Our Perth office has been delivering a range of projects over the past year that have focussed on building community connections and fostering a sense of connection with the local environment for both new and long-term residents. The staff have provided a snapshot of two of these projects, as well as the findings of a ‘Volunteering and Well-being’ survey they undertook with their volunteers. Read onto find out more
Nedlands Coastal and Bushland Conservation
- This project is part of our Greener Cities Campaign, which aim to help communities re-establish and reconnect with nature – and through that, with each other – in our cities and towns.
- The work we do in Nedlands is great because we do a variety of tasks such as tree planting, seed collection, weeding of invasive species and beach clean-ups. This means there’s something for everyone!
- Throughout 2019 we tallied 728 volunteer hours from community volunteers, and achieved some amazing environmental goals.
- In 2019 we planted 2000 seedlings in the city and collected 84 Kilos of rubbish.
- In 2020 we hope to continue our work within the City of Nedlands. We will be working primarily at Swanbourne Dunes combating erosion and Shenton Park Bushland establishing healthier ecosystems
Fostering Integration Program 2019
- We started this program in 2019 with an aim to help migrant Australians connect with nature and their wider community.
- We ran 40 project days and engaged 53 migrant Australians from 24 different countries of origin.
- The program was a great success and engaged participants in various conservation activities around Stirling and Canning, such as tree planting, river restoration, fauna surveys, community garden maintenance and a guided Noongar bush-tucker walk with Marrisa Verma from Bindi Bindi Dreaming.
- Ting Wu, Participant: “It is a great opportunity to get to know more people, you’ll understand that you are not alone. You are getting involved in the community and provides a sense of achievement as well”.
- Marris Verma, Director, Bindi Bindi Dreaming: “I had such a great time on both days continuing to share our culture, and hoping our guests really embraced the knowledge I shared. I hope they will share what they learnt with their family and friends. Thanks Clare and the good staff at CVA for offering these great opportunities to bringing cultures together”.
- Clare MacNish, Conservation Officer: “it is important to encourage newcomers to learn about our environment and the challenges we are facing in Australia. Getting involved with hands-on conservation projects also helps people find a sense of place and purpose in their new community”.
Volunteering, Heath and Well-being: Exploring the Relationship
In 2019 the Perth office ran a well-being survey as part of their regular community volunteering program.
- This survey was conducted to investigate the relationship between volunteering and health and wellbeing. Specifically looking into the association between volunteering with Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) and the effects of this on an individual’s well-being.
- The survey was taken out each day by Project Team Leaders and given out towards the end of the day during a break to fill out anonymously.
- This survey was a great indication of how volunteering with CVA can help people feel more connected to their community.
- When asked if their volunteer work with CVA had given them a sense of purpose, 62% of respondents selected that is had definitely given them a sense of purpose, with 38% selecting that it had somewhat given them a sense of purpose and 0% of respondents selected that their volunteering had given them no sense of purpose at all.
- When asked what impact volunteering had on their social interactions 57% of respondents felt their social interactions had increased, with a further 33% selecting that their social interactions had significantly increased. None of the respondents indicated that their social interactions had decreased while 11% selected that there had been no impact.
- All of the respondents selected that volunteering had increased their feeling of making a useful contribution to the community, with 58% selected ‘increased’ and 42% feeling volunteering had ‘significantly increased’ their feeling of making a useful contribution to their community.
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