Nicci works at Radio 2RPH; the initials RPH stand for Radio for the Print Handicapped of NSW. 2RPH provides a radio reading service for people who cannot see, handle or understand printed material.
What does your job involve?
I would probably need a book to tell you everything, but my responsibility begins and ends with everything! I am primarily responsible for the ‘sound’ of the radio station: the standards of presentation and production, the administration of the organisation, the obtaining of grants, fundraising and promotions, and have ultimate responsibility for the pastoral care of the volunteers. All the usual management related responsibilities, financial, licensing and technical oversight. I also have responsibility for programming, and even do some recording when I can!
Why and how did you become a volunteer manager?
I am a paid member of staff, but I did begin by being a volunteer myself. I enjoy the volunteering experience as it provides an opportunity for learning a new skill, in this case broadcasting. In my job as manager of a volunteer organisation, I find that I am able to influence how the volunteers are managed and hopefully provide them with the kind of environment that allows them to give of their best to our stakeholders and ‘clients’ the all-important listener!
I became the Manager because I felt I could offer something to this particular organisation. I have very strong organisational skills, having worked for more than a decade in the airline industry. I have managerial experience and skills, which I thought I could bring to bear on this radio station. It was also an area (volunteering) in which I had no experience except from the pointy end as a volunteer myself! It intrigued me and I felt it would challenge me – which it certainly has. How it happened was that our previous Manager at 2RPH retired. I was shortlisted for the job and was lucky enough to get it!
What are some of the rewarding experiences you have had working with volunteers?
I think the most rewarding experience I have had is the formation and success of the three ‘admin’ teams of volunteers I have created here at 2RPH. The roster team in particular consists of a group of dedicated people who volunteer a day a week to organise all the live to air volunteer’s shifts. It’s a challenging task at times, but they are all superb at their jobs and an enormous help to the station. Without them, the Production team and the Reception team, 2RPH would not be able to work its magic on the airwaves. Their support and hard work form an essential building block in the edifice that holds 2RPH on the air.
Do you have any examples of innovative programs and ideas for working with your volunteers?
I feel that treating people with respect, providing training and making sure they are valued and included is the main thing that keeps them coming to work. The way we work with the teams not only allows our volunteers to have a say in the running of the station and thereby gain valuable experience but also allows them to have a more satisfying experience working for 2RPH.
Do you network with other volunteer managers? If yes, how and what have you gained from that?
Actually I don’t, apart from my opposite numbers who also run RPH stations in other states. However, they all have more staff and/or fewer volunteers than I do here in Sydney and therefore the volunteer management is different. It would be good to have more time to do some more networking.
Do you utilise the services of The Centre for Volunteering?
Most definitely and I couldn’t run the station without them.
You can find out more about Radio 2RPH online at: