Volunteering at the State Library

Volunteering at the State Library offers a unique and rewarding opportunity to discover our resources and collections, to interact with our clients and be involved in the many events held at the State Library.

As a volunteer, you could be involved in delivering literacy activities to preschool children, helping at events and exhibitions, collecting survey responses from clients or being an office assistant.

Volunteering will provide you with an opportunity to learn about and contribute to the State Library and community as a whole.

If you would like to discuss volunteering at the State Library please contact Mary Doyle on (08) 9427 3327 or email volunteers@slwa.wa.gov.au.

Spotlight on Volunteers

Several times a year we spotlight the great work that one or a group of volunteers do for the State Library

Gillian O''Mara

Gillian O’Mara’s service has touched many people.

Gillian O’Mara’s service to the community of Western Australia has been little short of incredible. As a child, Gillian’s family was split up and this separation seemed to fuel a need to know who she was and where she came from. In searching for her family history, she became passionate about genealogy, loving the challenge of the search.

The State Library has a partnership with the Western Australian Genealogical Society Inc. (WAGS) history. Volunteers from WAGS staff the Genealogical Centre (GC) in the Battye Library on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Gillian is the longest serving volunteer in the GC and has been there since this partnership began 31 years ago. 

Gillian arrived in Perth in the 1970s and, prior to joining WAGS, was researching her husband’s family using Battye Library records. She was noticed by the Library staff and Rica Erickson asked if she would volunteer to help compile The Dictionary of Western Australians. She assisted with the four volumes and Rica made it known that she could not have published this acclaimed set without her. 

Gillian joined the Western Australian Genealogical Society (WAGS) in 1984, convened their Convict Group and New Zealand Group for many years and made a significant contribution to the Enrolled Pensioner Guard Group. Other volunteering for the Society includes public relations, education, delivering presentations and work on many indexing projects. On the Genealogical Desk in the State Library Gillian volunteers one shift per month, handling an average of 20 enquiries per shift. Gillian has embraced technology and more recently has been a firm supporter of the State Library’s project to digitise the Western Australian Biographical Dictionary cards with the goal of making them accessible globally. Gillian is also a Friends of Battye member and has held the role of Vice-President since 1992.

As renowned Western Australian historian and genealogist, Gillian continues to make an outstanding contribution to the WA community, volunteering tirelessly in a number of organisations to help people to research their family history.

Current Positions

Please note that the State Library screens its volunteers and some positions may require a Police Clearance or Working With Children Card.

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Page last updated: Wednesday 10 August 2016

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