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The contribution of volunteers

This financial year 65 volunteers contributed 6179 hours, or 3.5 full-time equivalents, to areas including marketing, administration and Friends of the Museum, and for festival days.

Volunteers also contributed to:

  • Education: Twenty-seven volunteers contributed 2776 hours assisting in the delivery of the Museum's Education programs, enhancing the students' and teachers' experience of Australian history. Volunteers actively facilitated programs such as 'Talking points' and 'Quiz', and assisted visitor services hosts with introductions for teacher-guided groups and, on occasion, accompanied these groups into the exhibition spaces to provide further guidance.
  • Public Programs: Five volunteers contributed 473 hours assisting the Museum's Public Programs staff deliver school holiday programs for families.
  • Library: Two volunteers spent 160 hours working on the Laurie Fitzharding collection by creating association notes and insertions on the collection record and creating minor displays for current political changes and general library support.
  • Photography: One volunteer has contributed 170 hours assisting with business as usual activities and exhibition photography for the Landmarks gallery.
  • Research: One volunteer has contributed five hours assisting researchers in the Museum's Centre for Historical Research.
  • Conservation: Two volunteers have contributed 56 hours to several projects including an operations manual for the McDonnell telescope.

The Museum's largest volunteer program supports the 130-year-old paddle steamer, PS Enterprise — the crew being drawn entirely from volunteers. Depending on qualifications and experience, the 37 volunteers perform various roles aboard the vessel: master, mate, engineer, leading deckhand, deckhand and galley hand. The crew brought the PS Enterprise to life each weekend from September 2009 to May 2010. In 2009–10 the volunteer crew contributed 2238 hours, ensuring the PS Enterprise operated most weekends.

In March 2010 the PS Enterprise was taken out of the water for 17 days at the Barrenjoey Slipway for its biannual hull inspection and licensing by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. Some long-awaited maintenance on the superstructure was carried out. The vessel was fully repainted and the decks re-oiled. The volunteer crew, under the direction of Museum conservators David Hallam, Ainslie Greiner and Ian Cramer, significantly contributed to this work.

The PS Enterprise missed five weekends of operation due to maintenance of the vessel. Visitor numbers were 2121 in 2009–10, a decrease from last year's visitation of 4258.

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