Volunteering is my healing process

Nov 28, 2019#CommuniTea Stories

CommuniTea Stories at North Richmond Community Health Snowy

 

👤 Snowy, Volunteer

☕ Coffee/tea order: Decaf coffee

“When you give to others, you don’t throw a pity party for yourself. I think volunteering was a healing process for my resentment.

At North Richmond Community Health, I volunteer in the Richmond Seniors Club and the English Conversation Group. I also give additional English classes to some of the students in my own time. I’ve been volunteering here for five years. I also volunteer for the City of Melbourne Tourism free walking tours and visitor centre. I’m like a professional volunteer!

I was born in Belgrade, Serbia and came to Australia when I was six. When I was 19, my parents decided to move to Cape Town and I had to go with them because I wasn’t legally an adult yet. I couldn’t go to university because of the official language so I got a job in sales and advertising, but my real passion was to be a travel consultant. Eventually, I had the opportunity to start my own travel agency. I had my business for 23 years, travelled to 58 countries and learned many languages.

About 10 years ago, I decided to come back to Australia so my daughter (whom I adopted in South Africa) could complete her education here. I sold everything in South Africa – my apartment, my business, everything. It was hard coming back because everything was going great for me there. But, I made a generational decision to come back here, which I’m glad about. I still miss my friends.

Since I sold everything there, I had to work, but it was difficult getting a job at my age. At one point I was unfairly dismissed from my job and represented myself in court. I also became homeless at another point, which I never thought I would ever be in my life. But because of what I’ve been through, I have compassion for people. I now know it can happen easily – it’s not just a matter of, “why don’t they just get a job?”

I’ve overcome everything. Giving back to the community has helped me a lot. In volunteering, you feel like part of a team, you feel appreciated, and you build relationships here. It has been really enriching, and even though I can stop volunteering if I wanted to, I don’t want to stop. I don’t know when I’ll stop and I’ll just carry on because I enjoy it.”

 

#CommuniTea Stories 

  • Share this post on

Tags

You may also like

Closed Tuesday 26 January

Closed Tuesday 26 January

    All our services except our COVID-19 Testing Clinic and the Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) will be closed on Wednesday 26...

read more
Closed for the holidays

Closed for the holidays

Our centre will close over the holiday period from Monday 27 December 2021 to 3 January 2022.* We will re-open on Tuesday 4 January 2022.  ...

read more
Select Language