"Phenomenal" Woodside Volunteers Improve the Safety of Fishability

Fishability, formerly Fishers with Disabilities (FwD), is a not for profit that provides fishing opportunities for Western Australians living with disabilities. Since 2000, Fishability has promoted fishing as a means of acceptance and inclusion.

As part of their Strategic Plan for 2015 to 2018, they needed a review of the documentation and compliance of safety policies and procedures as well as the development of an OH&S Policy and outline of actions to reduce or eliminate the identified risks.

This work was taken on by a team of two “phenomenal” Woodside volunteers, Craig Petzke and Colin Parsons. Colin’s and Fishability’s feedback on the project is featured below:

“I found the exercise to be very rewarding...it was a real pleasure to know that my contribution was valued and important...I would recommend professional volunteering to anyone within the organisation for these reasons.”

Colin Parsons, Woodside skilled volunteer

Di Bruce, Executive Officer of Fishability, feels that both volunteers have met and exceeded their expectations; “scaling back to a management level suitable for an organisation of our size and providing recommendations that we hadn’t addressed before.” Furthermore, they experienced a “minimal impact of our organisation to achieve the goals. Any meetings or workload have been a pleasure to perform as we could see the positive outcomes.”

“Both volunteers have met and exceed our expectations”

Di Cheryl Bruce, Executive Officer


The organisation feels that with the completion of this project, they will improve the safety of the volunteers, participants, carers and operations. They estimate that the impact of this completed project will be in allowing them to “roll out [their] program to other centres, hold larger events, etc.” which will have a very positive impact on the community.

When asked whether they feel there is a value for their organisation in having access to skills-based volunteers, Fishability replied, “Absolutely. We needed the skill set to apply to our safety review which we couldn’t source within our organisation. It also assisted us in having a[n] independent part to review the operations and management of the Association.” The organisation estimates that the cost savings, increased income and other future benefits are worth up to $10,000.

Colin adds, “I found the exercise to be very rewarding. The main reason for this was the obvious gratitude I was shown by members of [Fishability] – it was a real pleasure to know that my contribution was valued and important. I would recommend professional volunteering to anyone within the organisation for these reasons. It’s also good to know that my professional skills can be transferred to a very different organisation and used in a very different context.”

Fishability have been outstanding in acknowledging the contribution that their volunteers have made and have now built a relationship with Colin.

Due to their positive experience with Volunteering WA’s skills-based volunteering program and the professionalism and expertise provided by Woodside, Fishability are now developing their next project to further strengthen their organisation’s capacity.

Check out the 'Sharing Skills' feature on Colin and Fishability on pg 27 of Woodside Trunkline!