The friendly face greeting travellers for more than a decade
A PASSION for travel lies at the heart of Yvonne Hillard's enduring commitment to volunteering at the Fernvale Information Centre, where she has been involved since 2009.
After she retired, Yvonne and her husband moved to Lowood for a treechange, though she soon grew restless and started searching for something to occupy her time.
"Once you've been working, you're sort of looking around for something that's a little bit different to fill the days, and that's how I wound up there," she said.
"A friend told me about it, so off I went with her, and I've been there ever since."
Her duties at the Information Centre revolve around greeting and assisting travellers moving through the busy Brisbane Valley Highway.
Yvonne is just one of the thousands of volunteers who give up their time to help their communities.
And this week is National Volunteer Week - celebrating the theme Changing Communities. Changing Lives.
"I find it very interesting, and very rewarding, because my husband and I have travelled a lot, and consequently where folk have been or are going to, chances are, we've been as well.
"Personal experience is a very good thing. You can learn a lot from people who have been there, and done that. You can talk about things, or point out things for them to check out or have a look at."
Her own experiences visiting other information centres have helped inform Yvonne's knowledge on how best to help visitors to the region.
"When we travelled, we always knew that if you went to an information centre you could find somebody who could give you the good line on where to go or what to see," she said.
Even though she's retired, Yvonne still finds the time to set out on the occasional travelling adventure of her own.
"Travelling is very close to our heart, to trek around and see how other parts of Australia, and what people do, and how they survive," she said.
"This time last year we were still coming back from Western Australia. We love to travel, and cruising - I know that's a bit of a dirty word at the moment, we do love it, and we'll be on it again probably next year, if we can."
With lockdown restrictions beginning to relax, Yvonne is looking forward to resuming work at the centre, and encouraged people to travel to the Somerset.
"I thoroughly enjoy every shift I have down there. We're all really chomping at the bit whilst we all have to sit at home at present," she said.
"With the 150km limit on travel, and that might inch up a bit as time rolls on, the travellers and tourists should all be coming out for their day drives. It's a beautiful time for it, it's not hot, there's no flies, it'll be good."