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Meet a Volunteer

Meet Nadia, a true friend of St Peter's Billabong and its surrounding natural landscape.

Nadia McLaren   Volunteer   Friends of the BillabongJust three kilometres from the centre of Adelaide CBD and a stone’s throw from the River Torrens, the St Peters Billabong is a local treasure which is home to a thriving ecosystem—and a popular place for families and friends to spend time with nature.

The billabong and its surrounding natural landscape have been carefully nurtured over many years by a group of professional and passionate Volunteers, including Nadia McLaren.

"The St Peters Billabong is a beautiful place offering multipurpose spaces for everyone to enjoy."

Volunteering at the billabong for more than ten years, Nadia brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as an ecologist —eclipsed only by her commitment to restoring the billabong to its natural state pre-European settlement.

Our purpose is simple - to care for the billabong and its natural landscape, ultimately ensuring the future biodiversity and conservation of the site.

Nadia says that volunteering is ideal for people who are in transition.

“Whether moving into the workforce or into retirement, or moving to a new suburb, state or country, volunteering in the local community is a great way to form connections to people and place.”

Nadia says that the work carried out by Friends of the Billabong promotes a healthy lifestyle.

“Our work affords us all the opportunity to connect with nature, environment, people and self.”

“Everyone is welcome to our group and the billabong. It’s a rewarding way of contributing to the local community while
learning about and raising awareness of the values of our natural environment.”

Volunteering in our City Our Volunteers make significant contributions to the well-being of our City, by giving their time and skills for the benefit of others.

For more information about Friends of the Billabong or to become a volunteer, visit: Friends of the Billabong (FOB)

Meet more volunteers

Justice of the Peace, Community Bus Driver and Graffiti Removal Team volunteer

Volunteer Mick RocheSixty-four years young, Mick Roche is a seasoned volunteer who has dedicated his skills, expertise and energy to his community for more than 25 years. 

Volunteering with the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters since January 2018, Mick can be found at the Norwood Town Hall in his capacity as a Justice of the Peace, on the road as a Community Bus Driver or on the streets removing illegal graffiti.

"The rewards of volunteering are immeasurable. While I achieve a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction through the work I do, I’ve also met some great people."

“My professional career was always driven by the notion of ‘think local, act global’ but today it’s ‘think global, act local’. My focus is on what I can do to best help people in my community.”

With a passion for the environment, Mick was naturally drawn to graffiti removal and feels a great sense of achievement when he drives the graffiti-free streets of our City.

“The rewards of volunteering are immeasurable. While I achieve a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction through the work I do, I’ve also met some great people – residents, volunteers and Council staff - and made new friends.”

Despite his significant volunteer commitments with the Council and other organisations, Mick still has time for a daily gym workout, family history research, and going to concerts and the theatre!

Community Visitor Scheme volunteer

Ayu Pamungkas is a 27 year old international student from Indonesia. Volunteer Ayu Pamungkas

Currently studying her first year of a Master of Social Work, Ayu has been volunteering with the Council’s Community Visitor Scheme since July 2017, regularly visiting her client at Trowbridge House.

“This role has proved to me that money does not always make people smile but kindness does. When I visit we talk a lot about her life and sometimes I read her a magazine. It’s simple but we both look forward to our time together. I feel full and happy after every visit - my day is always better.”

Reflecting on herself in the early days of her volunteering, Ayu attributes her own personal growth and development to her volunteering.

“My communication skills have improved and I have developed a new level of empathy. At first I felt challenged, but after a few visits with my client I began to feel more confident in my purpose. I now look forward to our time together as we’ve developed a beautiful friendship.”

Ayu suggests that there are three key ingredients in dedicating yourself to a volunteer role, particularly with the Community Visitor Scheme. “Communication and just being yourself are essential, but most importantly, your willingness to contribute. People can feel it if you do it with your heart.”


Related content

Remembering Kingsley TurnerKingsley Turner FOB volunteer

The late Kingsley Turner was a committed and passionate volunteer with the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters, who worked tirelessly to restore and maintain the St Peters Billabong.

Kingsley was formally recognised by the Council for his extensive and valued contributions when he was awarded the Council’s 2009 Citizen of the Year Award.

More information