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Volunteer Profiles

Community Support Worker.  Sue Joined Camcare in 2011.    “Coming from a teaching background, I jumped straight into the deep end – coordinating students from local schools on Community Action placements, or who who assist with our Annual Christmas Hamper program. It’s great to see the engagement that Camcare has in opening up volunteer pathways build responsive community attitudes in young people.  All my work has been in the wider community, so it’s great to get to meet local people in my role as a Community Support Worker, and get to know all the services and supports available for them. It gives me a sense of belonging, of being part of a neighbourhood.”  Sue Brink
Community Support Worker.  I have a friend at work who was experiencing difficulty with a large retail store. Her daughter had ordered a laptop over the internet and paid by credit card. Ater 5 weeks the laptop had not yet arrived.  My friend has sent them a copy of the receipt that they gave her, but to no avail.  I suggested she contact the Ombudsman or Consumer Affairs.  A week later we had another conversation. My friend was looking to do some study and have work fund her, but they refused.  I told her to look on the internet for Government Funded Courses, which she did.  Then, she was talking about her tax and how she was on a low income and really needed the $100 it would cost to get her return done.  So I told her about our Tax Help program.  She said to me “Every time I seem to have a problem you have an answer for me, how do you know so much?”  On thinking about it I replied – “My volunteer job – Camcare”.  It’s very interesting how Camcare comes into your everyday life and I  wouldn’t have  been able to provide  all this information if I was not involved with Camcare.  I love my volunteer job!”  Suzzanne Beck  Sue Beck 1
Volunteer – Community BBQ. On the last Thursday of each month Camcare holds a barbecue lunch for its clients, partnering with Inner East Community Health Services (IECHS) and NEAMI, the mental health service for the Eastern Region and JobCo PHAMS. Volunteer Campbell Paine, helps run the barbecue. Campbell, a retired lawyer, came to Camcare via the Friends of St Johns Community Service Group. “Having spent a long working life in offices and meetings, I wanted the opportunity to be involved in a hands-on community activity.  So I also help run a fitness walk out of the Balwyn Recreation Centre as well as having a role with two other not-for-profit organisations .  As well as providing a meal much appreciated by clients, the barbecue provides the opportunity for clients to socialise with each other and with staff from Camcare and other support organisations.”  Campbell Paine
Community Support Worker. Druma migrated to Australia from India with her family in 2006.  She trained as Social Worker at the Delhi School of Social Work, and worked in community development settings. She joined Camcare as a Volunteer Community Support Worker in September 2013. “I wanted to do something for my local community within my field of work, and this role provides an excellent  bridging opportunity. It has given me a deeper understanding of the issues facing Australia as a country, and also at the individual level as I work with clients in the Emergency Relief Program. Camcare is getting an increasing number of clients from CALD Backgrounds. I believe that my own cultural background and understanding of migrant issues are a definite factor in assisting clients from CALD backgrounds to feel a better connection with our services. As a trainee, I was encouraged to get feedback from my Mentor reiterating this – with a very positive result for a client from Vietnamese background who had struggled to engage before. Through my involvement with Camcare, I am now a trained facilitator for the City Of Boroondara Strategic Plan Consultations  – facilitating Focus Groups for CALD Residents. It feels good to be part of Australia”

 Druma

Tax Help Volunteer. Yvonne is married with 3 stepdaughters and is thrilled to have become a first-time grandmother. Yvonne has been a Tax Help Volunteer for ten years, 5 of which have been at Camcare. Yvonne is both a registered nurse and a tax accountant. Her working life has alternated between working in these two areas.“Family and being connected to community are the most important things to me. Just being involved in the community I live in is, I think, a good thing. For me volunteering is a way I can feel part of a community and participate. We live in an increasingly multicultural society. Most of us don’t have close family support due to various factors. And especially with an ageing population, neighbours become very important. I am also involved in a monthly neighbour’s night – whoever is available comes along, and we touch base with each other, just making sure everyone on the street is supported. It is fun and we are looking out for each other.”  Tax help
Administration. Our minds are always calculative, working on profit and loss. If a boss were to visit our home, we would lay the red carpet to welcome him and make him happy. But if a low profile person visited, it could be that we would hardly offer them a glass of water as we would not get any benefit from them. Volunteering is helping others and spreading happiness without any motive but to serve mankind. At Camcare there is a multicultural team working together to help the people of Boroondara. Innovative methods of delivering service are followed here which makes volunteers and client both sensitive of being a part of the same community. This is well illustrated in action at the Fresh Food service where I assist, although I am involved more with backend operations of maintaining volunteer records which keep increasing. This to me is a symbol of increase in selflessness amongst the community members. Due to competition the survival of the fittest exists, but at Camcare no one is treated any better or less than anyone else – all are equal. The great Indian mystic Kabir said:“Avval Allah Noor Upaya Qudrat Keh Sub Banday, Aik Noor Keh Sub Jag Upajiya,Kaun Bhale Ko Mandhe” God created Light out of which all Beings were born From this One Light came the entire universe  So who is good, and who is bad?”  Prakash
Fresh Food Program. “I first came to Camcare to access services. I saw the warmth and care of the people here.I realised that this was a community place where I could not only take and receive, but also give something back and contribute.  I know that I am not alone in this experience. I talked to another Chinese woman who told me that she was suffering from post-natal depression but was able to join as a volunteer which actually really helped her a lot. Lots of people who access Camcare’s services feel this way and are willing to volunteer. There is a difference between having to work to survive, and being able to enjoy working – to feel that we are contributing to society. I can say that my best working experience has been at Camcare – it is a very pleasant work environment. We are happy to come to work, and go home feeling even happier. Everybody has a part to play.  In my Fresh Food team we have fun and are highly motivated. In fact, if you turn around for a minute you have to watch out because you may find that someone has already finished your job!”  Ling - volunteer
 IT. and Admin Support. Ray started working in IT as a computer programmer in 1970, and was still in IT when he “retired” in 2011.   He took up his first volunteer role soon after leaving full-time employment and now volunteers three days per week, including half a day at Camcare. “Volunteering at Camcare has brought home to me that lives can be dramatically changed by the toss of Lady Luck’s coin.  I have had a most fortunate life, but have often wondered how things might have been if I had not been in the right place at the right time.   Camcare gives me the opportunity to acknowledge this and to give something back to the community.” Ray also delivers short courses in Computer Skills at a local Neighbouhood House. He is also involved in addressing food insecurity at a community level through sustainable gardening.  

For more information on volunteering or to apply to be a volunteer, please go the Volunteering page.