Ben Dack of Albany Creek Nominated for QLD Youth Volunteer of the Year Award

National Volunteer Week Ben Dack
Photo Credit: Supplied

Ben Dack, an Albany Creek local, recently earned a nomination for the Queensland Youth Volunteer of the Year Award through Volunteering Queensland. To highlight Australia’s celebration of National Volunteer Week, here’s his heartwarming and inspiring story as a dedicated volunteer at the Albany Creek ORCA Project.

Despite living with Williams Syndrome, a genetic condition, Ben has overcome personal challenges and turned them into an opportunity to make a positive impact on others’ lives. Ben’s inspiring journey began at the age of 13 when he started volunteering in his local community at his neighbourhood church.

In 2021, Ben approached Alison Cox, the program founder of The ORCA Project under Wesley Mission QLD, as he sought an opportunity to volunteer in Albany Creek.

Wesley Mission QLD played a crucial role in creating The ORCA Project, which has provided countless individuals with disabilities, including Ben, with opportunities they may not have found elsewhere. The inclusive and supportive environment of Wesley Mission QLD has allowed Ben to feel safe and respected, leading him to become an ardent advocate for the organization’s values.

Ben’s passion for helping others, combined with his positive experience with The ORCA Project as a trainee, made him an invaluable addition to the team.

“Volunteering impacts my life every day. It gives me a sense of purpose, and I feel proud to be a volunteer. It gives me confidence and makes me happy,” Ben said, reflecting on the transformative power of his volunteer work.

National Volunteer Week Ben Dack
Photo Credit: Supplied

When asked about advice for individuals with disabilities who may be hesitant to engage in volunteer work, Ben encouraged them to take the leap. He advised finding a supportive and inclusive organization like Wesley Mission QLD. With its diverse range of programs, such as Aged Care, Hummingbird House, Emergency Relief, Art from the Margins, Community Respite, and Headspace, individuals with disabilities can discover meaningful ways to contribute to their communities and lead more fulfilling lives.

“Volunteering helps to open up life. It is more than just an opportunity to ‘give back.’ We have had volunteers who will tell us that volunteering has literally changed their life. That sense of purpose is a gift in itself,” said Ms Cox.

Wesley Mission QLD constantly seeks volunteers to support its various programs. The ORCA Project, for instance, relies on volunteers to facilitate work skills training for its participants. Opportunities can range from onsite training workshops to supporting individuals during work experience placements. 

“Our volunteers regularly tell us how much they love being part of the team here. Volunteering with us has changed their lives for the better,” said Lynne Dack, Ben’s mother, who works for Wesley Mission QLD. 

To explore volunteering opportunities at Wesley Mission QLD, interested individuals can visit their website at

Published 22-May-2023