Tourists eyed as volunteers
Tourists are being targeted for volunteer recruitment under a new State Government initiative in the North West.
In the Pilbara, wi-fi hotspots such as Welcome Rest Stops and the Leisureplex will be used to encourage tourists and locals to volunteer at a wide range of organisations.
Pilbara Regional Council chief executive Tony Friday said the service was potentially a huge boon for volunteer groups in the region.
“There’s an enormous pool of expertise that wanders straight past our doorstep and we’re not always good at taking advantage of that,” he said.
“If it is well publicised I can see this being a real feature on people who are looking to stay longer in the Pilbara’s travel itineraries.
“It is an unanticipated use (of the wi-fi hotspots) but one that now it’s put in front of us we thought, ‘why didn’t we think of that earlier’.”
Mr Friday said it was now up to volunteer organisations to get themselves registered with Volunteering WA to take advantage of the service.
“For tourists to remember their time in the Pilbara as a time where their skills were valued and appreciated and to meet friends beyond fleeting caravan park visits, it means that they are more likely to come back next winter,” he said.
The State Government has provided $15,000 to the PRC to implement the targeted volunteer recruitment.
Volunteering Minister Tony Simpson said the recruitment strategy would be considered a pilot program for the rest of the State.
“We are blessed with a large selfdrive tourism market that has a substantial proportion of retirees,” he said.
“This group represents a large pool of skill and experience traversing our region and they are often willing to make a volunteer contribution to the local economy however they lack means of accessing volunteering opportunities. Mr Simpson said if successful he would like to see the program rolled out across Western Australia.