VOLUNTEERS have been a part of Rottnest from the time the island gained recognition as a favourite family holiday destination.

The work undertaken by volunteer groups ensures Rottnest not only remains the ideal location for Perth holiday makers, but has a great deal of importance for the ecology of the Island.

The voluntary groups include the Environmental Awareness Commit-tee, the Military Restoration Committee, the Rottnest Island Foundation, the Rottnest Island Railway Trust, the Rottnest Society, the Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association and the Winnit Club.

Their contributions include active environmental management; up-grade and conservation works; guiding and tour services; and delivery of education programs.

During winter, members of the Winnit Club built an engineer-designed stairway down the Geordie Bay to provide safe access for visitors.

Previous projects have included construction the stairways from the Bathurst lighthouse to Pinky’s Beach and the tennis courts, the boardwalks and viewing platforms at the West End and fencing the pathway around the cliffs to Bathurst Point.

The Rottnest Volunteer Guides take visitors on walking tours around the settlement giving them an insight into the history and ecology of the island.

Other volunteer groups have been involved in an innovative tree planting program near the island’s tip to prevent an underground nutrient plume entering Lake Baghdad.

The close and supportive relationships of the groups and the Authority contributed to the wonderful holiday experience that Rottnest provided to families during the year.

On Friday, the RIA board entertained representatives of the island’s volunteer groups at a cocktail party at His Majesty’s Hotel, Fremantle, to thank them for their efforts.