Each year volunteers around Australia dedicate more than 600 million hours to helping others — and Harvey Shire councillor Tania Jackson has certainly done her fair share. Ms Jackson has been dedicating countless hours to her community for the past three decades, helping her community and its residents through a range of activities. Ms Jackson is the former head of the volunteer-run Harvey Visitor Centre, has rehabilitated the Binningup sand dunes and uses art to engage children at the Harvey Art Society, where she also connects with local Aboriginal corporations to roll out a number of cultural projects. She has sat on the Harvey Shire Council since May 1997, which includes an eight year stint as president. Ms Jackson said volunteering could help build community strength and this was evident across Harvey and its surrounding towns. “There’s lots of opportunities and if you really find yourself wanting to be more active physically and also in your community, volunteering is a great way to introduce yourself to people who have like interests,” she said. “Everyone loves to share the good word, you don’t find many volunteers that don’t say ‘come join us you’ll love it’.” Ms Jackson said each volunteer activity she took part in had helped her meet like-minded people she could connect with and build off. “It’s a little hard to pick one (activity I like most) I think they’ve all been really gratifying,” she said. “The people you work with of course, you meet so many people that have similar interests to yourself, it’s great working together on projects.” Ms Jackson said she encouraged everyone to put their hand up to get involved as a volunteer in some capacity. “I’d suggest to anybody to just reach out, there’s lots of things you can do in the community and you will be rewarded,” she said. “You’ll really benefit personally from it as well as helping your community out.” National Volunteer Week will run from next Monday to May 23 and is embraced across the country with thousands of different events.