NGT Volunteer Profile – Deb Thompson

As a non-profit organisation, volunteers are an integral part of the work we do at here at NGT. Our volunteers do vital conservation work, like sorting seeds and growing seedlings in the nursery, helping to restore degraded ecosystems through planting and weed control, assisting with surveys, and one is even a live-in caretaker on one of our reserves!

In the lead-up to Volunteer Week in May, we will be featuring some of our wonderful volunteers in each month’s newsletter. To start us off, meet Deb Thompson, who has volunteered with NGT since 2018, and is a self confessed lover of rain (‘Pluviophile’)! Here’s her story:

My name is Deborah Thompson (Deb), I am a Pluviophile i.e someone who enjoys rain and rainy days. I am happiest during Autumn and Winter with grey skies, wet earth and wetlands full! I love the smell of rain on hot earth.

Some of my interests include travel, ancient trees, keeping fit, growing food and cricket. In recent times I have developed a blossoming interest in birding and butterflies. I have had a passion for preserving the natural environment and doing my best to live a sustainable life for a very long time. In the 1970’s, I read the book called Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. The issues raised in this book, many of them still topical, had a big impact on my thinking.

By volunteering with NGT, I am working beside like-minded, very knowledgeable and wise people and is an extension of my philosophy of living a sustainable life by contributing towards ongoing NGT projects. Most of my volunteering is done in the Nursery with the occasional field work at Hutt Bay, Blue Lake plantings, Rail Trail and Mt Burr Swamp.

I first heard about NGT when I worked at the Independent Learning Centre. The school ran a construction programme, and the students were involved in laying pavers at the front of the building. I even attended the opening with students from the ILC. I started volunteering regularly with NGT upon my retirement at the end of 2018.

I thoroughly enjoy the work in the nursery. I’ve learnt heaps about plants, birds, etc. and it’s a lovely social interaction as well. What’s not to like? I have extended my knowledge about the natural environment, flora and fauna from discussions with other volunteers and staff.

At the moment I am also volunteering at my previous workplace (ILC) in the textile class. As part of the students’ Community Studies contracts to complete their SA Certificate of Education (SACE), we are making wildlife pouches and I am their community mentor/contact. I also volunteer approx. 6 times/year with Park Run, a weekly 5km timed, completely free event held at the Blue Lake [in Mt Gambier] every Saturday.

Toni Haywood