Volunteer at the Seedbank
Our enthusiastic volunteers meet weekly to run the West Gippsland Seedbank – and we love doing it. We are a small team from a variety of backgrounds, and we always welcome new members.
By joining us, you can:
- Be part of an important initiative in your community
- Learn about indigenous seed collection and our local species
- Contribute to the preservation of local plants
- Participate weekly (or when it suits you)
- Take part in a variety of seasonal tasks
- Build friendships and enjoy our social activities (particularly in the off-season)
- Get to know the best of West Gippsland’s reserves and parks
Take a look at our News & Information page to see what we’ve been up to.
When we meet
9am – 12pm on Thursdays
(please contact us first if you’d like to come along).
Where we’re based
Baw Baw Shire Depot
188 Normanby Street, Warragul Victoria
No special skills are needed – learn as you go. A Hi-vis vest will be provided when you arrive. If you decide to stay on as a member, a $5 annual membership fee will apply to help us cover running and insurance costs.
Why we volunteer
“I’m learning heaps about indigenous plants in our area"
I’d heard about Seed banks through joining a Melbourne suburban council volunteering program called “Gardens for Wildlife”. When I moved to West Gippsland in 2021 I still wanted to make a contribution to my local environment. One friendly phone call later with WGSB, I was hooked!
This is my second season and I’m learning heaps about indigenous plants in our area and their importance. I’ve made great friends who are on my “wavelength” and are very skilled imparters of seedbank knowledge. I also love that we gather regularly in winter for warm cuppas, chats and exploring Seedbank activities and possibilities for the next season.
– Rose (Volunteer)
“A lovely group of
When I retired and moved here from the Northern NSW Tablelands, I needed something to do for the community and for me to meet new people who were on the same wavelength as me.
All my life I have lived on farms and planted native or other trees wherever I went. I also belonged to Landcare so when I saw a Landcare stand at Rokeby markets, they suggested I contact the WG Seedbank.
I was made extremely welcome straight away. Now I have a lovely group of like-minded friends, volunteer work I enjoy and I’m helping to do something for the environment. I’m also learning a lot!
– Joyce (Volunteer)
“vital for our continued growth of local indigenous plants"
I started volunteering at WGseedbank as an interest when I first retired from teaching. I have always loved the natural environment and Seedbank is a win- win- win for me. Giving back to community by volunteering, a great excuse to be in nature and a wonderful friendship group.
We often travel North in Winter and that is ‘off season’ so I am not abandoning a commitment. I took the role of President because I firmly believe that Seedbank is vital for our continued growth of local indigenous plants.
I have also learnt so much and continue to do so every season.
– Lorraine (President & Volunteer)
What we do
There is always something to be done at the Seedbank, and our Thursday morning sessions change with the seasons of seed production. Below is an overview of our volunteers’ activities.
The seed collection cycle
Plan & Prepare
April – November
During our off-season, volunteers meet regularly to plan for the season ahead. We spend time considering potential new seed collection sites and other opportunities for the Seedbank.
Collect & Dry Seed
November – March
This is our busy season. We drive to collection sites and gather seed from known species. The seed is taken to our shipping container, where it is dried on racks. We record details about the seed, its provenance and its collection date.
Clean & Package Seed
February – April
We separate the seeds from any leaves, sticks and other debris. Cleaning depends on the species, but can involve sieving, grinding and winnowing (blowing off unwanted materials). The clean seed is weighed, packaged and labelled.
Store & Distribute Seed
February – April
We record data about the packaged seed, and place it in temporary cool storage in our Seedbank facilities. At this point, the seed is ready for planting, so we deliver it to South Gippsland Seed Bank for sale. Find out how you can buy our seed.
Our volunteers are sometimes invited to visit properties that have been planted with our seeds. It’s a rewarding part of the process to see the fruits of our labour.
Workshops & Community Events
We attend Landcare workshops and other events in the community whenever possible, to build our skills and meet more like-minded individuals.
We catch up with each other regularly, to share news and knowledge. In the winter months, our weekly meetings are often held in a friendly Warragul café.