Sydney Eisteddfod volunteer Elisabeth Pidd, was recently crowned Senior Volunteer of the Year at the 2016 Sydney Inner West NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards. Since 2003, she has generously offered her time to Sydney Eisteddfod and worked in a variety of roles at many of the festival events.
She recently spoke to Sydney Eisteddfod on what it meant to her to win such a significant award and what she would say to those thinking of volunteering.
What motivated you to become a volunteer?
I had been going to the Sydney Eisteddfod Ballet Scholarship Finals for a few years and at the Finals in 2002 when John Allison, who was chairman at the time, talked about volunteers I knew the time was right and I could do something like this.
I wanted to do something in the Arts as that is where my interests lie. I felt that young aspiring artists needed help and Sydney Eisteddfod seemed to be working to give them this help. It was not just money they were providing but the opportunity to perform to a different audience other than their parents, teachers and local schools.
What are some of the roles you have performed as a volunteer here over the years?
I started out for the first few years doing Session Secretary, Ticket Seller and Door Keeper roles. Along the way I learned about how the organisation worked and all the different roles involved. I didn't take part in Session Managing for quite some years and have also done a bit of Marshalling when required. Early on I was happy to do where there was a need, even though my favourite role was and still is Session Secretary!
How did you feel when you were announced the recipient of the award?
I felt embarrassed when I was announced as the recipient as I don't really like being out front. That is also why it took me much longer to be Session Manager.
Did you enjoy being recognised for your efforts?
I was surprised when Divya said they wanted to nominate me! It is generally nice to know that one is recognized, even though it doesn't have to be like this.
Do you have any “pearls of wisdom” from your time as a volunteer?
I thoroughly enjoy doing what I do with Sydney Eisteddfod as I feel I am contributing in a small way for entrants to go further in their chosen field, whether it be dancing, singing etc.
What can you say to someone who would like to start volunteering for Sydney Eisteddfod?
To me, there seems to be a lot of assistance in the sport area but not much for the Arts and this is what I would tell prospective volunteers as well.
I have learnt a lot over these years as to how someone gets on in their chosen field – Even though they have a passion for it, it is not an easy road for them! By doing the various volunteer roles, it helps you to get an overall picture of how Sydney Eisteddfod operates.
For more information on volunteering with Sydney Eisteddfod, please see link below: