Feature: International Volunteers Day 2017

Ausdance Victoria is incredibly grateful for the generosity and dedication of each volunteer who has assisted our organisation in many ways throughout these 40 years. This International Volunteers Day, we would like applaud the work of one of our longest serving volunteer, Ron Ewington, in recognition of the dedication and service he has brought to Ausdance Victoria.

Image of Ron at the Ausdance Victoria office – May 1996 (Photo from Ron Ewington)

Image of Ron at the Ausdance Victoria office – May 1996 (Photo from Ron Ewington)

Ron’s first introduction to dance was at the ballet at Ilford hippodrome in London, on a Saturday night with his parents, in the 1930’s. He enjoys classical music, which lends itself to dance so well. Prior to volunteering with Ausdance Victoria, Ron was the secretary of the Society International Folk Dance.

Ron started helping out at the Ausdance Victoria (when it was still known as the Australian Association of Dance Education) office the same year the organisation took over the studios in Flemington when the Australian Ballet moved to Collingwood. He worked with then CEO, Mark Gordon, who according to Ron, initiated the library and enthusiastically saved any media references to Dance. The library and data archiving was kept up by Ron long after Mark had moved on. Ron moved with the library when the organisation moved to Southbank, then to Fitzroy. His role ceased when the Ausdance Victoria moved back to Southbank in 2010.

Ron gained enjoyment from his long term involvement with Ausdance Victoria, and he contributed to the analogue era of dance history records for about 20 years. During the years he volunteered with Ausdance Victoria, Ron continued folk dancing – international and Israeli folk dance. He appreciated his work at Ausdance Victoria, the company of his colleagues (Mark, Ruth and Lois), and staying updated with news from the dance world. Today, at 93, Ron delights in attending the Australian Ballet, the Opera and watching folk dancing.

"Ron Ewington was a valued and important volunteer librarian at Ausdance Victoria for more than twenty years.  Not only did Ron fully catalogue the library collection, he also actively collected and catalogued clippings and ephemera. During the many years that Ausdance Victoria was able to maintain its library collection established by the organisation founders, until it was eventually passed to the Victorian College of the Arts, Ron was the key person making the specialist library resources accessible to dance students, teachers and the broader community in the early days at Flemington, then at the Southbank Boulevard and the Fitzroy Town Hall.  He was always cheerful, collegiate and willing to go the extra mile to help with queries and special requests. From when I started at Ausdance as a volunteer in 1998, until I left in 2009, Ron was a constant, quietly coming in once a week, or later a fortnight, to keep the library up to date. What a fantastic contribution!"

- Kath Pappas, former Director of Ausdance Victoria.

The team at Ausdance Victoria would like to extend our biggest gratitude and Thanks to Ron and all the volunteers who have assisted us in our programs, research, daily operations, and more.

2017 has been a busy year for our team with a number of successful major programs for the sector. This would not have been possible without the help from our volunteers. A huge thank you to:

Maxine Rose
Michelle Aitken
Paula Pabel
Rachael Wisby
Rahul Mahato
Sarah Biron
Tegan Ollett
Wei Fei Chin

Audrey Desmond
Caroline Ellis
Chelsea Byrne
Chloe Dobson
Hayley Chong
Jaala Jensen
Lydia Connolly-Hiatt
Maggie Chen
Marion Brazier