Byron Bay English Language School (BBELS) launched its first volunteer projects in May 2012 and has received positive feedback from participating students.
Sonia Margagliotta, the programme co-ordinator, reports that 20 students have already become full-time volunteers after completing their English language course at BBELS, "and it’s growing and growing".
The positive feedback has encouraged BBELS to provide a bigger range of projects. Sonia contacts associations such as the Dolphin Research Australia, as many students coming to Byron Bay are marine biologists who want to gain some work experience in Byron. "These associations are looking for research people, but also volunteers for their fundraisers, event management, marketing and heaps more,” Sonia says.
-Evelyn from Chile, who studied environmental management and volunteered with the dolphins
-Tomoko from Japan, who joined the permaculture project, looked after the herbal nursery at a primary school in Brunswick and worked in the community gardens in Mullumbimby
-Satomi from Japan, who won an award for being the best volunteer working at the Byron Bay Lighthouse in 2012 (see photo)
More information on the volunteering programmes
More information on BBELS