Where did we go?
"Some of us went up to the Historical Museum and tidied up the gardens there, all the while having the owner explain the history of the town and the significance of the museum while
we worked. We gave it all we had – we raked the leaves around the whole building, we cut weeds to allow flowers to peek through and some of the boys climbed up onto the roof to clear the gutters and trim the trees. When it was time to break for morning tea we were ushered into the museum and invited to explore the vintage collections for free.
The one key thing I took away from my time in my beloved town of Canowindra is that you might not feel that providing a listening ear, an extra hand or a strong shoulder to shovel some
manure may make a huge amount of difference, to the people receiving it, its meaning is multiplied tenfold." Melissa Jimenez
peak hill, nsw
"In Peak Hill, we split up into 2 group with 15 people heading to Peak Hill Showground to do some painting. The rest of us went to the local nature walk where in smaller groups we did a variety of tasks including restoring boardwalks, steps, paths, weeding, planting trees and creating guards for the tree to protect them. We were told that what we did in 4 hours would take them about a year to do as getting volunteers to help out on a regular basis is a constant struggle. I really enjoyed talking with and getting to know some of the people of Peak Hill, fantastic experience." Catherine Walsh
"The bus was split into 3 groups with each tackling a separate task of painting, olive picking or tree planting. Each task was quite light which allowed conversation to flow. Shortly into the 4 hour project all 3 teams were finished and had gathered around the olive trees to chat . We began to ask the CROPS team for more work shortly after the whole bus was bringing mulch down a hill to a garden. Everyone was proud of what we accomplished at the town, exceeding the expectations of the community. With strong relationship foundations formed, the bus moved onto the next town, excited for the new things ahead." Justin Cai
"The bus was split into groups that went into town to help with several projects which included jobs like cleaning windows of shops in central town, vacuuming and cleaning the interiors and painting the exterior of the public school as well as weeding and tidying up the garden areas. I participated with two others in window cleaning along the main road through Trangie and was pleasantly surprised with the openness of the locals. Many would approach us on their way to the shops and have a conversation with us about where we were from and what we
were doing. They themselves would share what it was like living in Trangie and the history of the town." Dominic Leo
"10 Lifters assisted at the Walgett Community Garden to help with basic labour tasks such as weeding, refilling the mulch and planting. Another 10 assisted in a grueling exercise of
excavating, transporting and creating a new sandpit for the community. Our group of 40 students were given the responsibility to carefully repaint the giant serpent
and snakes and ladders outline located under the shade structures. It was an absolute joy to live out the TBL values and see how much of an impact a group of university
students can make together." Justine Da Jose
"In Tingha, we assisted BEST Nursery to deconstruct two shade houses, that were held down by concrete and mud. These shade houses were going to be relocated to provide shelter for fresh produce that will be distributed to over 100 households in Tingha. To hear the amazing work that had been already been accomplished, we couldn’t wait to get started. I had the chance to witness the amazing power of communities coming together for a such a great cause." Ai Chih Lim
"Tenterfield is famous for horse riding and its main industry, beef cattle breeding. Right in front of the location for my group’s service project were cows and a horse
galloping in what seemed to look like a local park. It was a fascinating sight especially for a group of University students from urban Sydney. My group visited a community centre for people with mental and emotional needs. We built the fences from scratch starting with the cement with the help of a local tradesman. The coordinators were very nice and accommodating that they even prepared morning tea and lunch for us with the help of their clients." Willyn Carrascal
"It was bitter sweet as we arrived to our final town of Blackbutt in Queensland, at what a warm welcoming we had! Meeting the kind and generous locals that night was a pleasure and they were very hospitable to 40 students which they had never met before.
Having already volunteered in 4 towns, the participants were still high on the pay-it-forward spirit and eager to get their hands dirty. We volunteered with Blackbutt and Benarkin Aged Care Association, painting signs and cleaning the storage shed out for the the Scott Haven Bloomin Beautiful Blackbutt Festival, painting and recoating the facilities at the Blackbutt Show Society and showgrounds, tree planting and mulching with the local Landcare group FEAT and restoration works with the BBH&T Association. As always, it was sad leaving a town which was so open and welcoming to us all and treated us like family." Ganan Ganeshanantham
"In Clifton, we split into eight smaller groups to work on a variety of projects across the town. Students helped out at the Clifton Railway Garden by trimming, weeding, hammering horseshoes and realigning fences. We also worked around the newly built Clifton Medical Centre by weeding and wheelbarrowing peanut shell mulch onto the garden beds. Another group helped at the Clifton Lions Club by working around the garden and painting. Two students worked at the ‘Dabblers’ Art Centre doing painting, and another few helped the Clifton Jockey Club at the stables. There were also people at the local Museum sanding walls. Two groups of 3 students also had the chance to travel to nearby towns Felton and Cambooya, cleaning, weeding and painting around the Felton hall and painting the Anglican Church at Cambooya." Lucy Day-Williams
SURFERS PARADISE, QLD
"We engaged into our “Pay it forward” spirit to the people of Gold Coast by carrying out in “random acts of kindness”. The activity was to spend $20 on however way we wished amongst our groups and to share the kindness in the value of a tangible figure, or an act, which would show the essence of our society. Groups engaged in giving out flowers, post- it stickers with an encouraging message, free hugs to strangers etc. Afterwards, “The Flash Mob”… The final most anticipated activity had arrived. Scattered around the main strip of Surfers Paradise, it was time for the big famous show. To the tune of “There’s nothing holding me back” by Shawn Mendes, we gathered, and danced away with smiles, enthusiasm, and joy… It was the perfect way to embrace newly formed friendships, with the form of joy and love that radiates from you and from the others that shared this journey with you." Seiki Okuma