WA Local Heroes reveal insight into what’s driving volunteering

  • 23 May 2023

To recognise the impact of volunteering this National Volunteer Week, Auspire – Australia Day Council WA hosted an online Lunch with Leaders with two inspiring individuals who were  recognised in the Australian of the Year Awards, for being change makers and creating volunteer-based organisations that are making a difference.

The 2023 WA Local Hero, Jimmy Murphy, co-founded Town Team Movement in 2016 to regenerate neighbourhoods. This movement has since grown to more than 120 Town Teams around Australia. Janine Wood co-founded No Limits Perth to provide donated food and essential items to people doing it tough, including those who have experienced domestic violence and homelessness. For her impact, Janine was named a 2023 WA Local Hero finalist.

The conversation began with Jimmy reflecting on his time in Canberra for the national ceremony of the 2023 Australian of the Year Awards, and the awareness that has been raised for Town Team Movement and No Limits Perth as a result of the Awards. Talk then turned to the creation, growth, need and impact of the two respective charities.

With the current increasing cost of living pressures that can lead to displacement and homelessness, Janine touched on the demand on No Limits Perth, and subsequently the charity’s increased reliance on volunteers.

“People have less disposable income to make financial donations, so we are having to be more creative and resourceful to fundraise. It’s helped us to become more innovative and adapt to how things are changing and the changing needs of the community.”

Jimmy expanded on this with the impact of Town Teams, and how the initiative creates a sense of belonging, connection and looking out for each other.

“The more people who get involved and take responsibility, that flows throughout the local place and builds pride. It leads to an upwards cycle of improvement and less homelessness and crime rates. Some people might laugh at what we’re doing, but there is serious work that makes a real difference.”

Janine shared powerful stories of lived experience that demonstrate the direct impact of No Limits Perth, describing their volunteers as turning “from ashes to beauty to become amazing contributors to society,” demonstrating that volunteering doesn’t just benefit those in need, but the volunteers themselves.

As leaders, both spoke of their strategies and business models, the importance of valuing and retaining volunteers (or ‘positive doers’ as Jimmy calls them) and forging strong relationships with potential funding partners and collaborating with other organisations.

The duo divulged their tips on managing risk/reward, tackling obstacles and how volunteering can align with someone’s employment.

To hear Jimmy and Janine’s experience and advice on running a volunteer-based organisation in full, watch the video below.

If you know someone like Jimmy or Janine who is a positive changemaker in WA, nominate them in the Australian of the Year Awards now at

Auspire would like to thank National Diversity and Inclusion Partner of the Australian of the Year Awards, Chevron Australia, for supporting this event.

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