Pat Jeffery (centre), standing outside Churchill Island’s Heritage House.
Highly Commended at our 2017 Best Friend Awards Pat Jeffery started volunteering at Churchill Island in 1997 as the primary caretaker for the heritage home. Since then, she has developed into the role of Volunteer Team Leader, responsible for the engagement, involvement and management of around 30 volunteers, who undertake a variety of roles in maintenance, gardening, visitor experience and helping at the farm.
Pat is dedicated to preserving the heritage of Churchill Island. She has a wealth of knowledge about its history and previous management, which she shares with staff, visitors and volunteers.
Her passion for the place enables her to attract and retain a large group of volunteers. Everyone is welcomed, inducted and made familiar with the site. She organises off-site visits for volunteers to learn from other heritage areas.
She holds regular morning teas and an annual Christmas party and works hard to ensure everyone is included in these events.
Pat goes above and beyond her role as a volunteer. She spends more than 20 hours a week at Churchill Island managing and supporting the volunteers, while also cleaning, inspecting and identifying any maintenance issues in the heritage house. She has built strong relationships with the Friends of Churchill Island group, including their Curator, who does all the cataloguing for the heritage homes.
She is held in high regard by the staff of Churchill Island and by everyone who comes into contact with her.