IMPACT Community Services Prize recipient hopes to help make a difference with degree

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IMPACT Community Services extends a huge congratulations to Renae Harland, this year’s recipient of the IMPACT Community Services Prize at CQUniversity.

This award is one of the CQUniCares Academic Prizes and is awarded to the second year Wide Bay Burnett region CC59 Bachelor of Public Health (Specialisation), CQ23 Bachelor of Nursing, CL71 Bachelor of Social Work or CC43 Bachelor of Psychological Science student who achieves the best results (highest GPA).

In a letter to IMPACT Renae expressed sincere gratitude for the recognition and support provided through the awards.

“I owe my success within my courses to the rich learning environment at CQUniversity as much as to my own hard work,” Renae said.

“Without the support and resources of the faculty and staff, I am certain that I could not have flourished as I did.

“The financial assistance you’ve provided has lightened my financial burden and will be of great help to me in paying my educational expenses.

“Thank you again for your generosity and support as I continue to learn and advance in my field.”

Renae promised to continue to study hard and hopes one day to be able to help students achieve their goals.

“I am a single mum of three beautiful children, and I work two jobs, one in Disability Services and the other as a Trainer in Community Services,” Renae said.

“I started this degree because of my passion for helping people, I want to learn as much as I can so that I can continue to make a difference in the lives of others.

“I plan to complete my degree and then continue in my education through a master’s and one day my PhD.

“To receive this support from such an inspirational company such as IMPACT is an honour.

“Thank you so much for not only what you have done for me but for all the programs and ways your staff and people make a difference in the lives of everyday people in the Wide Bay community.”

IMPACT wishes Renae the very best with future studies and helping make a difference in people's lives. To find out more about the CQUniCares Academic Prizes visit their webpage.

If you’re looking for a place to start on that New Year’s resolution or desire to give back to the community, IMPACT Community Services’ Community Visitors Scheme is here for 2022.

And we’re looking for more volunteers to join our dedicated team.

The CVS is a friendship program linking volunteer visitors with people who are isolated at home or live in aged care facilities throughout the Bundaberg and Burnett regions.

For CVS coordinator Heather Hinsbey, the world of volunteering is among her passions rather than simply a job.

When Heather took up the CVS role in 2014, she had an understanding of the importance of a program which sought to provide connection, conversation, and compassion for the elderly who were in great need of company.

Not long after her mother passed away, Heather started volunteering too.

“It was therapeutic for me,” she said.

Heather said, “they were like mums”, full of understanding and they had many pearls of wisdom.

While she probably would have found her way to volunteering eventually, Heather said it was beneficial for her when she did.

She said volunteering was rewarding in many ways, particularly in gaining perspective, and even developing as a person.

Through CVS volunteering Heather said you gain an appreciation for what people have been through and how they have paved the way for future generations.

Heather said the CVS team was always looking for more people to join.

She also encouraged anyone with a culturally and linguistically diverse background with compassion for older people and an interest in volunteering to contact IMPACT.

She said people can be very socially isolated and this can be amplified for people with a different cultural background and if there’s a language barrier.

The CVS team has volunteers throughout Bundaberg, Gin Gin, Childers, Gayndah and Monto.

CVS provides a regular familiar face for an aged person to interact with, whether that be with a cuppa and a chat, board game, or even walk.

The program ask that volunteers visit a minimum of once a fortnight and spend time doing something you both enjoy.

Heather said the volunteers love what they do. Some have multiple people they visit!

If you would like to start the new year with some volunteering, call 0448 035 891 or 07 4153 4233.

For more information click here.


It takes someone with a big heart to spend their time volunteering to help others.

And IMPACT Community Services’ Community Visitors Scheme is full of those people.

Recently the CVS held its annual celebration where dozens of volunteers were recognised for their contribution to the program and most importantly the lives they impact.

The Community Visitors Scheme is a friendship program linking volunteer visitors with people who are isolated at home or live-in aged care facilities throughout the Bundaberg and Burnett regions.

Having run for more than two decades, the program asks that you are able to visit a minimum of once a fortnight and spend time doing what you both enjoy.

Whether that be a game of cards, listening to music, playing a board game, taking a short walk outside, help to write letters, reminisce about days gone by or simply have a chat and a cuppa.

Simply having a presence can make the world of difference and ensure someone doesn’t feel isolated and alone.

Among the presentation were Certificates of Designation, 1 Year Certificates, a 5 Year presentation, two 20 Year milestones and one 25 Year award.

Those who attended the celebration were also treated to two live performances.

Barry Bishop sang two songs which captured the essence of friendship and togetherness which the program prompts.

While Melody the clown had just about everyone on their feet dancing before lunch was served.

For anyone thinking about volunteering, there are CVS opportunities available across the region in Bundaberg, Monto, Gayndah, Childers and Gin Gin.

Regardless of skill set, CVS love engaging with people with varied backgrounds and welcome all volunteers as valued members of our team.

Call our CVS coordinator Heather on 0448 035 891 or 07 4153 4233 to get involved.

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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