers all across the country and Boroondara is fortunate to have many dedicated volunteers.
At Boroondara Arts, volunteers provide invaluable assistance helping deliver arts and culture activities for the community and we decided to take the opportunity to chat with one of our volunteers, Roza Ganser.
Roza is an artist herself and volunteers regularly at Hawthorn Arts Centre as a gallery attendant. She has discovered a pleasing connection between her personal passions for art and helping the community.
"I love the staff at Hawthorn Arts Centre, meeting the public and being able to tell them about what is on in the galleries," she says. "I love learning about the exhibitions and being able to pass that information on."
As a Boroondara resident, Roza was already a regular at Town Hall Gallery and enjoyed visiting the beautiful spaces at Hawthorn Arts Centre before a conversation moved her to think about volunteering.
“I spoke with one of the curators at the Gallery, and she was so lovely and told me about the opportunities to volunteer. So I started thinking about that, but it took me about six months to finally do it! I was so nervous wondering ’Can I do it?’, ‘Will I fit in?’. When I finally decided to do it, I went to an orientation session and everybody was so welcoming and so nice! Orientation went really smoothly and was so well organised.”
Roza has been a volunteer at Town Hall Gallery since the end of 2018. Her role includes directing visitors around the building and answering general inquiries about the gallery, the Emporium shop and Boroondara Arts events.
In 2019 Roza’s work was recognised by a nomination for the Boroondara Volunteer of the Year Award for her commitment to delivering an excellent visitor experience throughout the exhibition John Young Zerunge: The Lives of Celestials.
The theme of National Volunteer Week 2020 is ‘changing communities, changing lives’, and Roza agrees that volunteers can have a big impact.
“People who volunteer can change a community because they bring their own perspective and their own spirit to the work they do," she says. "I think volunteers hold the community together in a lot of ways. They are saying ‘I care about this community’, and ‘I care what happens to you and I am not asking for anything in return’.”
Town Hall Gallery may be closed at the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Roza is looking forward to returning to her role as a gallery attendant, and urges others considering volunteering to make the leap.
“Do it from your heart. Do it because you want to. Do it because you feel the need to give something back to the community. Do it because you love something. Whatever you love there will be something for you to volunteer at. If you love the arts you can volunteer for the arts, if you love sports you can volunteer for that. Whatever it is you will be able to fill your passion.”