Shout out to Central Highlands tourism volunteers

National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the people at the heart of the Central Highlands’ tourism industry.

en volunteers help to run the Visitor Information Centre (VIC) in Emerald 361 days a year (with the exception of the recent COVID-19-related closure). The team includes Carol Ferguson who this year marks 30 years of service.

Volunteers also contribute to visitor information services at Blackwater, Springsure and Duaringa.

The Coronavirus pandemic unfortunately forced the Central Highlands Development Corporation (CHDC) to cancel its annual Volunteer Week morning tea but appreciation letters, certificates and small gifts have been delivered to each volunteer.

CHDC has also participated in Volunteering Australia’s ‘wave of appreciation’ campaign on social media.

“By generously donating their time and sharing their knowledge and passion for our region, our volunteers are valued and important ambassadors for our tourism industry,” CHDC Chief Executive Officer Sandra Hobbs says.

“Their unwavering support as we’ve all had to adjust to sudden and drastic changes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, further brings that into focus.”

In 2018-19, the VIC in Emerald welcomed almost 12,200 visitors and recorded almost $26,000 in merchandise sales. Visitor information Centre referrals are conservatively estimated to have generated over $2.65 million for local businesses.

Tourism continues to be a cornerstone industry for the Central Highlands, worth an estimated $235 million in 2018/19.

The Centre reopened to the public last week, following a reduction in restrictions in Queensland, with social distancing measures and enhanced hygiene practices in place.

Operating hours are 10:00am – 4:00pm weekdays and 10:00am – 2:00pm weekends. Call (07) 4982 4142 or email

Emerald VIC volunteer Debbie Nichols gives a #waveforvolunteers as part of National Volunteer Week.
Carol Ferguson (left, with fellow volunteer Marcia Crosse) celebrates 30 years at the VIC this year.ย Note: this is a file image, taken before social distancing requirements.

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