Fremantle Visitors Centre volunteers give tourists a helping hand

Ambassador Margaret Kingsbury and a cruise ship passenger.
Ambassador Margaret Kingsbury and a cruise ship passenger.

FROM requests on how to find diabetic food, to how much the free bus is, the staff at the Fremantle Visitor Centre are used to all kinds of questions.

The centre has a range of volunteer ambassador roles.

Some ‘rove’ around the city helping those who look lost, others greet the passengers of cruise ships.

I spent a morning with some of the team to see what a day in the life of an ambassador encompasses.

Program officer Dee Skuza said they are looking for more volunteers.

“We have 55 volunteers and we are trying to get it to 100,” she said.

“Freo is a maze with so much to explore so it’s so important to have people with local knowledge.

“We have had 19 cruise ships this season some with 2500 passengers.

“It’s great we get to chat with the passengers before they get back on the ship and they give us such positive feedback.”

Mrs Skuza said she and the other ambassadors enjoyed meeting all kinds of people from around the world

“We have a volunteer who speaks fluent Chinese and Japanese and we met two Chinese ladies in their 80s backpacking around Australia,” she said.

“We talked to the first Dreamliner passengers who came to collect their Rottnest tickets and they told us about the flight.

“Our volunteers really go above and beyond – when people have been stranded, we make sure they are okay.

“We see a lot of female backpackers and our older male volunteers are very much fatherly figures telling them ‘don’t do hitchhiking’.”

Volunteer Marlene Oostrycksaid that everyone was here to help.

“I remember one situation where there was a Frenchmen who just moved to Freo and he asked about hospitality options,” she said.

“I found out he was a registered nurse so we helped him get a registration and find a teacher to help him with improving his English.

“His friend from Croatia was so impressed by the visitor centre that when she went back to her village she implemented a similar scheme.”

MORE: Detectives charge Mullaloo man with 80 fraud offences

MORE: Department will not investigate Cockburn Deputy Mayor’s text messages to council candidate

MORE: Police searching for wanted man linked to a number of matters