Jun 13, 2016


I don’t know about you but I find myself doing a lot of volunteering. I think it has something to do with the fact that I have trouble saying no but also because I love it.

Over the years I have volunteered for the children’s schools, for the Sunshine Coast Environment Council, Romance Writers of Australia and now my best efforts are going into the Byron Writers Festival.  I’m on the Festival Board. It's very satisfying and a lot of hard work.

We are having a huge year at the Festival. We have introduced a new brand and a new website over the past few weeks and have had a record sell-out of our early-bird tickets. We’ve announced lots of great writers and thinkers including Cheryl Strayed (Wild), William Finnegan, Charlotte Wood, Magda Szubanski, Annabel Crabb, Leigh Sales, Wendy Whiteley and so many more. We officially launch the full program this Wednesday and I’ll be able to tell you more about it then.

It will be a crazy few weeks of work heading up to the Festival, which runs from 5-7 August.  There is also a week of writing workshops the week prior and lots of feature events.  I’m also sending out pleading vibes for good weather (it’s an outdoor event).

So, do you enjoy volunteering? I’d love to hear about some of the work you do.


  1. Hi Jennifer

    I too have volunteered for maby things over the years schools soccer and netball clubs Brownies Guides lol and yes often because it I s hard to say no and because I enjoy it so much but these days I don't say yes ☺☺ I hooe all goes well with this festival sounds fab

    have fun

  2. Thanks, Helen. I think the Festival will be amazing this year. Volunteering can be great fun, can't it.

  3. Volunteering...yeh...I've done a bit ;-)

  4. Well it was you, Amy, who got me into volunteering at RWA.You are volunteering legend!

  5. Well done Jen - I'm sure the festival will be fantastic thanks to all you hard work.

    I do way to much volunteering and am starting to pull back because it's just too much. However, I do enjoy it and love the people I work with :)

    I think it's important to give back to the community and help those who need it. It also helps define you as a person. I encourage my boys to help me out and they also love it!!!

  6. Thanks, Joanne. I think the Festival will be a blast.

    Lovely that you get your children in volunteering, such a great idea!

  7. The Festival is blessed to have you on the board, Jen. I only wish I lived a little closer so I could go one year! As for volunteering, I do have a past record with RWA and school events and coaching sports teams and such. I almost feel like I'm tempting fate to admit that I'm currently free of commitments (whispering, very quietly.) I'm enjoying the break but know I'll put my hand up when needed.

  8. Thanks so much, Bron.

    I loved working with you on the RWA conference. I think it is a good idea sometimes to take a break and refresh so perhaps keep whispering for now!!!

  9. Wow, is it that time of year again? Every year I add the Byron Bay event to my wish list and so far I've never got there...I can dream! It sounds awesome- you'll have a blast and I'm sure everyone is super-grateful to have you on the Board.
    Yes, I do some volunteering stuff, too. For a long time it was at the boys' school and for various sports and writing things, but now I do something completely different and help out with an aged care/ dementia charity. I love it and it makes me grateful every day that I am able to do things for people who have given so much over the years and who need a little help now.

    1. Would love to see you over here, Louisa. You must come!!!

      What wonderful work you do! It's so nice to know that lovely people like you are helping in aged care.

  10. Go you, Jen! Byron Bay Writers Festival is lucky to have you. And I'll keep my fingers crossed that you get utterly glorious weather. I bet the event will be the best one yet. :-)

    A few years ago I volunteered for the board of the local writers centre. Boy, it was a real eye opener in terms of the amount of work needed...but I made some great friends and learned a lot to boot. :-)

  11. Jen, it sounds like it will be a fabulous event. It must be fascinating, as well as hard work, being involved.

    I do less volunteering than I used to, mainly because there are family members who need a lot more support right now. One of my fave volunteer roles was as a home tutor in English, helping people who'd moved here from overseas to learn some English. Fun and rewarding!

  12. Hi Jennifer, I used to volunteer at my childrens athletics club... i was put on the sausage sizzle... i was kicked off after one shift hahahah. It's totally a mans job (or im just the worse sausage sizzler in the worlds)