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Volunteer Vault #12

Here we bring you the words of Christian (below right), who tells us more about his match with Matthew (below left).

- How long have you been volunteering with Gig Buddies?

My buddy Matt and I got paired just over a year ago in August 2022.

- Is Gig Buddies your first volunteering role?

I volunteered with The Centre for Volunteering back in my uni days and have also done a few one-offs with Sculpture by the Sea before joining Gig Buddies.

- Why do you volunteer with Gig Buddies?

The opportunity to forge lasting connections and cultivate new friendships while engaging in either new or favoured activities, at times convenient to us — these were the key factors that set Gig Buddies apart and compelled me to join.

- How would you describe your volunteering experience with Gig Buddies?

It has been amazing!

Matt and I love animals. Matt's particular enthusiasm lies in reptiles and dinosaurs, which has led us to Taronga Zoo, the Sharks and Hologram Dinosaurs exhibition at the Australian Museum, with exciting plans to visit the Jurassic Park Exhibition in the near future.

We tend to get quite competitive when it comes to air hockey, shooting games and virtual reality experiences, especially after participating in a couple of Gig Buddies’ social events, such as Central Coast Comic Con and gaming sessions at Timezone.

We also enjoyed a few other Gig Buddies socials like attending the premiere screening of Champions, watching the brilliant performance of Jellyfish starring Audrey O’Connor, a few dinners and most recently lunch and crazy shakes at Warnies Cafe (below).

The Gig Buddies staff have been wonderful in facilitating these various socials where we can connect with other pairs and fellow Gig Buddies’ participants.

- Tell us about some of the highlights from your time volunteering with Gig Buddies?

Our first gig was watching Beast, a gripping movie featuring Idris Elba as a father protecting his daughters from a bloodthirsty lion.

A few months later, we went to Taronga Zoo where we couldn't resist the urge to recreate the dramatic scene of the rogue lion attacking Elba's safari jeep. As a matter of fact, there was a napping tiger on top of the jeep when we took the photo (above)!

- What would you say to someone reading this who is thinking about volunteering with Gig Buddies?

Give it a go!

I attended a few Gig Buddies social events before being paired up. The warm and inclusive atmosphere, from staff, participants and volunteers alike, offered me a firsthand glimpse into the remarkable friendships that had flourished among the paired buddies.

Gig Buddies kept me in touch throughout the pairing process and conducted a highly informative training session for volunteers, which was especially beneficial for someone like me who had no prior experience in the area. Furthermore, they invested significant time and effort in matching me with my buddy Matt, and the results were evident. Not only have I gained a wonderful friend in Matt, but we have also shared some remarkable outings together.

Beyond the initial pairing, Gig Buddies remain readily accessible for any inquiries and they also conducted both a 6-month check-in and a 1-year review to ensure a smooth and fulfilling experience for both of us.

Gig Buddies is an exceptionally supportive organisation and community, and my experience with them has been incredibly rewarding.

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