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John Curtin Weekend 2009

News story

John Curtin Weekend, the largest university volunteer project in Australia, kicks off today.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the event, which began in 1999 with only six student volunteers.

John Curtin Weekend began as John Curtin Day, commemorating the anniversary of John Curtin becoming the Prime Minister of Australia on October 7 1941. Prime Minister Curtin was known for his strong commitment to community service.

The annual event is bigger than ever this year with around 500 volunteers undertaking various tasks in 38 different sites over four weekends.

Coordinator Maureen Meredith playfully described the weekend as a ‘working holiday for 500 volunteers.’

‘John Curtin Weekend is the only community project in WA where everyone benefits from it, be it the country town, the metropolitan site, the townspeople, and especially the volunteers,’ she said.

‘It is especially worthwhile for international students who get an opportunity to travel to the a rural town and experience country life and country hospitality.’

This year volunteers will be involved in the events such as the Dardanup Bull and Barrel Festival, the Kulin Bush Races and the Collie Mainpeak Marathon. Other volunteer tasks include collecting historical artefacts from an old mining ghost town, assisting in a Koala park and designing an interpretive garden.

Ms Meredith said the unsung heroes of John Curtin Weekend were the 20 bus drivers who volunteer their time over the weekends.

‘The bus drivers we have are incredible…theirs is the biggest responsibility of all, we really couldn’t do it without them,’ she said.

CV! put together a clip of  highlights from last year’s John Curtin Weekend on Youtube.

For more information, including a list of events, check out the John Curtin Weekend page on the CV! website.

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