In Summary

  • Swinburne design student Holly Barbour says volunteering is the secret to a better work-life balance
  • Holly has helped raise funds for Victorian farmers affected by the drought and restore a heritage-style building in Gippsland
  • Holly is the 2019 recipient of the Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop Scholarship

Swinburne Bachelor of Design student Holly Barbour’s volunteering efforts spread across Victoria and span the Tasman.

Holly has raised much-needed funds for farmers struggling as a result of the drought; helped restore and maintain the iconic, heritage-style Glenmaggie Mechanics Institute Hall in Gippsland, Victoria; and built a solid brand identity for the student-led University of Tasmania’s Fishing and Camping Club - all while working, studying and having a social life.

"Creating a balance of work, study and social life has been a challenge for me. I live in Gippsland and have to travel four hours to and from Melbourne each week for university. While studying, I also work two jobs over the weekends and run my own freelance design business."

"Volunteering is a really important part of my purpose. So, regardless of my busy schedule, I always make sure that I have time to help others, help better my community and hopefully make a positive difference to people’s lives."

Now in her final year at Swinburne, Holly says her commitment to volunteering is best summed up by the Mahatma Gandhi quote: ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’.

"This is my mantra - it really rings true for me and inspires me always to help out where I can," Holly says.

Holly is most grateful for the opportunity to give back to her local community in Gippsland.

"There was plenty of publicity about the drought across Australia in 2018, but none of the funds raised had been distributed in Gippsland," Holly explains.

"I joined the committee of local volunteers in support of the Gippsland Need for Feed initiative. We planned, organised and pulled together the Boisdale Drought-Breaker Gala/Auction Night, and sourced donations of products and services to auction on the night."

"We raised over $41,000 and all that money was directly passed on to local Gippsland farmers."

Volunteering in her home town

Holly has also been fundraising to preserve a piece of history close to home and heart.

"It’s important for me to give back to my home town of Glenmaggie. I’m on the Glenmaggie Hall committee, and we raise funds to restore and maintain the Glenmaggie Mechanics’ Institute - a 128-year-old public hall that is the jewel of our community."

As well as these fundraising initiatives, Holly has donated her professional skills in design to help her hometown.

"In 2016 and 2017, I designed all the social media and print imagery for the Glenmaggie Blues and Roots Festival, including magnets, stubby holders, t-shirts, tickets and posters, and the social media posting schedules."

Holly also volunteers behind the scenes at the festival, including by driving the courtesy bus, selling tickets and merchandise, and packing up.

"In 2018, I volunteered my design skills to build a solid brand identity for the University of Tasmania Fishing and Camping Club. My design was further developed into stationery, membership cards, merchandise and social media imagery to help promote the organisation."

2019 recipient of the Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop Scholarship

Holly receiving the 2019 Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop scholarship

Holly Barbour, pictured with Senior Naval Officer for Victoria, Commodore Greg York, was awarded the 2019 Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop Scholarship at his memorial statue in Kings Domain, Melbourne.

Holly’s volunteering efforts have not gone unnoticed. She was awarded the 2019 Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop Scholarship by Swinburne for her contribution to her local communities and dedication to her studies.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation and Change), Professor Sarah Maddison, presented Holly with the scholarship and praised her for enthusiastically contributing her skills, time and knowledge with design work, operations of fundraising initiatives, catering, administration and marketing.

"Holly has been a bold contributor to her community and is a stand-out from Swinburne and a very worthy recipient," Professor Maddison said.