THEY came from everywhere. More than 15,000 of them.
Retired teacher Debbie Gibson packed up the campervan and left Perth for what will be her swan song Games at the Gold Coast.
“This is my sixth Commonwealth Games,” Ms Gibson said, before reflecting back on Canada in 1994, followed by Kuala Lumpur, Manchester, Melbourne and Glasgow.
“I have also volunteered at three Olympics – Sydney 2000, Vancouver 2010 and London 2012.
“So from these amazing experiences I can confirm that the ’vollies’ do an incredible behindthe-scenes job and front of house and field of play role with such enthusiasm, commitment and joy.
“In return, we, the volunteers, have terrific experiences and memories which last a lifetime.
“In over 30 years of volunteering at World Swimming Championships, World Hockey Championships and with Tall Ships I can assure you that I am a better person for having volunteered.
“This is not about money, it’s about the people you will meet, friendships developed and the sporting contests where you have a front-row seat.”
Ms Gibson urges Australians to write down “volunteer” on their bucket list.
And how did the Coast rate? “It’s top notch. You get the negative publicity about transport. Every Games has transport issues. I went to the hockey last night and was back home in 25 minutes,” she replied.
“When the Gold Coast and Queensland is mentioned (as hosting the Games), you put it on your number one list.”
Douglas Murphy, QC, is volunteering at the Main Press Centre in Broadbeach.
West Australian Debbie Gibson is volunteering at the athletes village at her sixth Commonwealth Games.
Volunteer photographer Erin Aumann and England basketballer Melita Emanuel-Carr compare painted nails.
Games volunteers are always good for a high five.