Newcastle Airport’s ambassadors celebrate 14 years this National Volunteer Week

Newcastle Airport’s ambassadors celebrate 14 years this National Volunteer Week

The Newcastle Airport Ambassador Program proudly celebrated 14 years, which coincided with National Volunteer Week 2022.

Beginning in May 2008 as a small group of enthusiastic volunteers welcoming passengers and championing local tourism, the team has evolved into a fully-fledged program with 11 ambassadors who share two volunteer shifts each day.

Recognised by their distinctive teal blazers and welcoming smiles, the volunteers help the 1.3 million visitors who pass through Newcastle Airport each year, having collectively donated more than 50,000 volunteer hours to date.

Airport CEO, Dr Peter Cock, said this year’s National Volunteer Week theme ‘Better Together’ couldn’t be more apt.

“We couldn’t ask for a more dedicated group of people to represent Newcastle Airport and help serve our region. Our ambassadors, like the rest of our team, are driven by our purpose of being the airport the region deserves, and they work extremely hard to make the Newcastle Airport experience a better one for each of our visitors every day,” Peter said.

“They’re here to make sure our customers feel supported, whether that’s to lend a helping hand, answer your questions, or simply help make your journey that little less stressful.”

“On behalf of all the people who use our airport, I want to thank every one of our ambassadors for their commitment and hard work,” Peter finished.

Carmel Kennedy has been a Newcastle Airport ambassador for five years and says it’s the perfect volunteer position for her with a background in aviation and her love of helping people.

“My favourite way to open a conversation is to ask someone where they are going. Sometimes I notice travellers look a little upset or distressed – they might be going to a funeral, or maybe they have never flown before. I’m pretty good at picking up those vibes, and I love helping them,” Carmel said.

Dianne McNeil has 14 years as an ambassador under her belt and for her, it’s connecting with people that makes the volunteer experience well worth it.

“Just a small act can make somebody’s day very different when they walk through the door, whether it’s pointing them to the bus stop, or answering their questions. If you can make that person’s day a lot less anxious and send them on their way – well, it’s quite a lovely feeling!” Dianne said.

The Newcastle Airport Ambassador Program has previously been awarded ‘Best Practice in Volunteer Management’ at the annual Hunter Volunteer Centre Awards.

Dianne McNeil said being a volunteer ambassador isn’t just about the helping the community, for the Teal Army, it’s also about helping each other.

“The Ambassador Program is a very good support group as we share similar interests. We all support each other, in the good times and the bad,” Dianne said.

National Volunteer Week is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and is a chance for the community to celebrate and recognise the vital work of volunteers, and to say thank you.

IMAGE | Newcastle Airport Ambassadors

Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport is a significant gateway into NSW and the Hunter. As a major transport hub it is critical to economic and social infrastructure and its planned and managed growth has helped underpin the continued prosperity of the Hunter. 

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