Thanks to our Round House volunteers
The City of Fremantle is celebrating the generous contributions made by volunteers in the community and sharing their stories during National Volunteer Week, held from 18–24 May 2020.
The Round House, our state’s oldest public building, is manned by the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides during opening hours. They welcome visitors, recount stories about the historic building, raise the flags and fire the time gun each day.
While the Round House is currently closed due to COVID-19 health restrictions, we asked some of the volunteers what they enjoyed most about their role and what they’re looking forward to when their volunteering program begins again.
Sue Underwood used to volunteer one shift per week at the Round House, one shift per week at Fremantle Visitor Centre and assisted with the City’s cruise ship ambassador program.
“I had spent 50 years working in various aspects of travel and tourism, so I felt I was really of help and had lots to offer,” Sue said.
“Volunteering at the Round House was such a joy; I’ve learnt heaps and I felt that I was helping visitors appreciate this fantastic piece of Fremantle.
“I look forward to catching up with everyone, dusting off my cobwebs and getting stuck into it again.”
Gordana Plosnic used to be tourist guide in Europe and was very interested in doing the same kind of work here in Western Australia, so she joined the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides at the Round House.
“The Round House volunteering role provided me with the great opportunity to do what I like the most – present a very important historical heritage building to tourists coming from all over the world,” Gordana said.
“I miss volunteering days very much – all the fun with tourists, answering their questions, explaining the bits and pieces of history and helping them get great photos.”
“I hope soon we will continue with the volunteer program. For me it is the best spent time when I am there. Meeting a lot of interesting individuals, the challenge to get their attention and help them fall in love with all that they see.”
Liz Dracopoulos volunteered in the Gunners’ Cottages in an administration role, as well as a Guide at the Round House.
“I enjoy picking up new skills and learning about the history of WA, including the beginnings of the Swan River Colony, crime and punishment in colonial times (particularly relating to the Round House) and about the traditional owners of the area.,” Liz said.
“As a ‘learner’ by inclination, I really enjoy expanding my knowledge and, on occasion, having the chance to share that.
“I miss the regular interaction with a nice team of people and getting on with my tasks I was working on before COVID-19 struck.
“It will be good to take up where I left off and get stuck in to the task of sorting and organising the information resources for the Library. It will also be nice to be in contact with my coworkers again, I miss that.”
For more information about the Fremantle Round House and becoming a volunteer when the building reopens, visit fremantleroundhouse.com.au/volunteers.