"I think I can safely say that the people of Dalgety do not want things handed to them on a plate but if they can occasionally getting a helping hand it is much appreciated!
"Prior to moving here I had not heard of the concept of The Big Lift. Having now been introduced to 2 crews of great young Australians who are wanting to give something back to the rural communities I think it is a great idea.
"I take my hat off to the members who organise up to 80 young people to get up early and tackle tasks that they probably have never done before in not such nice weather.
"The first visit in the summer was outdoor jobs for the crew and they slogged at planting as many plants at various locations along the iconic Snowy River, this was well received as a beautification of the area. The locals have now put up their hands to be able to keep the plants surviving.
"The second visit in the winter with winds blowing but the sun was out! The impact of this visit was felt across the town as the School, individual seniors, Dalgety Show Society and the general public benefited with a helping hand either indoors or out. It means that the back has been broken on a task that had been seen as too hard to start, now it is easier to maintain.
"So I think I can say from the community as a whole THANK YOU one and all." - Sue and Colin, Snowy River Holiday Park
"The Big Lift crew has come and gone and we miss you! It was a slow burn for a few months after we learned about the program's existence, philosophy and intent. Then as the time of your arrival came closer, the good people of Stratford came together, as individuals and as groups, to support the visit. Stratford residents readily assumed roles in creating and supporting the variety of activities, providing food and preparing meals.
"Well it was a whirlwind visit, but not one which will be forgotten in Stratford. A fond memory was seeing you all arrive and unload. We so enjoyed meeting you, exchanging information and everyone learning a little about each other over dinner and during the activities the next day. My other favourite memory is doing the rounds of the activities first thing on the Thursday morning and seeing you all throwing yourselves into the tasks with such positivity and enthusiasm.
"The overall feeling here in Stratford after your visit, to anyone who was involved and had the pleasure of meeting any of you, is that the visit was a great success on a number of levels for Stratford. Stratford is a great community anyway, but your visit was something quite different to our usual range of community activities. Organisation and co-ordination skills were enhanced in preparing for your visit. Awareness was raised about activities you would be undertaking. A number of Stratford people I have spoken to were not formerly familiar with the 'pay it forward' concept, but have been positively interested in the idea and keen to develop it within their own fields of interest. For example, my brother is a teacher in Geelong and is now interested in exploring how his school can use elements of your philosophy in their school well-being program. Stratford residents who were not directly involved are very interested and asking lots of questions about The Big Lift visit, your philosophy and goals.
"So overall, it is clear to me that your 2016 trip would have been a very positive personal development project for the participants and a fabulous and innovative opportunity for mutual understanding and the exchange of information and ideas between participants and the residents of the towns visited. I have no doubt your visit stimulated community interest in local projects and volunteer opportunities. That is certainly already evident in Stratford and we thank you!" - Judy, Stratford Town Crier
"The Big Lift Crew that visited Wyangala Dam Public School during the Semester Break (Sunday 10th July 2016) were wonderful. They were all so keen to get stuck into any activity we had organised on the day. It was a great learning experience for many of them, using new tools and developing new skills. It was also a great social event with the students working in groups to complete each task. They were a great group and I hope they all enjoyed and will remember their visit to Wyangala Dam." - Lea, Wyangala Dam Public School
"The Big Lift crew came into Rosedale like a breath of fresh air. They were vibrant, polite, passionate and earnest in their mission to 'lift a town'. The crew worked with a diverse range of community members; men, women, old, young, storytellers, tradies and professionals. The interactions were genuine and despite some folks reservations about ‘young people’ they were soon won over by them and laughter was heard in many parts of Rosedale that morning.
"In-between painting, digging, sweeping and stacking, I was fortunate enough to visit all projects and was delighted to see such great teamwork and energy!
"Following the projects, all community groups were ‘amazed’ by the amount of work completed, but more so, they were overwhelmed by the crew’s positive perspective and mission. They enjoyed listening to the students' stories – their dreams and aspirations for the future, and also welcomed the opportunity to share their own stories, some recent and some from long ago. It was indeed our pleasure to host The Big Lift in Rosedale." - Natasha, Rosedale Neighbourhood House
"Rosedale Primary School is extremely grateful for the opportunity to have The Big Lift volunteers work at our school. The group we had were respectful and well mannered and were a pleasure to have in our school. Thanks again for the opportunity." - Fiona, Rosedale Primary School