May 13, 2019
A group of 40 university students will be visiting Blackbutt in June to do 160 hours of volunteer work for the town’s community groups in a single morning.
The students, from the University of Technology in Sydney and the Queensland University of Technology, are part of “The Big Lift”, a 10-year-old program that helps rural towns in Queensland, NSW and Victoria by tackling jobs that are beyond the manpower resources of local community groups.
The Big Lift is a student volunteering organisation founded on the philosophy of “paying it forward”.
The program aims to encourage a positive mindset on university campuses by showing students how easy it is to help one another and the community at large.
A Big Lift group last came to Blackbutt two years ago.
They tackled jobs like weeding, painting, cleaning and gardening which had been on many Blackbutt groups’ “to do” lists, but hadn’t been tackled due to a lack of manpower.
This year, the Big Lift group will be arriving in Blackbutt on Wednesday, July 10, and departing the next day. In between, they will be contributing four hours work apiece to tackle the community’s outstanding jobs.
The trip has been co-ordinated by the Blackbutt Avocado Festival committee.
On Monday, festival chairman Jeff Connor put out a call for Blackbutt-Benarkin community groups which have tasks that need extra manpower to contact him.
Jeff said the community would be welcoming the 2019 Big Lift visitors with a barbecue dinner and hosting them overnight.
The students will tackle their tasks the following morning, then be treated to a barbecue lunch before they leave on Thursday afternoon for the next stop on their current 10-day trip.
Jeff said any community group who could supervise four to six students for a four-hour work shift should contact him on 0448-946-702.
Alternately, they can email him with their group’s name, supervisor name and contact details, the number of students required, details of the task to be carried out and the community group’s ability to provide tools and/or materials.
Jeff would also like to hear from volunteers who can assist with preparing lunch and dinner for the students.