NORPA volunteer Pam Bourne works on the 2012 program.
NORPA volunteer Pam Bourne works on the 2012 program. Cathy Adams

Small group plays big role

WITHOUT volunteers, a lot of things wouldn't get done.

And clearly this is true at NORPA, where more than 60 volunteers ensure it continues to bring the best live performances to the Northern Rivers.

One of those invaluable volunteers is Pam Bourne, of Nimbin, who has given her time to the organisation for four years.

"I love to volunteer and I also love the theatre, so volunteering with NORPA was a perfect match for me," she said.

"I also enjoy meeting other volunteers, it's fantastic to be around so many like-minded people.

"My preference is ushering.

"It is great to take people to their seats, seeing them dressed up and in high spirits. It's also fantastic to see their faces after the show.

"NORPA is a wonderful organisation. I've watched it grow and it just keeps on blossoming."

On Friday night NORPA hosted a fancy dress thank you event for more than 50 volunteers.

They took part in an Indian cooking class hosted by local cook Punita Gupta and had dinner together before an informal speech from artistic director Julian Louis.

Volunteer coordinator Michael McDougall said the organisation could not function without the help of people like Ms Bourne.

"I just love going to work - it's just such a lovely environment to work in," he said.

"Everyone is keen and supportive. It's a real treat.

"It's really important to have this fantastic performing arts organisation that brings so many amazing productions to Lismore. Many regional areas don't have that opportunity.

"Throughout this whole region, volunteers make a lot of things happen.

"It's very humbling.

"That's why each year we at NORPA try to demonstrate how appreciative we are of our volunteers."

NORPA is always looking for more people to help out, particularly bar staff.

For more information or to get involved, email foh@norpa .org.au or phone 6622 0300.



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