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Volunteering – for your own benefit!

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Abbey Museum volunteers at The Abbey Medieval Banquet

 

5 ways that volunteering can benefit you!

 

Some people might argue that you dont’ get anything out of volunteering and it’s only for people who have nothing to do!

Well that couldn’t be further from the truth!

Who’s looking for a fun way to add a new layer (yes, like the onion description in  Shrek) to your life, build up resilience and get feel like to you that you really want to feel like.

Get active!  Get alive!   and get that awesome happy Seratonin feeling that you may have been missing for a while for whatever reason.

We have some wonderful volunteers at the Abbey Medieval Festival, some of whom come back to us year after year.  This might explain why!

 

What contributing to your community can do for you!

  • Are you between jobs? – use your time to volunteer and keep your skills up to date.
  • Are you recovering from illness? If you can’t commit to a full time job yet, use your time to volunteer and build up strength and stamina until you are fully fit again
  • Are you new to the area? Consider volunteering to make friends and contacts to help you feel connected with your community
  • Put that  smile on your dial – where it belongs! – There’s nothing like giving to make you feel better
  • Oh and here’s one, if you are fed up on on-line dating……why not give volunteering a go to see if you can meet some ‘real’ people.

 

Volunteering for the  Abbey Medieval Festival is and incredible experience.  It’s not just fun, it’s educational.  Applications are now open – apply here!

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Meet Our New Event Manager!

With the Abbey Medieval Festival coming up again in July, we’d like to introduce to you our new, wonderful and very excited Event Manager for the Festival,

Colleen Ogilvie!

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A little from Colleen about herself, her life, and what about the Festival and her job that she loves!

“So, a little bit of ‘goss’ about me hey? The new Event Manager for the Abbey Medieval Festival!

Where to start.. I live locally at Bribie Island (and yes, my husband organised a pre-nup agreement – I had to be prepared to live here for the rest of my life or no marriage – so of course I said yes to this terrible demand!!)

I love horses (I have competed and even done a bit of horse archery!) and arty/crafty stuff. I love making things (when I have the time) and doing a bit of sewing – tending to make creative clothing without patterns – just working it out as I go! I love nature and getting out into the great outdoors – very much at home in a simple camping environment! Our family spent 2 months in 2015 travelling to the Kimberleys and doing the Gibb River Road – just loved it!!

I have a work history of being involved in office administration, events coordinating and running an award-winning family tourism business. However, one day in late 2011, I decided I needed to do something JUST for myself…. So, I volunteered at the Abbey Museum of Art & Archaeology as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Abbey Medieval Festival. No small task, but one I thoroughly loved – both the challenge and the ultimate fulfilment of supporting all the wonderful volunteers.

I was doing this role as well as being a wife, mother and running our charter boat tourism business so it was a pretty hectic time for a while until we sold the business in late 2012.

Volunteers have been a passion of mine since putting in place the volunteer team for the first local Urban Country Music Festival for the then Caboolture Shire Council.

So over the past 4+ years I have been involved in the Maxime Heroica (volunteer team) for the Festival. After the business sale, due to my range of skills, I have been able to work at the Museum in various roles such as helping with the Museum events, crowd funding, and group visits.

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With Edie moving into other important growth areas of the Museum, it was a major unexpected surprise when this role was offered to me. I certainly did not see it coming!! I was both very humbled as well as excited to be more involved in such an amazing event. I see it as a way to support the Museum and it’s ethos as well as all the people involved in the Festival – the re-enactors, the volunteers, and the co-ordinators just to name a few.

I work with the ideals of co-operation and believing in people – working with our strengths as well as our weaknesses and finding the best way forward for all. Nothing is right or wrong – it is about the correct ‘fit’, leaving our personal ‘agendas’ behind and making the best decision to achieve the best end result.

I am loving the challenge and I have enormous support from the 25 other co-ordinators of the Festival, as well as the Museum staff, volunteers and of course Edie, Michael and the Board of the Museum. This is certainly not a role that can be done on ones own! It takes a team!

And an amazing team at that! I am VERY excited about what this years Festival will bring. Not just in entertainment and experiences, but in growing the sense of comradeship, goodwill and greater cooperation between all those involved.

I am really looking forward to enjoying this years Festival with you all!”

We welcome Colleen with open arms into this new role, and put behind her all of our support, belief and trust that she will, along with Edie and the entire team, bring you a bigger and better Festival than ever before!

To subscribe to our newsletter and be the first to know about upcoming events and ticket sales, click here.

To volunteer your time for either the Festival Weekend, the Banquet nights, or any other events, please click here.

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Capturing The Moments

 

{Our newest guest blogger is an Abbey Medieval Festival Volunteer Photographer.  She writes about her day at the Tournament below.}

 

So why I am an Abbey Medieval Festival Volunteer Photographer?

Like most visitors to the Abbey Medieval Festival I became entranced from the moment I entered the gate.    As I was greeted with a “my lady” and a snap of my wristband I was transported to another time, another place.

Photo by David de Groot

Inside the gates so much to see, smell, taste, experience and especially to photograph!  Forget a safari or road trip,  I hardly put my camera down!  I knew I wanted more than anything to photograph inside the second rope.  This was a world of swirling Romani skirts, the clash of sword on armour, the crack of a jousting lance as it shatters, of smiling kids running and playing barefoot.  For photographers capturing each and every moment of the experience is paramount.  I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer as a photographer for 2011, and again in 2012, not just the Medieval Tournament but also other great events at the Abbey Museum.

Blending in with the Crowd

Photo by Cavanagh

We  photographers get funny looks.  Comments about our “medieval Canons” or the contrast between our costume and the hefty gear we carry around.  We try our hardest to keep from blocking others views of the activities.  Many times this means spending the day in wet and sometimes muddy clothing from sitting or laying on the ground. I call it being authentic.

Photo by Jeff Fitzpatrick

So how does a photographers day start?  For me it starts months before as I work on my “medieval camouflage”.  By blending  into the rest of the festival as much as possible I can capture the day better, and combined with my official Abbey Medieval Festival Volunteer Photographer Tunic I’m ready to go as unnoticed as possible.

Ready or Not!

Photo by M Tullet

The night before the tournament begins I set an alarm, and a backup, for early in the morning.  Inevitably, I wake early from the excitement and by four I’ve gotten up to check that I have batteries, backup batteries, flash, monopod, lenses, spare lenses, and the all important memory cards packed.  I also take the time to gather up fingerless gloves, a warm hat, the list goes on!

Before the gates open and the grass is dry, photographers can be seen setting up, getting photos of fellow volunteers, the morning sun setting the castle aglow, glinting off a sword propped against a shield, or trying to plan out how to best capture everything.

And then the day begins!

All in a Day's Work at the Abbey Medieval Festival

Photo by M Tullet

For those who have experienced a tournament you know there’s so much to see and do.  Photographers get assignments to cover, but there’s always more to fit in.  Many times we may forget to eat or stop for more than a quick drink at the fountain because something just happened to catch our eye.   From the chilly morning, to sunny bright afternoon, then back to the brisk evenings we’re there in the grass capturing each moment of the festival.  But our day is hardly over when the gates close.  After driving home we  get all our cards downloaded, backed up, and reformatted.  Batteries charged, a bite to eat and to bed to try and rest.  Meanwhile images flits through our brain, and which ones we want to try and capture the next day!  Even long after the final boom of the cannon on Sunday there is work to do, processing, editing and submitting all the photos to the Abbey Festival for use in promoting this great event.  While this doesn’t seem much to some people, we photographers tend to have thousands of photos each day and that can sometimes take us all the way up to our deadline a month after the festival.

 

Guest Blogger:  Neda Lundie

{Neda Lundie was born in the United States and now a citizen of Australia, Neda Lundie fell in love with photography at an early age.  From the moment she picked up her first 110 camera as a kid in the early 80’s, to buying her first SLR second hand in year 11, the important thing for her has been to capture life to preserve memories.

Neda has covered events at the Abbey Museum since 2011 including Abbey Medieval Festival, Kids Medieval Fun Day, Picnic at Pemberley, Kids Dig it Day and new to 2012. the Birds of Prey Experience.}

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Wonderful people needed to Volunteer!

Abbey Museum volunteers at Medieval Banquet, Abbey Tournament

We need your help….HELP HELP HELP! (Did we mention we needed some help??)

Thank you to those of you who HAVE registered for this year!!! We currently have about 150 volunteers registered but need another 150 to make the Festival go off!!

Please register now if you are planning on helping this year!

CLICK HERE TO LOOK THROUGH THE ROLES, DATES AND TIMES AVAILABLE.
(To get to this specific information, just scroll down once you get to this page.) It is a good idea to note the preferred roles and times on a sheet of paper ready for Registering.

Then…..
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR ANY ROLES AND TIMES YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE ROSTERED.

Please put AS MUCH information as possible when listing your preferences and the times you would like to be rostered. This makes it easy for us to meet your preferences. Please have a tape measure with you when you register to enter in your correct measurements for your costume.

WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE AS MANY VOLUNTEERS REGISTERED BY THE END OF MAY SO WE CAN ORDER SPECIAL VOLUNTEER T-SHIRTS & TO ENSURE COSTUMES ARE ALLOCATED FOR EVERYONE.

Join the wonderful volunteers at the Abbey Medieval Festival

Hooray for volunteers!

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The Quick and Easy T-Tunic

For those who are searching for a quick-and-easy costume, something that will get you into the spirit of the Festival and conjure the feeling of being in medieval times, I present to you: the Quick and Dirty Guide to a T-Tunic!

Imagine yourself, ale in one hand and the other handing shading your eyes as you watch the merriment and talent of the reenactors at the Festival, in a costume you made yourself! It’s perfect fottunicr those with a sewing machine who can sew in a straight line, who need something to outfit the whole family, and who don’t want to spend a fortune. Just follow this link to the external site to download instructions in the handy PDF, and it covers what you need to be outfitted in your very own medieval tunic.

And check out this picture for inspiration! You too can have your own awesome costume to wow in.

All you need is some trim or ribbon, a belt and voila! You look fabulous!

 

http://img2.etsystatic.com/000/0/6168499/il_570xN.270465250.jpg
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The Abbeystowe Field

Now that we’re counting down the weeks left until the Festival, this seems like a great time to show you how serene the Abbeystowe field is for 51.5 weeks of the year! It’s such a beautiful place, and every year we need volunteers like you to help make it the most memorable and incredible event in the southern hemisphere.

Abbey Medieval Festival grounds  Abbey Medieval Festival grounds

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The Quest to Find a Dress.

Medieval Tailors Assistant

Medieval Tailors Assistant

I’ve discovered, in my trawling through the internet to find good costuming sources, a fabulous book called the ‘Medieval Tailors Assistant’ by Sarah Thursfield and I love it! It’s the first source I’ve found which lays out when what item was worn, where and how and who. There’s also how to hand sew or machine sew, what fabrics to use, how to make a personal block to make your costumes more accurate – how they would have been made back between 1200-1500.

PS the cheapest place I’ve found it is an Australian site, BookWorld with free postage and a great price!

Along with shoes, head wear, hose and children’s clothing. So now I can finally work out what to do with my hair for the Festival! Because ladies – you know how hard hair can be to control these days, let alone trying to figure out what would have been class-appropriate and time-appropriate. But I gotta say, the women back then wore some crazy things on their heads.

The Cross Tree C.1399 -1422

http://www.kats-hats.co.uk/images/crosstree2.jpg

Although I do think the Crispinette is rather lady-like and elegant.

The Crispinette C. 1300 – 1500

http://www.kats-hats.co.uk/slideshow/images/kat2.jpg

What do you think of these? What is the craziest headwear you’ve seen?

-Angela

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On books and new bloggers.

I’m excited! This is my very first blog for the Abbey Festival, so I think I should tell you a little bit about me, and why I’m here. I’m a recent graphic design/advertising graduate, and have a passion for history, typography, reading and (recently rediscovered) sewing! I’ve volunteered at the Museum because it’s my way of helping out, and the Festival is such an incredible event I couldn’t resist watching it come to life.

Now for the actual blog, instead of a blurb about me. I’ve decided to re-read the Tudor series by Phillippa Gregory, and still find myself spellbound by her writing. Whilst they may not be completely accurate historically or may portray people differently to how they were, Gregory is an amazing writer and can draw you deep into the world centred around Henry VIII and his court. It’s intriguing how after all these centuries we can make reasonably (or totally outlandish) guesses on how they behaved, what was said, who climbed over who to make it to the throne. We can never be totally sure that the records left behind are accurate, because the victors are the ones who write history. Taking these books as a semi-fiction work, based on real characters, means they are much more enjoyable then worrying about who said what or behaved how.

Reading such engrossing stories should be done in paperback, rather than as I’ve done on an e-book reader. Because the silly things go flat and there’s nothing to be done! What’s your favourite historical book?

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Calling our Abbey volunteers!

Join the wonderful volunteers at the Abbey Medieval Festival

Hooray for volunteers!

WE’VE JUST FINISHED our Kids’ Medieval Fun Day, and our volunteers are dragging off their medieval costumes, and cleaning up Abbeystowe.

Everyone is exhausted, but all our volunteers are smiling, feeling really pleased that we have helped build a very special experience for so many children.

The feeling of satisfaction you get from volunteering keeps many of us coming back and spending hour after hour, day after day, helping our community organisations.

Here at the Abbey Museum and Abbey Medieval Festival, we are blessed with over two hundred volunteers.

We want to make sure our volunteers are looked after, and have all the information and encouragement they need to keep on doing their wonderful job.

That’s why we’ve run our Volunteer Induction days. It is one of the best ways to invest in our volunteers.

To have a look at what we did at the last Volunteer Induction Day, have a look at the video footage taken on the day. See the video here for Volunteer Induction Day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aw2OoOTwiWc

If you are one of many new (and highly valued) volunteers, we hope you were able to make it.

If so, can you sport yourself in the video. If not, have a look at it. We hope you can make the next one.

In the meantime, we are now getting everything ready for the Abbey Medieval Tournament weekend.

Please leave a comment so we can be sure you have viewed the video.

 

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Abbey Medieval Festival and Channel 9’s The Voice: transformations of a kind!

Hello, my friends, again.

I have been asked to  ‘please explain’ and realise that I have been dropping a distinct word in my last few posts, without clarifying it.

That word is ‘Transformation’ – not one that we as adults use a lot, but ask any eight year old what a ‘Transformer’ is!

So, it’s kind of the same – kind of different! Let me explain!

Let me introduce Joe and Jim! (aka Joseph Pine and James Gillmore).  These two writers are my ture heros on the subject of experiences and transformations.  They will tell you a transformation is in fact an economic offering, just like goods or services – which as it turns out, are yesterday’s news.  Transformations are what consumers want and demand today.  Joe and Jim have further explained a transformation as: “Guiding customers to gaining a deeper understanding to some part of themselves“. (2011-The Experience Economy)

Interesting…… I’m hoping I dont’ lose you here, but actually, you know…it’s not that deep.  We experience transformations everyday.

Last week, I brought my son to his karate lesson. I sat watching.  The children were intense, serious and  focussed.  I remembered my son on those first few lessons; he was giddy and skittish; his attention everywhere.  I wondered if he would ever get it.  Now, as I sat and watched him, I was able to see something new; a strong gaze in his eyes, a serious face; he was absorbed.  He was actively engaged and I had just realised that before my eyes, he had escaped. Yes…..NAPLAN and all the stuff-of-the-week were left far behind.  He had undergone his own little transformation. And was I happy about that?

Channel 9’s ‘The Voice’ – why are we all so hooked? One word: Transformation.  Each of these wonderfully talented contestants are being guided through a transformation; it’s life changing, a personal journey. Let me even use the word ‘walkabout’  here.  There’s no going back.

Everyday, people fall in love, we experience grief, we have children born to us, or….. maybe no baby comes.  Each of these are every-day, life-transformations that we as human beings experience; each bringing us to a deeper and ongoing understanding of something inside us.

Ok, so what’s this got to do with the Abbey Medieval Festival, you ask?

We are here to guide you through a medieval transformation.

Nowadays our free time is so precious.  People are working so hard for their families and to achieve their ambitions.  How recreation time is spent is selective and valuable.   The Abbey Medieval Festival acknowledges this!

I examined what I really wanted for my own free time?

I wanted a little ‘escapism’ if that was possible.

Well it is!  Very possible.  You can escape absolutely and wonderfully so… to another era.  You can transform yourself to a different century and live it, for a short time, as it was.  A real medieval experience.  It only depends on you.  Let’s take the Kids’ Medieval Fun Day!  You as a parent can witness your kids’ transformation or even partake in your own.  Watch your kids as their attention towards the activities on offer changes.  First reluctance leading to curiosity, then mild amusement……a little more interest is piqued, then their attention is grabbed.  This leads to physical involvement and then…excitement and elation as they become totally and utterly engaged.

Guiding this transformation is our job.

And guess what! We are aware that some of our readers and followers are already there!  In our recent competition we asked people to tell us what type of experience they would like to have at the Abbey Medieval Festival this year.  Steve Springhall from Queensland said he wanted ‘the feeling of travelling back in time’…..Steve, thank you for this!  That feeling is yours to have and we really would be honoured to guide your transformation.  That’s all we can do.  The rest is up to you.  So who else wants to join in?

So next time you watch The Voice, think of your own transformation. 

Yours to have at the Abbey Medieval Festival!  So have it!

 

 Till next time readers….Caroline