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The Museum welcomes and values the contribution of volunteers and recognises the wide range of skills and knowledge they bring to the Museum. By engaging volunteers the Museum is able to actively involve members of the community in its programs and promote the two-way transfer of skills and knowledge.

Presently, nearly 100 volunteers assist the Museum. They range from high school students to retirees, from all walks of life. All of the Museum's volunteers have one thing in common - a commitment and desire to be involved in the work of the Museum. A list of volunteers who assisted the Museum during the year is in Appendix 9.

The following provides an outline of some volunteer activities within the Museum.

Schools program

Volunteers assist in the presentation of a variety of educational programs to groups of students from five to 18 years of age. During the year 19 volunteers contributed a total of 1585 hours to the Museum's schools programs.

Public programs

Volunteers develop and operate touch trolleys throughout the Museum. They also assist in holiday programs, performances, workshops, lectures, special events and are involved in temporary exhibitions. During the year 33 volunteers contributed a total of 1074 hours to assisting with public programs.

Paddle Steamer

The 125-year-old PS Enterprise is the largest operational object of the National Historical Collection maintained by the Museum. The vessel is crewed entirely by volunteers who fulfil different roles on board depending on their qualifications and experience. The crew consists of masters, engineers, galley hands and deckhands. Within this financial year three engineers received National Basic or Intermediate Boiler operation certification from ACT Work Cover. The crew are also heavily involved with maintenance and repair.

The PS Enterprise was removed from Lake Burley Griffin in mid November until early December 2003. This allowed for major restoration and repair to be conducted on the hull. As a result the PS Enterprise operated for a total of 24 days over five months in this financial year. PS Enterprise has, in previous years, operated for 18 days over nine months. It is expected that the successful once-weekly operation of this financial year will be adopted for 2004-2005, with a minimum number of 40 days of operation. During the year 34 volunteers contributed a total of 1342 hours to the PS Enterprise's operations.

Photo of Dawn Casey with volunteers
Former director Dawn Casey celebrates with volunteers the 125th birthday of the PS Enterprise. Photo: George Serras.

Museum Library

Volunteers assist with the cataloguing, repair, protection and security of the Library's collections and help staff and visitors access the various databases and reference materials. In late April the Library was moved from Braddon to the newly renovated Annexe on Acton Peninsula. Volunteers performed a significant role in preparing the collection in readiness for the move. During the year six volunteers contributed 1211 hours to the Library's operations.