Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) Acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Narrm, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present, and to Elders of all First Nations communities that visit MCEC.


5 Reasons We Love a Good Volunteer Here at MCEC

By Bree Pagliuso|

Mixing business with heart, bringing our skills out into the wild, and partnering with organisations that speak to our values is what we love about volunteering here at MCEC. This May, we're celebrating Volunteer Week alongside our community partner OzHarvest.

Each year, our team jump in the yellow OzHarvest van and head out to collect surplus food and deliver it to those in need. An experience that's not only incredibly rewarding but full of valuable lessons in community and compassion.

Let's dive into the reasons why we love volunteering.

Reason 1: We get to dish out serious impact

Volunteering isn't just lending a hand; The OzHarvest yellow van zooms across Melbourne, rescuing surplus food that would otherwise end up in landfill. Knowing that our actions directly contribute to alleviating food insecurity and reducing food waste is profoundly gratifying. By rescuing surplus food and delivering it to those in need, we're working to make a tangible difference in the lives of vulnerable communities across Melbourne. Every meal rescued is a testament to the transformative power of collective action.

Reason 2: It's eye-opening

As a volunteer, you're not just observing from afar; you're diving headfirst into the heart of the action. Volunteering can provide a front-row seat to issues affecting your community and places.

OzHarvest is at the forefront of the food sustainability movement, with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in reducing food waste and promoting sustainable food practices. As a volunteer, you can learn from these experts, gaining insights into food waste's environmental and social impacts . The hands-on experience helps deepen your understanding of the importance of food sustainability and the role each of us can play in creating a more sustainable future.

Reason 3: Real connections are built

Connecting with meaning through volunteering goes beyond the physical—it's about forging deep connections that leave a lasting impact.

There is nothing quite like the connection made between fellow volunteers and the people at OzHarvest; whether it's sharing stories with their drivers or collaborating with like-minded individuals during food rescue missions, volunteering fosters a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose that transcends geographical and generational boundaries. Partnering with local communities amplifies our impact, showing the power of collective action.

Reason 4: It turns work into rewarding play

We believe in using our skills and resources to effect positive change. Through our partnership with OzHarvest, we have team-building experiences that transcend traditional workplace activities. These experiences allow our team to step outside the workplace and engage with real-world issues. Working together to address challenges such as food insecurity strengthens our bonds and cultivates a sense of shared purpose among colleagues. Volunteering becomes not just an obligation but a meaningful aspect of our corporate culture.

"Volunteering teaches us to keep going even when things get tough. Despite the challenges, our commitment to making a difference never wavers."

- Vanessa Draga, Community Engagement Specialist at MCEC

Reason 5: We get to contribute to saving our planet

When we team up with OzHarvest to fight food waste, we're not just learning about sustainability but discovering how small actions can make a big difference. By saving surplus food and giving it to those in need, we're cutting down on landfill waste. Plus, when we support local farmers and producers, we reduce carbon emissions from transportation. Through volunteering, we're becoming champions of sustainable living, making choices that benefit both people and the planet.

At MCEC, volunteering isn't just a checkbox on a to-do list. With our yellow shirts on, we're proud to be part of these experiences that can help create real change and advancements within our community .