Holiday program gets award nomination

February 13, 2024 BY

Helping out: Last year thirty-two students from local high schools participated in Bendigo Health’s School Holiday Volunteer Program. Photo: SUPPLIED

BENDIGO Health is a finalist for the State’s 2023 Volunteering Awards.  

The organisation nominated itself for the Volunteering Innovation Award for its School Holiday Volunteer Program. 

The program allows any high school students under 18 interested in working in the health sector to spend three days of their holidays volunteering alongside a Bendigo Health volunteer.  

“For us, it was also an opportunity to create a sustainable way to bring young people into our health service for the purpose of volunteering,” said Bendigo Health director of volunteer services Sharon Walsh.  

“They’re learning on the job about what volunteers do, but they’re also getting an environmental experience of the health service to help them think about their careers, but also think about community participation and giving back to community. 

“Our aim really was to provide them a pathway into a health career.” 

Ms Walsh said the hospital is liaising with La Trobe University to see if an agreement can be reached about granting preferential admission to applicants who have done the program. 

“We’ve started conversations with La Trobe University and we’re hoping that we will be able to be part of their Aspire program which means that students undertaking our program would be able to use that program in their applications,” she said. 

“That means that they’ll get preferential treatment in any course at any La Trobe.” 

The organisation hopes to be able to say more about it in April.  

The winners of the 28 Volunteering Awards will be announced at a ceremony at Government House on Tuesday 27 February.