GALLERY: Hundreds turn out to thank Gympie's volunteers
THE FACES behind Gympie's impressive volunteer numbers were on hand to celebrate National Volunteers week at the Civic Centre yesterday morning.
Some of the region's longest-serving volunteers were among the estimated 150-strong crowd attending the Gympie Regional Council-sponsored event to recognise their peers' community contributions.
With 8,590 (21.2%) locals involved in voluntary work according to the 2016 ABS Census of Population and Housing, the Gympie local government area ranked higher than the statewide average of 18.8%, something event MC Jules Delgado said was a reflection of the region's strong community feel.
"That's what sets Gympie from everybody else. I've lived all around Australia ... and in country areas ... and our sense of community is just so strong,” the Meals on Wheels volunteer coordinator said.
"I would challenge anybody to find ... the volunteer support that we have in Gympie.
"Without volunteers there is no Gympie, everything in Gympie would shut down.”
Featured speaker, 15-year police volunteer and 2017 Senior Citizen of the Year Marie Vella said it was a "great honour” to be recognised amongst her fellow volunteers.
Victory College students donated their time to serve food and drinks and provide entertainment at the event, as part of the school's aim to reach 1000 hours of community service across 2018.
Speakers also included OzHarvest coordinator Michele Lipner, Mayor Mick Curran and Member for Gympie Tony Perrett.
Check out our gallery from the event below: