VOLUNTEERS NATIONWIDE CALLED ON FOR 136TH BIRDSVILLE RACES

Birdsville Cup Day, 135th Birdsville Races organised by the Birdsville Race Club Inc. 2017 Birdsville Outback Races. Photo by Salty Dingo

Funds raised for Royal Flying Doctor Service

The Birdsville Races are calling on volunteers across Australia to help deliver the 136h edition of the iconic outback event this 31 August – 1 September 2018.

Billed ‘The Melbourne Cup of the Outback’, the Races provide a unique opportunity to tick off a bucket list experience while giving back to the community at the same time.

Every year, the event raises much-needed funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia – a vital charity that provides help to remote areas often cut off from medical services, as well as inter-hospital transfer services between metropolitan areas.

Volunteer registrations are live now at www.birdsvilleraces.com/Volunteer, with all volunteers required to be 18 years-of-age or over.

Volunteers can nominate to complete their shift with friends and family, and in line with a particular skill-set or area of interest. Depending on the team, volunteer time-commitments start from as little as nine hours.

In return, volunteers receive an exclusive souvenir volunteer polo shirt and complementary two-day racing pass, granting them access to all of the exhilarating action at Birdsville’s iconic dirt race track – from punting and partying to Fashions on the Field.

Before and after shifts, volunteers can participate in all of the one-of-a-kind experiences the Races have to offer, as Birdsville transforms into a buzzing hive of activity with film, live music, cocktail parties and travelling boxing tents.

“In terms of something that allows you to experience every facet of the Birdsville Races, you can’t go past volunteering at the event. You get to go behind-the-scenes and really soak up the history and heritage of the Races – as well as the community and spirit behind it,” said Gary Brook, Vice President, Birdsville Race Club.

“Every year, we have volunteers who return because they love helping out so much – and you see the friendships and sense or camaraderie between the volunteers grow.

“Volunteering is especially great if you’re a solo traveller and want to attend the Races, but have no one to go with. All of the volunteers band together and experience the social side of the event in ways they otherwise might not be able to.”

Along with 7,000 visitors, volunteers of all ages flock hundreds-of-thousands of kilometres to Birdsville every year to help deliver a two-day, 13-race program, and a jam-packed schedule of outback entertainment and activities.

Many volunteers travel by car and bus from metropolitan towns and centres in Queensland, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, with some even chartering private jets to cut down on travel-time and catch a bird’s-eye view of Australia’s spectacular outback terrain in the process.

Many volunteers begin their journey from the beginning of August – travelling with friends, family and partners – and setting up camp early to enjoy the region’s yabby races, street parties and various other events that lead into the big Friday and Saturday race days.

Others choose to take a more direct route, exploring and detouring via the Simpson Desert and Lake Eyre on their way home once the Races have finished.

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