VOLUNTEERING

Volunteers are the life blood of any nonprofit organisation. RDA volunteers are no exception; we rely heavily on our volunteers to deliver our services.
All new volunteers will receive induction training on their first day. This will include a tour of the facilities and an introduction to RDA.

RDA volunteers are screened for Working With Children and Vulnerable Adults according to State and local requirements.

Great things our Volunteers are saying

01

Anne McInerney

RDA Centre Volunteer

“It is great to see riders develop confidence as they learn to listen to instructions, translate them into actions for their horse to respond to and then succeed together in the task”

I began volunteering at RDA Northern Area in South Australia in October 2010. I had known Kay Boon for many years and attended a talk she gave at the local Probus Club. She explained that horse riding was not only a great activity for disabled children and adults but was physically and mentally therapeutic as well.

I volunteer at Northern on Wednesday from 7.45am until 1.00pm.

My morning starts with a 10 minute walk to collect horses, followed by grooming, saddling and warming up the horse or pony. The first class starts at 9.00am with 3 more lessons during the morning where I usually help as a leader or sidewalker.

Lessons may be in a sand arena, in the paddock or on a trail ride around the wetlands pointing out ducks, sometimes swans or even pelicans!

It is great to see riders develop confidence as they learn to listen to instructions, translate them into actions for their horse to respond to and then succeed together in the task.

We all help with other tasks during the morning including picking up poo and at the end of the morning, we untack, brush down and sometimes rug the horses and ponies and take them to their paddocks. Watching Jock and Sam groom each other is a treat!

After everything is put away, we all head off, ready to “See you next week”. In addition to volunteering at Northern, I have been lucky enough to be involved in various ways with the State Dressage event held each year in September at Mallala. It is wonderful to see all the riders go through the routines they have spent so long practicing, especially when they are riders from your own Centre who you may have worked with and helped achieve their goals.

My husband, John and I have also been involved with the National Discipline Championships in Werribee, Victoria since 2012. We have helped in various ways including Official’s Catering, setting up the Event Office, PA System and Event Announcing. Last year, I enjoyed operating the arena gate for each rider.

I have thoroughly enjoyed volunteering at Northern on Wednesdays and at the other events run by the Centre. Thanks to Michael and Gloria who keep everything running and manage all the Centre commitments; also to coaches Rachel, Diane and Vicki for all their training and encouragement. I felt very welcomed by everyone when I started and continue to look forward to my day in the best ‘office’ with riders, horses and the other volunteers

02

Matt Watson

Executive General Manager

 
“I can’t help feeling inspired when I hear their stories, the fact that they wish to be at Pegasus not because they have to but because they want to.”
 

Volunteers bring so much more to an organisation than just an extra pair of hands; they bring a sense of atmosphere not always felt in other workplaces. This has not been felt as much as it has now. With current lock downs all around the country, organisations such as Pegasus have noticed the void from not having volunteers onsite.

Here at Pegasus we rely on volunteers in almost every area, from morning and afternoon feeds, rugging on those cold winter nights, class activities, coaching and maintaining our popular sensory garden; we have no shortage of jobs on a daily basis. Pegasus was built on volunteering by those happy to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand.

Every day I have the opportunity to meet and talk with our volunteers, the stories of why they chose Pegasus, the stories of where they have come from. High flying public servants, doctors and business people looking for something to give back to the community while helping them to escape, to retirees looking for ways to help while staying active and involved in the community; all the wile sharing skills and knowledge they have from a lifetime of experiences.

I can’t help but feel inspired when I hear their stories, the fact that they wish to be at Pegasus, not because they have to but because they want to. This drove me to step back and review my time at Pegasus. Although I am fortunate to have a paying job at a place I dearly love, I wanted to experience what our volunteers experience. I now have a weekly spot cleaning paddocks, feeding and grooming along with helping in classes as required. My only rule is we don’t talk business. I am not the General Manager at this time, I am another one of their team. I report to the Coach, I listen and learn from those who are more experiences and I do my part. This has not only helped me to share their experience but has also strengthened the importance of my role ensuring Pegasus is there for our community.

If it were not for our volunteers, Pegasus and RDA would not exist. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank our amazing volunteers here at Pegasus and through all of RDA.

Matt Watson
RDA ACT

Training

All new volunteers will receive induction training on their first day. This will include a tour of the facilities and an introduction to RDA. Each State/Territory has a procedure for Volunteers to undergo a Police Clearance or Working With Children Clearance.

RDA Australia and our Program Delivery Consultative Committees have developed a number of resources to help with your training.

Volunteer Information Booklet – available at your centre Everything you need to know about volunteering at RDA!

Leading and Side Walking
Emergency drills
Safety around horses
Fitting equipment
Understanding disabilities
Workplace Health and Safety

Want to learn more about working with people with disabilities? Check out these free online courses.

Disability Awareness Australia
NDIS Worker Orientation Certificate

Leading Fact Sheet.pdf

Carriage Driving Fact Sheet.pdf

Side Walking Fact Sheet.pdf

How to Register

All Volunteers in RDA need to register with their Centre and each State/Territory has a procedure for Volunteers to undergo a Police Clearance or Working With Children Clearance.

Contact your local Centre Volunteer Coordinator to find out more about getting involved.

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER AWARDS

Every year, RDA celebrates the amazing contribution of our volunteers all across the country through our National Volunteer Awards.

Nominations for 2021 are open and now is your chance to nominate a volunteer from your Centre who goes above and beyond for RDA!  The form contains criteria for each award and information for you to submit your nomination.