For the past 18 months, Barbara Hunter Sadowski has been a devoted volunteer at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery, dedicating 10 hours a week to contribute to the cultural enrichment of the community. In this time, the gallery has welcomed around 500 to 2000 visitors, creating a vibrant and engaging space for art lovers.

Barbara’s passion for volunteering spans across continents, with a remarkable 30 years of volunteering experience in Australia, followed by tenures in New Zealand, Sweden, Nepal, Africa, and the USA. Her love for both volunteering and art brought her to the doors of the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery.

“I love volunteering, and I love art too,” Barbara shares, reflecting on the joy she finds in contributing to the community and fostering a creative environment. Her moments of joy are frequent, especially when she commences a task, only to find the eager assistance of Sam Ravenau, who is always ready to lend a helping hand. Their collaborative efforts make volunteering a pleasure for Barbara.

When asked about advice for potential volunteers, Barbara emphasises the intrinsic nature of volunteering as a gratifying experience. She notes, “Volunteering is gratis. My advice is not to expect thanks. But it is a bonus when my work is appreciated.” Her perspective underlines the selfless and rewarding nature of volunteer work, where the act of giving itself becomes the greatest reward.

Describing her volunteer journey in one phrase, Barbara chooses, “I like to help. It’s easy to volunteer. Where I am needed, you know I’ll be there.” This simple yet powerful sentiment captures Barbara’s commitment to making a difference wherever she goes. Her willingness to be there where she is needed highlights the essence of community service, making her a valuable asset to the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery.

Barbara stands as an inspiring example of a volunteer whose love for helping others and passion for art converge to create a positive impact on the cultural landscape of Hervey Bay.