BUSY: Big Lift volunteers Jonathon Maven and Heeji Seo busy painting the fencing of the showgrounds main arena.
BUSY: Big Lift volunteers Jonathon Maven and Heeji Seo busy painting the fencing of the showgrounds main arena. Madeline Grace

Big Lift for Blackbutt community groups

THE friendly town of Blackbutt has been treated to a busload of volunteering students all the way from Sydney.

This is the second year in a row 80 students from the University of Technology Sydney, as a part of the Big Lift project, have dropped by Blackbutt.

Big Lift piled all of their students into a bus and then drove them around regional Australia to do all kinds of volunteering for towns in need.

The volunteering included unskilled labour such as painting, gardening, cleaning and construction as well as deconstruction.

The volunteer initiative aimed to help with community engagement was founded on the philosophy of 'paying it forward', and was sponsored by UTS, their faculty of health, faculty of engineering and IT, faculty of business, Activate Clubs, Travelsafe, Respect now and always, and ResMed.

The bus pulled up at Blackbutt on Wednesday night, July 10.

Blackbutt residents involved with organising the volunteer work then dropped by for a little meet and greet, before letting the team turn in early to prepare for Thursday.

Big Lift communications director Daniel Snell said their volunteer team had a huge day on Thursday, July 11.

"We got started around 8am. All of us split up into five different teams to try and get as much work done as possible,” he said.

"Each team was re-directed to a location and a few jobs.

"A lot of the townspeople involved dropped by to provide some direction as well.”

The first lot of volunteer work was done for Blackbutt Heritage and Tourism organisation. There were 21 students dispersed amongst cleaning the tennis courts and tidying and gardening at the aged care facilities.

Another 11 students got to painting the insides of the pavilions, painting the fencing of the main show ring, and cleaning the sheds at the Blackbutt Showgrounds.

Then the rest of the students were helping to clean up the Blackbutt RSL.

After all of the hard work was done the Blackbutt residents involved and the volunteers all went and had lunch together at the freshly cleaned Blackbutt RSL.

The Big Lift team have since jumped back on to the bus, well on their way to their last stop at Surfers Paradise.

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