HOT TOPIC – JUNE / JULY 2010
This month we welcome yet another guest Hot Topic author, Shane Fisher, to the fold.
Shane’s impact in the volunteer sector started back in 1998 leading the development of Curtin Volunteers! into Australia’s largest and most active student-run volunteer organisation. Since then Shane has also established, rebuilt, led and developed a number of other not-for-profit youth organisations and programs ranging from one that engages 300 “at-risk” young people each day, to incubation and mentoring for young business and social entrepreneurs, to an international foundation.
In his professional life he runs his own software and management consulting businesses and is also responsible for the enterprise management systems and processes for a global market research company spanning more than 60 countries.
Shane is passionate that all young people deserve access to the same opportunities he has been privileged to have had and he is an active promoter and practitioner of the “youth-led” philosophy in regard to effective youth engagement and development.
Shane’s is a Hot Topic with a difference because rather than being an essay, Shane places a challenge at the foot of every reader – to reflect on and share their own experiences
IT ALL STARTED…
… when I offered to help out a colleague who was running a large multi-cultural festival and eventually I slotted into managing the 150 volunteers on that day.
Up at 5am, erecting marquis, fencing, signage, dealing with food stalls, staffing the green room, welcoming every one of the 20,000 attendees, coordinating in with security, and meanwhile running an enormous book sale to raise money for a charity.
One of my most vivid memories was trying to lead about 50 of the volunteers to pick up and shuffle a massive marquis several metres towards the stage to protect the kids from the sun. Something so simple but having so many diverse people needing to be like one was a sight for all and got a cheer from the audience on par with lead act Yothu Yindi. And it was at the end of the night when we all sat down and poured sugar into our lemonade for that last energy hit to survive the packing up process that I reflected and realized that volunteering and volunteer management is simply amazing.
And from then on I wanted every young person to experience what I had that day.
THE CHALLENGE FOR THIS HOT TOPIC
I thought it was about time we had a simple challenge on this forum to encourage some of those “ lurkers ” out and also so we can hear about the diverse reasons that people get involved in this sector – who knows it might give us some extra ideas of how to attract more volunteers and volunteer managers. So you are all now challenged to share your own story.
1. Everyone has a story and everyone’s story is of interest to others on this forum so everyone should feel comfortable to share it
2. Your “It all started” story should be a single paragraph with around 100-250 words – so preferably not a novel!
3. Your fundamental reason for becoming involved in the volunteer sector should come out in your story. Your story doesn’t have to be an entertainment piece , I suspect most of us are just personally interested in others’ stories . But if you are keen you do have creative license – so feel free to exaggerate for dramatic effect , add humour even if it isn’t actually that funny , or perhaps set yourself a creative challenge (eg every sentence should contain at least one reference to a movie or TV title) . Do whatever you want to – it is your story!
4. Refer again to Rule 1 and get started writing your story. We want to hear (read) it …
Let’s hear what you think