Ravenshoe resident encourages giving back through volunteering

23 May 2024
  • Veteran stories
  • ANZACspirit

Working full-time doesn’t stop Jodie Bocking from dedicating time to her community. The Ravenshoe local has been volunteering for Ravenshoe RSL Sub Branch for the past 10 years.

Sub Branch members appreciate her generosity and time, and the organisation describes her as bright and outgoing, saying her convivial personality is admired by all.  

Beginning as the last President of the Ravenshoe Citizens’ Auxiliary, then transitioning to a non-League Director on the Sub Branch Board, Jodie says her multiple volunteer responsibilities over the years have been gratifying.    

Jodie Bocking

Jodie Bocking

“It feels effortless and I enjoy it, seeing how much individuals appreciate and benefit from the support is just very rewarding,” Jodie says.  

“I really encourage individuals to volunteer for the RSL, especially younger people, because they will help support the next generation of veterans. Not only is it enjoyable, but you are giving back to people who have given so much to us.” 

From great ideas to coffee chats with veterans 

Jodie contributes to discussions around purchases and other important decisions at monthly Sub Branch meetings.  

“I have put forward different ideas – such as implementing a new catering fridge, lighting and renovations to the kitchen – which have all been voted in and implemented by the Sub Branch,” Jodie explains. 

“I also expressed thoughts around increasing safety and risk assessment, especially as members continue to age. Small things like handrails go a long way.” 

Jodie Bocking

(L-R) Cathy Machonachie and Ella Soper - Ravenshoe-RSL Sub Branch Citizens Auxiliary and Jodie Bocking

Jodie stays busy with weekly coffee chats with veterans, and helps the Sub Branch with catering for community events and wakes for members and non-members.  

Her work doesn’t stop there. Throughout the year, Jodie supports commemorative ceremonies by selling merchandise and raffle tickets, which helps the Sub Branch host its services.  

On the day of a commemoration, Jodie assists with catering, hands out poppies and reads a poem during the service if needed. 

“I began volunteering for the Sub Branch because I was looking for ways to help out in the community and I believe the organisation does great work for our local veterans,” Jodie says. 

“I also have a personal connection to the organisation. My Grandfather served in World War II and another one of my relatives served in the Vietnam War.” 

Jodie’s volunteer project: Never Forget WWII Sites 

In addition to her normal duties, Jodie has been working on an ongoing project with the Sub Branch for the past year called Never Forget WWII Sites. 

“Myself and Kelvin Groves, a veteran and Sub Branch member, initiated the idea last year. We wanted to create a map to highlight all the WWII military activity in the area,” Jodie explains.  

“There are several WWII military sites in and around Ravenshoe and we want to showcase them for the community and tourists to learn more about war history in the town.” 

Jodie Bocking

Jodie Bocking being presented an Australia Day Medallion by Far Northern RSL District President Ken Willoughby

After discovering that the project would be too large to manage on their own, the pair approached a company to start the process of creating a mobile app which will include a detailed map and the history of each site. From there, QR codes will be installed at each site so visitors can conveniently connect to the app and learn from their phones. 

“It’s been in the works for over a year, but I can’t wait to see the project come together – it’s very exciting. We have created a written proposal with the goal of receiving some government funding to help support the project,” Jodie says.  

Jodie is also grateful for support from RSL Far Northern District and the community. Ravenshoe Council, members of parliament and Queensland National Parks have also submitted letters to the government in an effort to progress the project along.  

At 52 years old, Jodie looks forward to volunteering with the Sub Branch for years to come. Her efforts have been celebrated in 2024, with Ravenshoe RSL Sub Branch awarding her an Australia Day Medallion for resolute and outstanding service. 


National Volunteer Week shines a light on the ways volunteering brings us all together, builds community and achieves vital work across Australia. Find your local RSL Sub Branch and become a member of RSL Queensland, or learn about other volunteering opportunities at volunteeringqld.org.au.