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Volunteering benefits us all
With Fair Day nearly upon us, the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby is getting into full swing for our Mardi Gras season.
We had a great turn-out to our volunteer information night last week, and are very excited to be working with so many new faces, and a lot of familiar ones too.
Float construction has started in earnest, and dance rehearsals are underway, so if you’re keen on being involved in the GLRL float, there’s still time. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll fill you in on all the details.
Every column we mention our volunteers, how much we value them, how the committee are all volunteers and that we’re always looking for more people to help with the work the GLRL does at events or on working groups.
But if you’ve never been a volunteer before, you might be asking “What’s in it for me?”
Volunteering can provide a wide rage of tangible benefits like learning a new skill. Putting together our Mardi Gras float, for example, involves event planning, budgeting, leading a team, or even painting, sewing and dancing!
Volunteering can help your career. Employers love people who volunteer, and you might even land a new job because of it.
You’ll make new friends, have new experiences and meet a diverse range of people. And most importantly, it connects you to your community and gives you a sense of achievement.
Many volunteers get involved out of a sense of altruism and feel good about giving back to the community that has made a difference to them.
For all the rights that gay and lesbian people have today we can thank people who gave their time freely before us, and worked tirelessly to achieve each change, one step at a time.
The Gay Rights Lobby was founded by a group of volunteers in 1981 with the objective of legalising homosexuality. That organisation was disbanded once that had been achieved, then reformed as the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby in 1988 with the aim of redressing the many other ways gay men and lesbians were discriminated against.
It is a mark of how hard volunteers from the GLRL, and other organisations, have worked since the first Mardi Gras protest in 1978 that we are now having a debate over marriage equality.
But the fight isn’t over yet — there’s still a lot to do, and you can be a part of it.
By LAINIE ARNOLD, NSW GLRL