A remote non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving the pioneering history of the Australian outback is calling for more volunteers.
The outback town of Camooweal is located 190 kilometres from Mount Isa on the NT/Qld border and boasts a rich pioneering and droving history.
Pull off the Barkly Highway and you'll find yourself immersed in the town's standout attraction; The Drovers Camp run entirely by a volunteer committee.
But now the committee is searching for more help to support the camp into the tourist season.
The North Queensland Register spoke with volunteer caretaker Josie Rowlands and volunteer Cheryl Malloy in lieu of National Volunteer Week to discuss the importance of those voluntarily lending a hand to help keep rural communities thriving during tourist season.
Ms Malloy said they currently had two volunteers who would be leaving soon who helped out in the office and Droving Heritage Museum.
"The organisation has no paid staff and is 100 per cent run by volunteers," she said.
The Drovers Camp Association was initially formed in 1997 to recognise and preserve the rich pioneering history of the Australian outback, which the association said was at risk of being lost.
The Droving Heritage Museum was later established to showcase the history, bush art and guided tours by former drovers themselves.
The annual Drovers Camp Festival takes place in August each year with three action packed days of entertainment, bronco branding, bush poetry and showcasing the outback history.
Everything is entirely volunteer run.
Ms Malloy, who is currently completing a volunteer stint with her husband at the camp, said they were in desperate need of more museum volunteer tour guides to come onboard.
"The drovers come in regularly to conduct tours every season, but they're all getting pretty old now, some of them are into their nineties," she said.
"It is becoming more difficult to replace them and because droving obviously doesn't happen in the same way that it used to.
"There's not so many people who have the personal experience to be able to do the tours."
The couple have taken the initiative during their stay and written a training program for new tour guides to be able to work in the museum.
"We are really hoping that any drive we do now for volunteers is able to give us some people who will be interested in becoming tour guides," Ms Malloy said.
"That's our bread and butter really. That is what earns us our money out here.
"It's really important."
The museum centre is situated on a 25 acre homestead property with bush camping facilities.
"My husband and I are grey nomads currently travelling around Australia," Ms Malloy said.
"We see all these people every day driving past and we just want to catch about half a dozen of them and keep them here for a little while."
Ms Rowlands is the full-time voluntary caretaker at The Drovers Camp who ensures all facilities are maintained and up and running.
She said volunteer work would suit those people who have had a bit of life experience.
"Even if they're a handyman and are able to do some bits and pieces around the place," Ms Rowlands said.
"We need a gardener, a cleaner, we're looking for an admin person and somebody who can do fences. We're looking for anything."
Ms Malloy reiterated the importance of gaining more tour guides.
"But it is mainly the tour guides for the museum," she said.
"If we can really strengthen the tour program that would be a great outcome.
"That is where we make our money to keep our doors open."
The pair said whilst the demand on volunteers was not high, a good work ethic, a sense of responsibility and a commitment to be a part of a small team were paramount.
"If we don't have volunteers the organisation does not exist," Ms Malloy said.
"The organisation would fail.
"I'll tell you what we've got great plans for this place if only we can get it all off the ground."
Interested volunteers are encouraged to get in touch with The Drovers Camp at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (07) 4748 2022.
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