Volunteers backbone of festival

While the Byron Bay Writers Festival looms on the literary horizon, festival director Jeni Caffin has acknowledged that it couldn’t run as smoothly as it does without the army of volunteers that help each year.

“It truly is the volunteers who make the event possible,” she said.

“You’ll find them across every aspect of the festival – we’re indebted to their generosity and enthusiasm.”

Ms Caffin went as far as saying that the volunteers were the ones that created an inclusive and inviting atmosphere.

Ralph Moore has been volunteering at the writers festival for eight years and obviously enjoys it.

“We’re like this big family that gets together once a year and throws a big party and everyone’s invited,” Mr Moore said.

“And we have a lot of fun doing it.”

Ms Caffin sees the festival volunteers as unique.

“What makes our army unique, I think, is that they are passionate about writing, about words and ideas and about things that matter to the community,” she said.

“Being a volunteer at the writers festival is an opportunity to become immersed in a nourishing and stimulating world.

“That’s why we have so many coming back year after year.”

Roles for the 150 or so volunteers range from providing information and assistance to festival attendees, to driving writers around town, to survey taking.

They will donate a few hours of their time to the festival and many of these will put their lives on hold for the three days the festival runs.

If you would like to volunteer for the writers festival in August, please visit www.byronbaywritersfestival.com and register your interest.

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