Sydney Inner West 2014 VOYA
March 9th, 2014
Rose is just 14 years old and has been volunteering 4 hours every Saturday with The Exodus Foundation, an organisation that supports the independence of vulnerable individuals and families in crisis through high impact social, health, welfare and educational programs. Over the last 6 months, Rose has helped to prepare and serve breakfast to members of the Sydney homeless community at The Loaves and Fishes Restaurant. Her volunteer effort helps The Exodus Foundation to provide access to free meals and socialisation opportunities to the homeless community.
What makes Rose’s volunteering work so special is due to her life circumstances. In 2008, Rose’s mother was hospitalised for a year with a rare condition called Transversemyelitis. At this time, Rose’s father developed a drug and alcohol dependency and Rose (then aged 8) was forced to look after her hospitalised mother, her father, and her 3 year old younger sister. Since this time, Rose has continued to care for her mother and younger sister whilst completing high school. Rose volunteers in the Exodus Loaves and Fishes Restaurant because her father accesses services similar to those provided by the Exodus Foundation, and she wants to help people who are in a similar life circumstance as her father. Rose also volunteers with the Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation, an organisation that helps support children with parents who have drug and alcohol dependency. After supporting her father, Rose has become the first ever youth ambassador for the Kookaburra Kids Foundation, and volunteers to help other children in her situation.
Please see Overall Winner for description
David is the voluntary General Manager of the Sydney Bus Museum, an organisation that preserves part of Sydney’s public transport history by restoring former NSW Government buses and operates them on a limited basis for major community events.
David is a father who manages to balance his family responsibilities with his volunteer responsibilities; ensuring that the Museum is properly managed and that all the volunteers are coordinated and engaged. David took on the role initially as Acting General Manager when the organisation had not secured any funding for its remaining building works to ensure the Museum could be re-opened to the public. After persisting with several government organisations, David managed to secure $200,000 in financial assistance to complete all remaining building works for the Museum. David has conquered many up-hill battles resulting in improving the overall volunteer environment within the museum by introducing a code of conduct to ensure all volunteers are treated equally and with respect.
Gilbert is 82 years young and has been volunteering for 32 years! The number of events he has volunteered at over the 32 years is too many to list. Just this year alone, Gilbert has already volunteered at 75 event days across Sydney including The Royal Easter Show, Rotary International meeting, VIVID, Wheelchair Tennis Tournament and Red Nose Day just to name a few!
Gilbert’s commitment and energy to volunteering is evident that since his retirement about 15 years ago he has made volunteering his second career. Gilbert has never had a drivers licence and he travels to all his volunteering jobs by public transport. He often gets up at 4.00am to take multiple buses and trains to various venues across Sydney including Sydney Olympic Park, Eastern Creek and Wollongong.
WIPAN mentors offer a specialised service to the women that WIPAN works with. The mentors work with some of our community’s most disadvantaged and vulnerable women at a time of significant transition from custody and into the community.
The mentors meet regularly with their mentee from a hour to a full day, weekly or fortnightly and is changeable dependent on the developing support needs of the mentee which can include extra assistance through attendance at court, parole appointments, meetings with other services in the community such as Centrelink, housing, drug and alcohol, health or children’s welfare.
WIPAN mentors are truly dedicated to this client group and are always willing to assist with other matters including; court support, fundraising, training of new mentors, media articles and reporting. WIPAN mentors all have individual skills that they are able to utilise to further increase the support available to mentees and WIPAN services.