National Volunteer Week is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. From 8–14 May 2017 thousands of events across the country will be held to say thank you to the 6 million Australians who volunteer.

National Volunteer Week celebrates the theme of Give Happy, Live Happy as research indicates that people who volunteer their time and skills live happier and healthier lives.

Volunteering Australia recognises that volunteering is a core part of the community and plays a critical role in Australian society, and in Australia’s economy. Volunteers form a formidable workforce powering many essential community, environmental, sporting, welfare, emergency services, education and cultural services.

This is certainly true at the Y Water Discovery Centre in Yea where an enthusiastic and dedicated team of more than forty local volunteers support the Centre with a range of skills and expertise. Volunteers help keep the Centre open 7 days a week by providing visitor information services, offering guided tours of the Yea Wetlands, assisting with the school programs and holiday activities, and cleaning and maintaining the Centre and gardens. The Centre is also managed by a committee of 6 local volunteers, the Y Water Centre Association Inc.

Chairman David Anderson says, “Our volunteers are our most important asset and vital to the success and ongoing sustainability of the Centre. We are extremely fortunate to have such a committed team. They are the real strength behind the Centre and its operations and are an extraordinary group of dedicated and knowledgeable locals who are terrific ambassadors for the region”.

There are currently a range of volunteering opportunities available at the Centre starting from as little as 4 hours a fortnight. Staff at the Centre are always keen to hear from locals interested in joining the team. As well as helping out at the Centre volunteers can participate in a range of social activities and visits to key destinations and attractions in the region.

It’s a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, gain experience and generally have fun!” said Mr Anderson.

To find out how to get involved contact the Y Water Discovery Centre on 5797 2663 or visit

The Y Water Discovery Centre has released its new strategic plan for the period 2017-2021. The five year plan comes as the Centre approaches the end of its second year of operation.

The process leading to the new strategic plan began last October when a half day review was conducted by Keith Ryall, a leading international facilitator with wide experience conducting reviews. With input from members of the Executive of the Y Water Discovery Centre, the Centre’s two staff, members of the Yea Wetlands Committee of Management, the Yea Wetlands Trust and volunteers, the process was finalised last month.

The Centre’s Executive was pleased with the opening period of the Centre’s operation based on the original business plan of the community based planning committee but considered the time was right for a new strategic plan to be adopted.

The plan identifies the vision for the Centre’s managers to develop pride in the Y Water Discovery Centre as a unique, valuable and sustainable community asset providing a distinct and memorable experience for visitors. The Centre’s programs seek to achieve this through the services provided by the Visitor Information Service, the Centre’s education programs and through engagement with the community.

The Centre seeks to establish strong external relationships with key stakeholders including the Murrindindi Shire Council, the Wetlands Committee of Management, the Wetlands Trust, the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and the Taungurang people.

With much of the economy of Yea based on tourism, a close relationship with Yea business is a major priority for the Centre as it seeks to grow not just the Discovery Centre as a destination but the town and region as well.

The plan was officially released in late March when the Centre Managers welcomed Murrindindi Shire Councillors to the Centre. The meeting enabled the Executive to present its annual report to Council and discuss matters of common interest in implementing the plan.

The strategic plan can be viewed online here or at the Centre.


Come along to the Y Water Discovery Centre at Yea Wetlands and join in a program full of fun and educational activities for primary school aged children.
Places are limited so bookings are essential. Gold coin donations appreciated. 
Wednesday 5th & Wednesday 12th April, 10:00am - 11.30am

Volunteers and staff at the Y Water Discovery Centre @ Yea Wetlands are now well equipped and informed about providing emergency care should any of the 30,000 annual visitors to the Centre be unfortunate enough to suffer a heart attack. This is all thanks to the generosity of the Yea & District Community Bank which provided the funding to purchase an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) now located at the Y Water Discovery Centre.

Applied correctly, and used in conjunction with prompt artificial respiration (CPR), this important piece of equipment can play a vital role in reviving patients who have suffered cardiac arrest. Mick Jackson from First Aid for Life conducted the training session and advised participants that these first aid measures can increase the chance of recovery for a heart attack patient from 30% to 80%.The training will help volunteers to assist visitors in need, as well as any of their own family or friends in need of emergency assistance.

Don Knight, Deputy Chair of the Y Water Centre Association, the managers of the Centre, thanked Branch Manager Lyn Southurst and Russell Wealands, a Director of Yea & District Community Bank, for their ongoing support and generosity to this community led venture.

In responding, Russell explained that it was through the Bank’s loyal customers that the Community Bank was able to return the funds necessary to support community projects like the Y Water Discovery Centre.

“Our Board is extremely proud to be able to assist the Centre, its staff and volunteers to provide emergency care for our community’s health,” he added.  “We encourage everyone here today to spread the word, contact Lyn and the friendly staff and consider the benefits of community banking”.With this latest grant the Yea Community Bank has now contributed over $130,000 to the local community.

If you’d like to find out more about the Centre’s activities visit or call 5797 2663.



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