Relay Volunteers show Commitment and Enthusiasm
Over 200 Australians responded to the ACT Government’s call for enthusiastic volunteers for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Torch Relay held on 24 April 2008. One hundred and thirty volunteers from diverse backgrounds and ranging in age from 18 to 70 were selected to assist with the Torch Relay These volunteers brought with them a wide variety of skills and experience.
There were drivers, shuttle bus coordinators, and media assistants. Each recruit was assigned to a distinct set of tasks, making the role of volunteers vital to the overall success of the event. Some worked as public marshals and information officers, others helped with behind the scenes coordination and many were involved in the logistics of ensuring the convoy of 25 vehicles, in which the torch travelled, made a steady passage through Canberra.
Volunteer Profile - June Pearson
June Pearson assisted the torchbearer coordinator for the Relay in Canberra. Ms Pearson volunteered on the Torch Relay so that she could have a connection with the Olympic Games.
“I was in Canberra during the Sydney 2000 Olympics and I remember the amazing spirit and feeling that surrounded the Torch Relay during that time,” Ms Pearson said.
Ms Pearson's previous professional experience in event management was an asset to the team. By contributing her skills and enthusiasm, Ms Pearson helped to make the high profile event a great success.
“I wanted to do this because the Olympic Games is such an extraordinary event and this is as close as I will ever get to being involved,” Ms Pearson said.
Volunteer Profile - Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams is an avid Olympic follower who saw volunteering as a great opportunity to be involved with the Olympic Games.
"I was excited about meeting new people and witnessing the event first hand”, Mr Williams said.
As a Canberran, Mr Williams also considered becoming a volunteer a good opportunity to make a valuable contribution to his home town. Mr Williams said that volunteering at the Torch Relay was an experience that he would never forget.
“I arrived at the Relay Launch Ceremony at Reconciliation Place at 5.45am to a sea of red flags. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine so many Chinese-Australians would attend. They clearly wanted to show their support for what was a proud moment in their country’s history. Volunteering was a lot of fun and I would do it all again in a second,” Mr Williams said.