A new generation of volunteers

Amelia Hosseini volunteers for several organisations including Red Cross and World Vision.

When you think of volunteers does your mind conjure up images of little old ladies baking scones? Well think again.

Recent statistics show there is a surprising, new demographic of volunteers serving communities around Australia: teenage girls and blokes over 55.

Amelia Hosseini, 16, is a member of this new generation.

The Kadina High School Captain began her volunteering career at the tender age of seven when her mother took her along to teach recent migrant communities in Sydney and she has since volunteered with Red Cross, The Heart Foundation, World Vision. and assisted with Naidoc week celebrations.

Amelia said he is not alone in her volunteering pursuits. Many of her friends go door-knocking with her and a group of her friends also donate blood regularly.

Amelia believes about one out of every six kids at her school do some type of volunteer work.

Volunteering is a type of self development, she said. It gives you a wider vision of the world. Instead of concentrating on yourself, you focus on somebody else. I believe what goes around comes around.

On May 17, Lismores plethora of volunteers like Amelia will be celebrated at the Lismore Community Volunteer Expo at the City Hall.

The Expo, presented by the Lismore Neighbourhood Centre, coincides with National Volunteer Week and is designed to celebrate and appreciate the work of volunteers, showcase the benefits of volunteering and volunteering opportunities and help organisations attract more volunteers

Neil Amor, coordinator at the Neighbourhood Centres Volunteers Referral Centre said volunteering in Australia is on the rise, despite a world trend to the contrary, with volunteer work comprising 1.4% of GDP in 2002.

In 2004, 41% of Australians volunteered, up from 24% in 1995.

Neil said Lismore has in excess of 200 organisations who employ volunteers and he encouraged them to register for the Expo.

To register, download a registration form from the website: , pick one up from the Neighbourhood Centre or phone 6621 7397.

Registration costs $25 but Volunteer Referral Centre members will attract a 10 per cent discount.

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