National Volunteer Week

Volunteering Posted Dec 15, 2020
Over 5,000 hard working volunteers are the heart and soul behind RSPCA Queensland. It's National Volunteer Week on May 20-26.

Ever considered volunteering with the RSPCA? Apply today! If you have a few hours free each week, it can be a highly rewarding experience!

Our volunteers are the reason the RSPCA can save so many lives each year. Not only will you be helping the animals in our care, you'll feel great knowing the spare hours you have are going towards making a valuable difference within the community.

We have a wide range of volunteer roles on offer at the RSPCA. From positions at our RSPCA Adoption Centres right across Queensland to retail opportunities at our Op Shops, World for Pets stores and Sit, Drop Shop stores. We're also always looking for volunteers to drive our Animal Ambulance vehicles to help rescue domestic and wild animals. The variety of volunteer roles are endless.

Every volunteer at the RSPCA plays an essential part in helping animals and in the past year alone, volunteers have given up over 519,000 hours of their time to help.

Meet some of our inspiring volunteers

Graham Carter

Graham has been volunteering with RSPCA Qld since 2000, donating over 4,700 hours of his time!

Graham is one of our most dedicated volunteers and is incredibly passionate about and committed to animal welfare. Over the past 19 years, Graham has volunteered continuously as our Curator. He is responsible for RSPCA Qld historical resources and their uses. He catalogues and maintains RSPCA Qld historical objects, documents and photographic records. In simple terms he is responsible for maintaining and showcasing RSPCA Qld’s complex and fascinating history.

Graham has always had a very “hands on” role with the animals. From 2008 -2014, he volunteered with the Animal Rehabilitation team and assisted with the rehabilitation of respite and cruelty case dogs.  This work is emotionally challenging and can go on for years while our Inspectors and legal team prosecute owners who have either neglected to care for their animals or have deliberately mistreated them.

Graham is also a dedicated foster carer, opening his home to RSPCA animals in need of a safe and loving environment. In addition, Graham and his own pets have showcased dog training with the RSPCA Dog Demonstration Team at RSPCA Qld and at public events, helping to educate and engage the community about training and positive reinforcement. He volunteers his time regularly at special events run by RSPCA Qld.

rspca volunteer graham carter

Graham coaches and mentors new RSPCA Qld volunteers and helps develop their skills and knowledge of our work. He has also greatly assisted many students by maintaining RSPCA Qld’s archives and preserving our proud history for future generations. He has time for everyone and nothing is ever 'too much trouble'. His motto is, “Yes we can. We can make it happen." The hundreds of animals that have benefited from his compassion are proof of exactly that.

Graham represents our organisation and what we stand for in so many different ways. He truly lives and breathes the RSPCA mission of Helping Animals, Enlightening People and Changing Lives. For many years Graham has been a huge asset to the team of staff and other volunteers who work to provide the best care and rehabilitation possible for the animals in the shelters. Nowadays his efforts in also archiving our history and helping in other ways will have a longstanding effect on our charity and we cannot thank him enough for all the different ways he contributes.

Chuen Man Chang

Chuen Man volunteers as a photographer in our Creative Team. Chuen Man will often go above and beyond by helping in our Animal Care team on Public Holidays too. He is a fastidious volunteer who gets on with the job at hand. When he isn’t volunteering at the RSPCA, he is still changing the lives of animals in need.

In 2015, Chuen Man went to Nepal to help the recovery effort after an earthquake that devastated the community. During his time there he noticed a number of issues that the street dogs were facing. He began rescuing and treating the sick and injured dogs one by one, but after realising the magnitude of the problem at hand, he knew that he needed help. It was estimated that there were 22,000 roaming dogs in Kathmandu and Nepal. Chuen Man established Home Street Home: Nepal Community Dog Project, implementing a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) Program. Each year Chuen Man recruits the volunteers required for the program and seeks support from veterinarians to assist with assessing the dogs, desexing surgeries and administering vaccinations. He provides Pet First Aid training to all of the volunteers, not only to educate them, but to ensure that they will be effective in the field. In 2017, Chuen Man helped 66 dogs which jumped to 203 in 2018 and this year he is aiming to change the lives of 400 dogs!

rspca volunteer chuen man chang

This year when he returned to Nepal, he was touched when he saw two dogs from his project in 2017 that greeted him like an old friend. Thanks to Chuen Man and his team, Birkhe and Pima are living a happy and healthy life in the community. You can read a full interview with Chuen Man in Issue 3 of The Biscuit Magazine. 

Chuen Man also has a stall at the West End markets, where he sells handmade items from villages in Nepal to help raise money for the cause. Chuen Man is a genuine, kind person who loves animals and goes above and beyond to make a difference to their lives. Chuen Man is living RSPCA Qld’s mission to help animals, enlighten people and change lives not only in Australia but also abroad!

Emmalene Klan

Emmalene has been volunteering with RSPCA Qld in our Farmyard area since June 2018. She never fails to show up for her usual shift, stays back late if necessary, as well as showing up to help sometimes on the weekends or holidays.

Emmalene grew up on a farm so she knows a lot about farmyard animals.  This really helps our Animal Attendants and saves a lot of time with explanations. Emmalene also helps with training and support of other volunteers. Our Farmyard animals are located all over the campus at Wacol, and the Animal Attendants can’t be everywhere at once. Having someone as reliable as Emmalene is a massive lifesaver!

rspca volunteer emmalene klan

Over the last few weeks, RSPCA Qld has seen a large number of Farmyard animals come into care. Being able to rely on Emmalene to do what needs to be done is a huge helping hand!

Thank you Emmalene for all your hard work! It is because of volunteers like you that we can help animals, enlighten people and change lives!

Deborah Penden 

Creative Writer volunteer Deb, has written more adoption profiles for RSPCA QLD than any other volunteer! She is a great writer and we would like to thank her for her contribution! It all started when Deb met Creative Coordinator Jacqui In 2013 when visiting the RSPCA to view the animals and have a coffee at the café. Since then, Deb has been volunteering in the Creative Writer role, helping to create profiles that promote the personality and backstory of our animals available for adoption. The first adoption profile that Deb wrote was for Benson, a very chilled black and white cat. Deb describes her volunteering experience as, "Something special. Being around the pets and people gives me such a ‘feel good’ high: perhaps it’s because we’re all there working to get the best possible outcomes for the pets that all need a loving family."

rspca volunteer debbie penden

When not volunteering, Deb is a part time high-school English teacher with a swimming habit. To top it off, Deb has recently published her own book she's been working on for four years! The health and well being book, 100 Ways to a Healthy 100 is now available!  One of the key topics that Deb discusses in her book is pet ownership and the health benefits that this brings, we also get a sneaky mention as Deb encourages her readers to adopt from the RSPCA.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Deb’s book you can get more information here. Deb is also holding a book launch in June and it would be great to see you there! 

Sunday 2nd June. Avid Book Reader, West End, Brisbane - 9.30am.

Share this article
Find the perfect pet