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Volunteers return to information centres

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Volunteer Janet Blackmore and Bundaberg Tourism Visitor Services and Sales Manager Chantele Nelson at the Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre.

Bundaberg Visitor Information Centre volunteer Janet Blackmore is glad to be back promoting the Bundaberg Region to visitors.

Janet is part of a team of volunteers working out of the Bundaberg Information Centre, which only just welcomed back its volunteers this week after a five-month COVID hiatus.

For most of the volunteers that temporary closure was five months too long and Janet, who has been volunteering at the visitor centre for 16 years, said it was great to be back.

“It’s just amazing to be back, I’ve really missed it,” she said.

“I’ve been here 16 years in October, and I plan to be here another 14 years.”

Janet finds pleasure in uncovering the lesser-known parts of Bundaberg’s past, as well as the lesser-known locations in the region.

It’s also the people that come through the door that make the job worthwhile and she said it was the responsibility of volunteers to represent Bundaberg.

“When I first started, we were told that the people who walk through the door are our boss, so it’s up to us to keep the people in Bundaberg,” she said.

“We have so many amazing locations such as the Botanical Gardens, Hinkler Hall of Aviation, the trains going around the Botanic Gardens on Sundays, or you can walk along the Burnett River.”

“You’ve got places like Woodgate, which is only a 30-minute drive away and Childers and Gin Gin which are full of history.

“I just have a great love for people, and I find it all fascinating.”

Janet said the information centre is a place for locals to use as well as visitors and that since reopening there had been strong numbers of local Queensland visitors.

The centre, which closed in March as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, reopened on 12 June with volunteers only returning this week.

Bundaberg Tourism Visitor Service and Sales Manager, Chantele Nelson, said the centre just wasn’t complete without the volunteers who played a vital part in sharing knowledge and promoting the region.

“Our volunteers are vital members of the Bundaberg Tourism family,” Chantele said.

“They continuously donate their time to promote our amazing region to the thousands of visitors that enter out Visitor Information Centres throughout the year.”

“They will always offer a warm, welcome, exceptional customer service and incredible local knowledge.”