Volunteers play a vital role within the communities they serve and this week they were nationally recognised for their contributions during National Volunteer Week.
The theme for this year's celebration is 'Changing communities. Changing lives', which runs from May 18 to 24.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo has over 100 volunteers and 40 Youth at the Zoo volunteers who assist with fulfilling a range of duties.
Two volunteers making positive changes within the community are Greg Gawthorne and Kristy Ryan, who have been volunteers for two and 13 years respectively.
Both Mr Gawthorne and Ms Ryan are guides for the early morning walk experiences and can be seen helping visitors with any animal related questions across the exhibits.
Mr Gawthorn said it was wonderful volunteers have been recognised for their contribution during National Volunteer Week.
"Because generally, most volunteers don't expect it or look for it," he said. "So, when that recognition does come, it gives you a sense of pride and a feeling of belonging to something that is worthwhile and makes a difference."
Ms Ryan agreed, saying while she and the other volunteers at the Zoo don't set out to for recognition, it was a great feeling to be acknowledged for the time and effort put in.
"We are always acknowledged within our organisation, but to be recognised on a national level amongst all the other fantastic volunteers from all the different volunteer groups is pretty special," she said.
Their advice to others thinking about volunteering was to just give it a try.
"When looking to become a volunteer, consider what you are passionate about and look at opportunities in that field," Ms Ryan said.
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