Winter Trip 9th July - 17th July, 2016

Big Lift visit a great experience for Woodstock 

On July 9, a tour bus honked it’s way to the steps of the Woodstock Soldier’s Memorial Hall and 39 young people ranging in age from 19 to 25 leapt out, ready and willing to give the Woodstock community their time and energy.

As Chris and Jen, their coordinator and Team President, told me, they were part of a “Pay It Forward” move from the Sydney University of Technology to the small rural communities.

The Big Lift team with some of the Woodstock villagers, their bus driver and Jen and Chris – their President and co-ordinator (on the right).

All the village people had to do was find them jobs, give them a roof over their heads for the night and feed them two meals, which we very gladly did.

Comprising a couple of international students, but most from Sydney – these young men and women were very polite, very friendly, asked lots of questions and were excited about their visit to our village.

Their enthusiasm rubbed off on every person who came into contact with them and we all turned up at 7.30am on Sunday morning, ready for a busy and very enjoyable day.

Without a single protest, the students dug holes for tree planting, helped remove a broken down fence, cleaned tree suckers and tidied the Showground in preparation for the Woodstock Show on Father’s Day, painted the panelling in the Woodstock CWA rooms (including interior decorating tips) and completely finished painting the outside of the Woodstock Bowling Club! 

In four hours!

After a quick kitchen tidy-up by the team, they packed their bags and headed off to a Llama farm near Bowning, then onto Gundaroo for more community Pay It Forward.

After Gundaroo, they were going to Bombala, Orbost, Stratford, then Melbourne. 

In Melbourne they joined the other team for a Flash Mob activity, an Amazing Race event and then back through Eden to Sydney.

The whole weekend was a remarkable success and we have to let the students know about the timetable for Woodstock Show, as many of them are interested in coming back up for it. 

We want them back because the village people were completely blessed by the overall quality, politeness and friendliness of these young people. 

In fact, Sharon Barney from the Bowling Club has already offered to provide beds for at least six of them for any visit they care to make!

As I was fortunate enough to be the local liaison over the 6 months of discussions with Chris, I have been asked by the Woodstock C.W.A branch, the Woodstock Bowling Club and Progress Association and the Woodstock Show Committee to extend their very grateful thanks to these young people.

I personally consider that getting to know them was well-worth the effort involved and if your community is offered their service at any time, the people of Woodstock can guarantee it will be an experience you will never forget.

Sue Maynes

Woodstock CWA Secretary

Read more here

ABC Gippsland: Jen Ng speaks with Laura Poole on breakfast radio

Transcript

ABC: I want to chat now about a pretty unique project that has seen some jobs just crossed off that to do list for a few towns in Gippsland. Stratford, Orbost and Rosedale had a bit of a helping hand recently and from an unexpected source. We've had busloads of university students in Gippsland to provide a bit of unskilled labour. To tell us what this is all about  I have Jen Ng on the line, she's from The Big Lift and she's with us. Jen, what's The Big Lift all about?

Jen: Good morning Laura, so The Big Lift, we're a volunteering organisation from the University of Technology in Sydney and each year we take about 80 students, so two busloads, across regional NSW. For the past seven years we've gone through regional NSW and Queensland and this year's the first time we've decided to go through Victoria towards Melbourne. At these towns we volunteer about four hours of our time . We're founded on the philosophy of 'paying it forward', so giving back to others and the idea that many hands make light work. We had two buses this year and each bus went separate routes. We had one bus that went to Woodstock, Gundaroo, Bombala, Orbost, and Stratford. Then the other bus went through Wyangala, Captains Flat, Dalgety, Orbost which was a joint town, and Rosedale. 

ABC: Orbost got double the help. What jobs do students do when they arrive in these towns?

Jen: So the unique thing about The Big Lift is that everyone has such a diverse range of skills and no one really has labour skills such as woodwork or mechanics. Everyone is either a communications student, business, engineering, or finance, but what we do is unskilled labour which ranges from cleaning, gardening, painting. What we have realised and learnt is that all these jobs that are unskilled labour, are quite useful to the townspeople whose general population is older. All the laborious stuff such as lifting is quite appreciated by the townspeople.  I've been told that in Orbost, one of our engineering students help draw a mock up of a shed for repair, so its interesting that all these skills can come in handy when you identify that when we bring our skills together we can make a big difference to the community.

ABC: And why is The Big Lift important to you and something you want to be involved with.

Jen: Well personally I've been with The Big Lift for three years and I've been on the trip four times. You kind of learn a lot about your role in the community and how you can help others. During the week you're just surrounded by so much positivity - that's what we try to do on The Big Lift, we try to create an environment to help facilitate positivity, support and encouragement and beyond this trip hopefully people realise that they can give back to others; it's simply and its rewarding and they can do it if they make a little bit of effort to seek places where they can help out. 'Paying it forward' is also about realising your own potential and being kinder to yourself and realising your value within that community.

ABC: It sounds like a really great project and we've put some photos up . It's up on the ABC Gippsland Facebook page of when people were helping out planting trees in Stratford and doing some painting in Orbost and Rosedale as well. We'll get to the news in just a tick but this will have to be quick but do you think it helps university students think about career options outside of the city?

Jen: Yeah absolutely, a big part of The Big Lift is about learning about leadership and civic responsibility and what we have demonstrated through The Big Lift is that you can create a community, you can work together, everyone has their differences, but if you come together and realise that these differences are what make you unique and have a big role in the community, real change can be made. Hopefully leaving this trip people are going to set up their own networks and take what they've learnt from the trip and see that it can be achieved in the everyday; you can be kind to each other, you can help each other, you can be positive, there are so many facets to this trip that are all positive. 

ABC: Excellent, well lovely to chat to you this morning and thanks for all the work you've done across Gippsland.

Jen: No worries, thanks for the talk.

ABC: That's The Big Lift president, Jen Ng, and University of Technology in Sydney students down in Stratford, Orbost and Rosedale recently.

The Monaro Post: The big lift lends a hand at dalgety community project/ Bombala and delegate also benefit from big lift

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GIPPSLAND TIMES: Big Lift for Rosedale and Stratford

TWO busloads of University of Technology, Sydney students arrived in Rosedale and Stratford on Thursday to help out community groups across the towns.

The Big Lift is a volunteer initiative that has dozens of students volunteer their time to assist in small towns.

Odd jobs like painting, sanding, gardening, window cleaning, and weeding are completed by the enthusiastic volunteers, who travel from Sydney for two weeks every year.

This is the first year the group has gone south, visiting towns like Bombala and Orbost on the way.

At the Rosedale Community Centre, almost 40 young people were happily sowing garden beds, painting rooms, and installing irrigation in the community garden, after a massive feast at the Mechanics Hall the night before, provided by the Rosedale Lions Club.

As well as providing a facelift for the town, Rosedale Neighbourhood House manager Natasha Hunt said it was putting a smile on residents' faces as well.

"They are the most positive, enthusiastic people I've been around for a long time," she said.

"They come in and they share their stories and experiences, and they're listening to our community members sharing their stories as well, they're learning about a lot of stuff that's sort of foreign to them.

"They had no idea, seeing a primary school with only a couple of hundred kids, or a small kinder where they might have thousands in Sydney.

"It's been a real gift to have them come here and help out with some of the tasks that are really quite challenging for some of the volunteer groups."

Organisations across the town, including the primary school, Men's Shed, community centre, Neighbourhood House and community garden, kindergarten, RSL, historical society, Mechanics Hall, Anglican church, and the speedway, were all thankful to receive four hours of manual labour from the volunteers.

"It's been a really positive opportunity for the community, it's brought the community together," Ms Hunt said.

Volunteers Alexa Rea, Georgia Berriman, Alta Shi and Dan Nguyen from the Big Lift came to Rosedale to help out community groups.

Director of public relations and communications for the Big Lift, George Kalatzis, said it was fulfilling to give back to communities.

"Most of the towns we've had reasonably good weather, some rain but it didn't dampen our spirits," he said.

"We're hoping to spread that love and kindness, and the hope that other communities will use that to pay it forward . . . spread that through other communities so people do good deeds without expecting anything in return."

Rosedale Community Garden Group representative Ken Aroin said it was good to have young people helping out, especially with the irrigation installation.

"The average age of our garden group is in the 70s, and I'm the youngest," he said.

"To have the hard work done, is just fantastic."

Read more here

Gippsland Times: Lift for stratford and rosedale

28 June 2016

28 June 2016

 

Gippsland Today: George Kalatzis Talks with Greg Allen About the Big Lift

Listen to the interview here

THE QUEANBEYAN AGE: ‘BIG LIFT’ FOR CAPTAINS FLAT

A team of student volunteers from Sydney stopped by Captains Flat to give the community a helping hand.

As part of a program called 'The Big Lift', 38 students from the University of Technology Sydney spent Monday, July 11, in Captains Flat doing unskilled labor jobs to give the town a facelift.

The university students moved a massive pile of mulch into garden beds at Captains Flat Public School, as well as painting pots and poles around the school grounds.

Captains Flat Public School Principal, Hannah Lowman, said the school had been given a "facelift".

The team moved 30 cubic meters of mulch for future native tree plantings.

"It's a lot of mulch to move, too much for our students to move," Ms Lowman said.

The volunteers also helped out with various community projects at the community hall and the lookout throughout the day.

Arriving on Sunday evening, the students slept in the school hall and were fed by parents of the school and members of the community.

The visit to Captains Flat was part of a nine day journey through regional NSW where the students stop at a new town each day and run volunteer service programs.

Crew member, Sheerin Takoo, said they run on the philosophy of 'paying it forward'.

"We do a good act for a someone or a town, with the hope that that is paid forward and done for someone else in the future."

"Captains Flat was very receptive to the help we were offering ... we thought we could make a real difference," she said.

"One of the best things about it is that the people actually really want to bond with us.

"So a massive shoutout to Captains Flat, it's an amazing town."

For the past six years The Big Lift has driven north of Sydney, but this year they decided to change course and drive south for the first time ever.

Communications Director for The Big Lift, George Kalatzis said 38 hands definitely make light work.

"In regional towns often the hands aren't there to help or are not readily available and when a whole busload of students come along it makes a huge difference."

"We're taking love and kindness and hoping to spread that through the communities we visit," he said.

Read more here

Stratford Town Crier

YASS TRIBUNE: THE BIG LIFT GUNDAROO

Thirty-five students from The Big Lift (University of Technology Sydney), set themselves to work at Gundaroo on Monday on a mission to share their volunteering movement across the country.

Founded on the philosophy of ‘Paying it Forward’, The Big Lift is a student run, volunteer organisation that takes two busloads of students on a nine day bus trip through regional Australia to complete various projects. 

These projects have included painting, gardening, cleaning, and simple construction/ deconstruction tasks. With a focus on community engagement, The Big Lift works closely with the towns to provide help where it is needed.

In Gundaroo, the 35 students took part in all six service projects in the area despite rainy conditions, these included; 

Gundaroo public school: With Liz and Nigel. Gardening and weeding, cleared the chicken coop. Planted five trees outsidethe school and cleared their school hall.

Gundaroo Memorial Hall: With Justin and Wayne. Digging trenches for garden beds. 

Anglican Church: With Sue and Phil. Removing debree and moved two organs to be refurbished. 

The Oval: With Ron. Planting, restoring and weeding 

The common: Helen - Weeding including an informative discussion about the ecosystem in the grounds. 

Catholic church: with Rex. Removed fences 

Rachel Nordon, a crew person responsible for coordinating the visit to Gundaroo said the community was very warm and friendly and their stay was comfortable. 

“We appreciate the effort the towns people made to accomidate us,” she said. “Our visit was very well rounded, we got to learn more about the history of the town in addition to country life.” 

“The coordinator for our visit  Anne put a lot of work and effort into organising it. We were fed very well with warm hearty meals we slept in classrooms in the Gundaroo Public School, which was very warm and cosy. 

“It was a very rewarding experience, students felt they helped the town greatly and contributed to the community.”

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Bombala Times: Big Lift students bring volunteering movement to Bombala

For the first time in its seven years of running, The Big Lift (TBL) from the University of Technology Sydney visited Bombala to share their volunteering movement.

Founded on the philosophy of ‘Paying it Forward’, The Big Lift is a student run, volunteer organisation that takes two busloads of students on a nine day bus trip through regional Australia to complete various projects.

Coordinated by Tanya Ingram at the Platypus Visitors Information Centre (VIC), The Big Lift arrived in Bombala last Monday evening around 6pm with 37 volunteer students on board.

“We set them up in the supper room of the Exhibition Hall which is warm and the Exhibition Society ladies put on a beautiful and hearty meal for them,” Ms Ingram said.

“The next morning a group of the students were up bright and early and down at the river looking for platypus.

“After a continental breakfast supplied by the VIC the students started work,” she said.

TBL spokesperson Aditi Das said the students worked closely with Exhibition Society members Neil Hennessy, Graham Hillyer and Dick Cross on a variety of different jobs.

“We helped take donated timber to the Bombala Men’s Shed where it was put through the thicknesser and planer before we helped load it up to be taken back to the showgound to make more seats,” Ms Das said.

“Then a group of students worked in the exhibition centre taking out all the staples and rubbish from the walls.

“Other students worked taking down old fences at the showground and then we dug new holes for fence posts in preparation for new fencing outside the change sheds at the showground,” she said.

Show Society coordinator Neil Hennessy said the students were a terrific bunch of people with great attitude and spirit.  They were fantastic, really lovely kids,” he said.

Later that day the students all dined at Jono’s at the Bombala RSL Club before they all got on a bus early in the evening to head for Orbost.

Communications graduate and president of The Big Lift, Jen Ng said, “The Big Lift gives students a unique experience showing it can be rewarding and fun. If people come together for a great cause, real change can be achieved.”

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Bombala Times: The Big Lift bus comes to Bombala

For the first time in its seven years of running, The Big Lift from the University of Technology Sydney, are setting themselves across regional NSW and VIC on a mission to share their volunteering movement across the country.

In the past, The Big Lift has visited regional towns on its journey to Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

However, for the first time, The Big Lift will change direction and travel south to assist regional towns in NSW and VIC on its way to Melbourne.

Founded on the philosophy of ‘Paying it Forward’, The Big Lift is a student run, volunteer organisation that takes two busloads of students on a nine day bus trip through regional Australia to complete various projects.

These projects have included painting, gardening, cleaning and simple construction/ deconstruction tasks. With a focus on community engagement, The Big Lift works closely with the towns to provide help where it is needed.

“The Big Lift gives students a unique experience to discover how simple, rewarding and fun it is to help out the community. The trip shows people that if people come together for a great cause, real change can be achieved,” communications graduate and president of The Big Lift, Jen Ng said.

One TBL bus is visiting Bombala to help restore the exhibition centre and to do some gardening in the community garden. The bus will arrive on Monday evening and departs the following afternoon.

“I’ve seen so many students do great things for their community after being inspired by the volunteering projects they participated in on past trips. In a generation that has every potential to become positively connected with the world, The Big Lift plays an essential role in building that sense of community,” Ms Ng said.

“The Big Lift aims to help create global citizens that are socially conscious and empowered to be a part of things they want to see changed.”

UTS students will depart Sydney, tomorrow Saturday, July 9 with their trip spanning over nine days.

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Cowra Guardian: The Big Lift from UTS volunteers in Woodstock and Wyangala

Whilst most university students spend their holidays asleep, studying or partying, a group of dedicated young people are travelling from Sydney to Melbourne to volunteer their time, helping small communities along the way. 

Two busloads of students from The Big Lift, a student-run volunteer organisation from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), are on a nine-day trip across regional Australia to help with projects in small towns. 

One bus visited Woodstock and the other Wyangala on July 9 and 10. 

Whilst in Woodstock, the group stayed at the Woodstock Memorial Hall and worked with the CWA to help paint their rooms, took down a fence, cleaned up at the Woodstock Showground and helped paint the outside of the Woodstock Bowling Club. 

The Wyangala group assisted with renovating Wyangala Public School. 

President of The Big Lift, Jen Ng, said the group gets in touch and researches the towns before visiting and offering to help locals in anyway they can. 

“They all have so many stories to share, the townspeople are all so warm and giving,” she said. 

“It’s the little things that mach each visit to a town unique.” 

Jen said it is all about community engagement and that every town has surprised the students with their welcoming nature. 

“It was great to see,” she said on the trip to Woodstock. 

“It was lovely to hear the townspeople had a bit of fun.” 

Now in it’s 7th year of running, for the first time the group is travelling south through regional NSW and VIC. 

In previous years, the group has headed north to Queensland to areas like Brisbane and the Gold Coast. 

Jen says the team gets overwhelmed by the generosity of the communities they visit. 

“They are happy to have us over,” she said. 

“We visit not knowing what to expect, they give us morning tea and coffee.” 

The group was founded by two UTS students nearly a decade ago after being inspired by the work done by student groups in the United States. 

Since then, another Big Lift group has been founded at the University of Technology Queensland. 

To date, The Big Lift UTS is the only NSW-based group, however there are plans in the future to expand to other universities. 

The Big Lift is sponsored by the University of Technology Sydney (Student Services, Faculty of Health, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), UTS International (BUiLD and Community Connections), Activate UTS, Pegasus Coaches, ResMed, and ING Direct.

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Cowra guardian: Uni students to give students a lift

For the first time in its seven years of running, The Big Lift from the University of Technology Sydney, are setting themselves across regional NSW on a mission to share their volunteering movement across the country which will include visits to Woodstock and Wyangala.

In the past, The Big Lift has visited regional towns on its journey to Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

However, this year, The Big Lift will change direction and travel south to assist regional towns in NSW and VIC on its way to Melbourne.

Founded on the philosophy of 'Paying it Forward', The Big Lift is a student run, volunteer organisation that takes two busloads of students on a nine day bus trip through regional Australia to complete various projects.

These projects have included painting, gardening, cleaning and simple construction/ deconstruction tasks.

With a focus on community engagement, The Big Lift works closely with the towns to provide help where it is needed.

"The Big Lift gives students a unique experience to discover how simple, rewarding and fun it is to help out the community," says communications graduate and President of The Big Lift, Jen Ng.

"The trip shows people that if they come together for a great cause, real change can be achieved," she said.

One TBL bus will be visiting Woodstock to help the CWA with some painting and gardening, while the other bus will be visiting Wyangala to help renovate the local school.

Each bus will be arriving in their town on the evening of Saturday, July 9 departing in the afternoon of Sunday July 10.

"I've seen so many students do great things for their community after being inspired by the volunteering projects they participated in on past trips. In a generation that has every potential to become positively connected with the world, The Big Lift plays an essential role in building that sense of community," Ms Ng said.

"The Big Lift aims to help create global citizens that are socially conscious and empowered to be a part of things they want to see changed."

The Big Lift is sponsored by the University of Technology Sydney (Student Services, Faculty of Health, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences), UTS International (BUiLD and Community Connections), Activate UTS, Pegasus Coaches, ResMed, and ING Direct.

Read more here

Clubs and Societies: The Big Lift

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Summer Trip 30th Jan - 9th Feb, 2016

Yass tribune: GUNNING NEWS AND VIEWS

Feb 12, 2016 By Ann Darbyshire

 

THE BIG LIFT

There was a small invasion of young volunteers last week from the University of Technology, Sydney, part of The Big Lift, founded on the philosophy of “Paying it Forward”. It is a student run organisation taking students on a week long bus trip through regional NSW towns to complete volunteer projects. 

Gunning quickly accepted the offer to be included in their 2016 itinerary. Not only did the Lions Club of Gunning benefit but so did Gunning Early Learning Centre, Gunning District Landcare, Gunning Uniting Church, Gunning Community Care, Gunning & District Historical Society and Gunning PA&I Society.

FIRST TIME OUTSIDE SYDNEY

These young people vacuumed, dusted, cleaned windows, weeded, pruned, shifted equipment and supplies, hefted rocks and became experts in cleaning stables and yards. For some this was their first taste of life outside Sydney, seeing how small rural communities run.

(Back) Lyn Morphett and Libby Eather, Gunning Early Learning Centre, with their "awesome" Big Lift volunteers (at front) Peter Khuu, Rachana Kumar and Cindy Lin.

Many thanks to everyone in the UTS “Big Lift 2016” team - you were a real pleasure to work with. See you back in Gunning soon!

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Cooma-Monaro Express: VISITING VOLUNTEERS HELP THE ENVIRONMENT 

Feb 11, 2016 By Elena Guarracino

ABOUT 30 students from the University of Technology Sydney spent two days at Dalgety, helping with the rehabilitation of the Snowy River, before working in Jindabyne on the restoration of the creek running through the Sport and Recreation Centre.

Iona Cafe and Nursery owner at Dalgety, Julie Pearson welcomed the student visit saying it was a great opportunity for students to learn about the rehabilitation of the Snowy River while enjoying the hospitality of a small community.

"The Dalgety community is proud of its environment and especially the Snowy River," Mrs Pearson said.

South East Local Land Services (SE LLS) Snowy River biodiversity manager, Leon Miners, said SE LLS was a key partner in last week's activities at Dalgety.

"Visiting students' participation in activities was made possible through the Australian government funded Snowy River Biodiversity Project and the NSW Environmental Trust funded Awakening the Slumbering Giant Project," Mr Miners said.

"In exchange, the students worked to assist in project works to protect and restore the river.

"They prepared a site for tree planting this year, cleared weeds from existing plantings and replanted an area where trees had perished."

President of the student volunteer group - The Big Lift, Jen Ng said it was a very enjoyable , well rounded and educational experience, and fitting for the group to visit Jindabyne after working on the Snowy River at Dalgety.

"We were already equipped with a lot of knowledge about the need for the restoration of the Snowy River," Ms Ng

"We divided up into three groups and worked with the Jindabyne Sport and Recreation Centre staff to remove debris from the creek, and plant native plants.

"It was a very rewarding experience as students said they were immediately able to see improved results of their efforts."

The students' visit was part of an eight day volunteering tour of rural towns of NSW.

 Read more here

Summit sun: MANY HANDS HELP THE SNOWY RIVER

Feb 4, 2016 By Elena Guarracino

A busload of university students visited Dalgety this week, to lend a helping hand with the ongoing rehabilitation of the Snowy River.

The students from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), stayed in Dalgety and volunteered their time over two days as part of an eight day volunteering tour of regional NSW.

Iona Cafe and Nursery owner Julie Pearson said the student visit was a great opportunity for students to learn about the rehabilitation of Snowy River and at the same time enjoy the hospitality of a small community, proud of its environment and especially the Snowy River.

"Although this is a short visit, it is hoped that these students will leave with a lasting impression of our rural community and the importance of the rehabilitation of the iconic Snowy River," Mrs Pearson said.

Mrs Pearson said the idea behind the tour to give back to the community is a great one.

"It is also really good that the Local Land Services are able to share their knowledge and expertise of the issues affecting the Snowy River, with these students," Mrs Pearson said.

"The businesses at Dalgety were happy to be involved in this project, and are always keen to see people leave our town with a positive understanding of the great work being undertaken on the Snowy River rehabilitation." she said.

Removing weeds and planting native trees and plants are university student volunteers, Tara Nguyen, Rachana Kumar, Elisha Sharma, Peter Khuu and Big Lift president Jen Ng at the Dalgety Showground on Monday.

Snowy River Biodiversity project manager, Leon Miners, said South East Local Land Services (SE LLS) was a key partner in the weekend's activities at Dalgety.

"Visiting students' participation in activities was made possible through the Australian government funded Snowy River Biodiversity Project and the NSW Environmental Trust funded Awakening the Slumbering Giant Project." Mr Miners said.

"In exchange, the students worked to assist in project works to protect and restore the river.

"They prepared a site for tree planting this year, cleared weeds from existing plantings and replanted an area where trees had perished."

The university students are members of an organisation called The Big Lift, a student run, volunteer organisation founded on the altruistic philosophy of doing good deeds for others and expecting nothing in return, to make the world a better place.

Big Lift president Jen Ng said the visit had been a very well rounded, educational experience for everyone.

"Since the Snowy River restoration in Dalgety is such a big project, we saw it as a great opportunity to stay in the town for two days so we could make more of an impact," Ms Ng said.

"It has been an amazing experience.

"It's one of those things, the Snowy Scheme, it's something we, I guess know about, and we've heard about it, but we didn't really know what it's all about and how it's affected the area, the Snowy River, and how important the Snowy River is to the town and how it's changed over time," she said.

Dalgety Show Society president Trish Guerny thanked the students for the work they did along the river at the showground, following on from previous work done last week by the Cooma corrective services workers.

"It has made the area look really good for the Dalgety Show coming up in March," Ms Guerny said.

"There will be free tickets if any of you come back for the show," she said.

Read more here

Winter Trip 4th - 12th July, 2015

Narromine News: STUDENTS DROP IN TO LEND A HAND

July 17, 2015

Recently a contingent of 40 students from Sydney University of Technology arrived in Trangie and were welcomed by members of the Trangie Action Group.

The group is part of a university-based program called The Big Lift. 

Each year for the past five years, members of the group have made the journey from Sydney to Brisbane, stopping at selected small towns en route to carry out four hours of community service in return for a meal and one night's accommodation.

In welcoming the visitors, Mayor Bill McAnally spoke about the positive aspects of a rural lifestyle and the dependence on suitable weather conditions for various farming activities before expressing his appreciation for the group's decision to include Trangie in the list of towns to benefit from this very worthwhile project. Deb and Andrew Cayzer, new owners of Trangie Caravan Park, very generously made their facilities available for an al-fresco style meal, ably catered for by Trangie Action Group and thoroughly enjoyed around the campfire setting before swags were unrolled at the sporting complex for what was hoped would be a good night's sleep, given the freezing conditions outside. 

Spokesperson for the group, Jen Ng said that the group was overwhelmed by the hospitality and friendliness of the local townspeople.

While the visitors expressed their appreciation with a number of resounding 'buddies', the Action Group members were equally impressed by the enthusiasm with which the group approached the tasks allocated.

A number of local, not-for-profit organisations, including the Vinnies Centre, the CWA rooms and showground benefited from the group's whirlwind stopover, with the result that some overdue tasks are now completed.

Read more here

2MaxFM 91.3: Interview with The Big Lift 

Listen to the interview here

The Courier: THE BIG LIFT: STUDENTS ON A MISSION TO PAY IT FORWARD

July 16, 2015

Students from the University of Technology, Sydney have moved on to their next destination after lending a hand with community projects in Narrabri, volunteering their time and effort for local organisations.

The students are part of The Big Lift, a student-run university society aiming to have a meaningful impact on rural and regional communities through a range of volunteer projects.

Ten regional towns are selected to be visited by the group based on where they could use the help.

After arriving the 80 participants piled into Narrabri Public School's hall to get a night’s rest before a hard day's work.

They worked with local groups including the Salvation Army, Narrabri and District Community Aid Service Inc., Narrabri Public School, the Racecourse, Showground and Dirt Bike Club. They assisted with general maintenance, cleaning and gardening.

"Most of the group haven't been to rural or remote Australia," said crew member, Jen Ng. A range of domestic and international students participated in this year's volunteer trip.

"It's a great opportunity to explore our own backyard, and for the international students to see more of Australia than they probably would’ve seen," added Big Lift President, Louisa Scott.

The trip has been a huge success, with feedback being very positive.

"It's an overwhelming experience for our hosts to have 80 of us show up and get so much work done," said Jen.

"But it's also an overwhelming experience for us to see how generous people can be."

The towns have provided accommodation to the two busloads of students, and at least one free meal.

Read more here

Canowindra Phoneix: The Big Lift Bus Comes To Town

8 July, 2015 By Rosi Broom

A busload of students from the University of Technology in Sydney visited Canowindra on the 4th of July to lend a hand at the Public School, Preschool and the Community Garden.

The Big Lift is a student run university society which takes about 80 students from Sydney to various regional towns to complete volunteer projects ranging from painting, gardening and demolishing unused buildings.

The group arrived on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed activities including a scavenger hunt and a visit to the Age of Fishes Museum.

On Sunday the enthusiastic group of students worked hard on the Canowindra Public School chicken coop and veggie patch as well as doing some general maintenance on the building. There were also students working on the Canowindra Community Garden and other horticultural work at the Canowindra Preschool.

“We loved Canowindra,” said Town Organiser Daniel Martinez, “and we had an amazing dinner organised by the Canowindra P&C for which we were very, very grateful.” The bus will continue its’ 9 day journey from Sydney to the Gold Coast and back again.

Louisa Scott, a final year communications student and President of The Big Lift says “the idea is if we keep doing our little bit, the world will keep being a better place. The Big Lift helps students break free from the cycle of a degree, as they find a community of like-minded individuals and they get to talk to real people who do huge things for real communities.”

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