The joy and companionship that comes with giving back and a love for an iconic Australian charity has seen Gordon Park resident Val Marlow named Queensland Volunteer of the Year.
Mrs Marlow received the Fundraising Institute of Australia award after dedicating more than 30 years of her life to assisting the fundraising efforts of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section).
She said her drive to volunteer came after her daughter finished school and moved out of home.
“I first began volunteering in 1986 after my daughter finished high school and I simply began looking for something to keep me busy,” she said.
I loved it from day one. You meet so many wonderful people and it truly gives me great satisfaction to know that I’m helping out such a worthwhile cause.”
Mrs Marlow is now the president of the RFDS Brisbane Volunteer Auxiliary, which sees her working tirelessly at events across the city and the South East. She conducts tours at the Flying Doctor’s Brisbane Base as well as attending functions, clubs and meetings to promote the service and offer people the opportunity to give their support.
Two of those people now include her two daughters, who she convinced to join the auxiliary and get involved in volunteering themselves.
Val said she was “flabbergasted” when she was told she had won the award.
“It is such a privilege to be thought of so highly by the RFDS who nominated me in the first place,” she said.
“It’s such a worthy organisation. Having lived in the country, you know the history and the story of the RFDS and most importantly, you know how vital it is.
“Volunteering is a tremendous way to overcome loneliness and meet new people. While I love the RFDS, it doesn’t really matter what organisation you’re volunteering with or what the cause is, as long as you are enjoying yourself and the people you are with. You’ve just got to get out there and do it.”
Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) Head of Fundraising, Katherine Ash, said volunteers were crucial to the ongoing success of charities.
“We have so many volunteers like Val across Queensland who go to incredible lengths to help the flying Doctor carry out its vital work,” she said. “We would like to congratulate Val on her well-deserved award. She really is a vital part of the RFDS family.”
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