Bangalow local, Stephanie has been volunteering at the Billycart Derby since the age of 19. In her story she explains why she loves making a difference to her community every year and why she recommends everyone should have a go at taking part.
Living in the Northern Rivers
I was born and bred in Bangalow, as was my Mum, and her parents were from the region too. I moved to Lismore for a couple of years, when I went to High School, but I now live in Ocean Shores. Bangalow is still a big part of my life as I work at the newsagent, where I’ve been for the past 4 years.
The Northern Rivers is beautiful, and I feel so lucky to live in this area because It’s got a bit of everything. You’ve got the coast and the countryside – it really is the best of both worlds. I love going on walks, bike rides and just exploring whenever I can. I especially like to spend time on the weekend riding my bike with my partner around Brunswick Heads on a few of the trails around there.
Volunteering at the Bangalow Billycart Derby
I’ve been volunteering at the Billycart Derby since I was 19, so around four years now, but I’ve been coming every year since I was a kid. I was always too scared to have a billycart in the races, so that’s probably why I got involved with the volunteering side of things!
On the day, I get to Bangalow at about 6.30am, where I’m involved in the registrations of the various billycarts and then as the day goes on I help manage the carts on the start line. Once the clean-up is finished, we head to the pub to celebrate and raise a glass to a job well done.
There was one year, where I volunteered, and I didn’t get enough sleep the night before – it nearly killed me. I had to have a nap on the newsagency floor, on my break, to make up for it. I had to get through the day somehow!
I just love being a part of the day, because Bangalow is such a close community and as I know a lot of the people in the town, it’s extra special. I really do enjoy helping people; I always finish the day exhausted, but happy.
If you’re thinking about volunteering on the day, all I’d say is…do it! It’s such a fun day and you make so many memories from it. All the kids and adults are so happy to be there, and the atmosphere really rubs off on you. I never get tired of volunteering.
Banking with Summerland
It’s so easy banking with Summerland, as everyone is just so friendly. It helps that I’m good friends with some of the staff at the Bangalow branch; Katy and I are friends, and I’ve known Sue a very long time as well. It’s great to know I can come down to the branch and have a chat with them about my day to day life. I always make sure I do the business banking for the newsagent here too, so I have an extra reason to come down and talk to the staff! The Bangalow branch really does feel like home.