Ray Marchant lives in Alberton and works as a graphic designer by trade. When not sitting in front of a computer, you can find him sitting in front of the customer service desk ready to answer questions, either in the Port Adelaide Visitor Information Centre, or out and about as a tour guide.
He moved to Australia from England 25 years ago and being an active member of the community through volunteering has always been important to him, "For most of my life I have always tried to volunteer in my local area to meet the community".
Ray used to volunteer at The Smith Family as program coordinator in Taperoo before starting with council. However, getting involved at the Visitor Information Centre is a natural fit for the self-described chatterbox who enjoys the social aspect of the work during his two, three hour shifts a week.
"I love learning about the local area and working in Visitor Information is a great chance to give back to our community whilst sharing the historical knowledge I've gained with new people.”
His latest project has seen him training to provide walking tours in Port Adelaide and Semaphore during History Month, where he will provide six walks a week.
A proud local, Ray loves to talk and share knowledge about where he lives, “It’s the calm before the storm and I’m excited about the future of the Port thanks to all the redevelopment and activation of spaces.”
“I speak with a lot of overseas tourists, especially from cruise ships. I try to give them the best possible information to allow them to use their short time here wisely and see as much as possible.”
Ray has had a life-long love affair with maps. Since he was a child he has been drawn to their beauty in design and application from pirate treasure maps in his younger years, to street maps as an adult.
"Maps, especially hand-drawn maps, are beautiful things. Being able to physically hold something that looks great and serves such an important purpose is one of the greatest human inventions.”
Ray’s particularly complimentary of the way Council looks after and supports its volunteers. "It's very encouraging to see so many volunteers who have been around for so long. The level of training and support provided by council is fantastic and they take training and safety seriously which is great to see."