VETERAN volunteer and cherished community member Dot Lacey says there are no good excuses to avoid volunteering.
This colourful character has played a monumental part in the sporting landscape of Gladstone, particularly on the hockey field.
"Sport has been the catalyst for so many things in my life," she said.
"There should be more people doing both volunteering and sport; they are the best medicine, the best cures for everything."
The first woman to be bestowed the honour of becoming a life member of the Hockey Association, as well as Meteors Hockey Club, Meteors Sports Club and the now defunct Gladstonette's Squash Club, Mrs Lacey says money would never have sufficed.
"Volunteering was never something I 'had' to do; I enjoyed watching the progress that was made," she said.
"I took enormous pleasure in seeing the teams grow as families. I never wanted to get paid."
A coach, player, cook, author and foundation member of the Meteor Hockey Club, there is no doubt sport in Gladstone has been greatly benefitted by the devotion shown by Mrs Lacey.
Preparing for a relocation to Redcliffe in south-east Queensland, Mrs Lacey is reluctant to leave behind her home of 40 years and the strong foundation of friends developed during her time here.
When presented with the worrying statistic that 56% of Australians say they are too busy to volunteer, Mrs Lacey dismisses the claims as "rubbish".
"As one of my former presidents once said, if you want something done give it to a busy person," she said.
"They are the ones who can always make the time."
- Employed individuals have a higher volunteering rate than those who are unemployed.
- The annual value of contributions made by volunteers in Australia is estimated to be $14.6 billion.