Goulburn show 2021
workcamp report by IVP Australia
This year’s Goulburn Show workcamp was an uncertainty, ever since the end of last year’s workcamp! Due to international travel restrictions, IVP put out a call for only 5 volunteers currently residing in Australia. Even with only 5 volunteers, the usual accommodation at the showground was out of the question, and with physical distancing requirements, we had to implement new ideas for how the workcamp may proceed.
The Goulburn Show Committee was, as always, so enthusiastic and positive. They believed the show would go ahead and were determined to make it so. With this in mind and show planning moving ahead, IVP advertised the workcamp on various online platforms and of course the SCI Online Placement System (OPS). We were hoping to attract both Australian volunteers and overseas travelers currently living in Australia.
With a mere two weeks until the workcamp, we had a camp leader, myself, and now an application from our only other volunteer, Helen. Together we would work hard setting up show infrastructure, tables, seating, carpets, displays and generally helping the other local show volunteers with whatever assistance they required. The five days leading up to the show were a wonderful experience with so many local enthusiastic, hardworking folks and school students; all coming together for the one common goal of a successful and enjoyable show experience for everyone.
Fortunately, with only two volunteers from IVP, we were able to stay onsite at the showground, which provided excellent accommodation. It was a totally different experience this year, with only two of us however, Helen and I enjoyed great conversation and discussions involving a diverse range of topics. Shopping for groceries was a simple task, as was cooking and cleaning. From busy, energetic days, we were often to bed early in preparation for another big day of work.
The Veolia Arena was prepared in a similar fashion to last year, with greater detail required for the physical spacing and flow of visitors. The area provided a great location for a variety of local displays, art and crafts, local produce, children’s creations, and stalls.
Come Friday morning before the show, I wasn’t sure we would have everything ready by 9 am Saturday. A huge delivery of local items on Friday afternoon, animals arriving very early Saturday morning, and loads of food and various stalls erected by opening time, this was sure to be a big event…. And it certainly was!
Covid-19 physical distancing management was orchestrated exceptionally well. The Goulburn Show Society supplied all volunteers with safety vests for identification, counters, or a counting app for their phone; volunteers were placed on every entrance and exit to venues, hand sanitizer and signage were available, QR sign-in codes were all easily accessible, and, most importantly, the show visitors were very obliging and appreciative of the efforts that we were making for the safety of all.
The show saw a huge turnout of visitors, with many excited to see the return of sheep, chickens, and other birds. Fletchers Ark was popular as usual, with visitors patiently waiting in line to view their beautiful animals.
Cleaning up after the show was made so much easier due to some stallholders cleaning their own areas. The goat pens were dismantled and all waste and hay removed; a great relief by Helen and myself! In only two days we had managed to return all equipment back to storage and tidy all areas, ready for sporting events to return the very next Monday. Helen and I were fortunate to be able to take remaining wood offcuts to a local property to use for firewood, and then meet some absolutely beautiful Anglo-Nubian goats who were being delivered to a local volunteer’s property. I fell in love with these little ladies! See pictures on the next page.
Overall, it was a very successful agricultural show, perfectly organised by the Goulburn Show Committee and local volunteers. It is a wonderful opportunity for IVP volunteers to be involved with a friendly and supportive local organisation. We all enjoyed a final dinner together at a local club and looked forward to a time next year when we can work together again.
The relationship that IVP has with the Goulburn Show is a strong and positive one, and I hope that IVP will again be involved in another running of the Goulburn Show workcamp. A huge thank you to all of the energetic local Goulburn volunteers, to the ever-motivated Helen, the Goulburn Show Committee, and to IVP.