Three Devonport retirees have travelled across Australia to lend a hand.
In a three-berth caravan, Paul and Robyn Carey and Mrs Carey’s sister Desley Blanch ventured across the mainland and north to Outback Queensland to offer their help to families in the bush.
“A lot of people cannot get their head around why we do it for nothing,” said Mr Carey. “The warm welcome and the friendship formed from each visit is enough to make you keep doing this type of volunteer work.”
Most recently, the volunteering trio was posted to “Spoilbank”, a 42,000 acre sheep station, 120km south-west of Longreach. They were there to assist a couple aged in their 70s and 60s who are running the station on their own.
“They work so hard, it’s unbelievable,” Mr Carey said of the couple. “You see the amount of work they do and it makes you want to work harder.”
On their two placements this year, the volunteers completed a long list of jobs that included painting a bedroom, gardening, feeding lambs and work dogs, rebuilding a deck, sanding floorboards, minding children, cooking, baking, washing and ironing.
“You try and achieve as much as you can. I like to see we’ve made a difference when we leave. Volunteering is all about making a difference and every day’s labour makes a difference.”
They also returned to visit a family who they had helped last year. While they were there, Mr Carey polished the floorboards.
“People in remote areas are just lovely people, it’s a privilege really,” he said.