1. What is your background (profession/ workplace/ training)?
I am a vascular registrar at Royal Perth Hospital.
2. What inspired you to become a Water Well volunteer?
I was on the lookout for an organisation where i could do some volunteer work with refugees. I came across the waterwell project last november by chance and was delighted to have found an organisation that provides health education and literacy to new migrant refugee groups! The concept of the organisation is very intelligent as it not only provides education and literacy, but perhaps more importantly makes these new migrant groups feel accepted, welcome and supported by the wider Australian community.
I was unable to find a similar organisation in Perth where i am currently working and so i had to travel from Perth to Melbourne for the induction session last year and since then for the volunteering sessions. It's been an amazing experience and i am so happy i got involved.
3. Please share one of your favourite Water Well sessions or moments.
I am not sure I can pick a favourite session as i have loved them all. But what i have loved about them all is watching the migrant refugees open up as the session progresses. Often they are shy and quite in the beginning of the session but after some time passes you can really see them open up, making suggestions, asking questions and really interacting with each other and the volunteer members. Watching their confidence grow in this way is very rewarding. In the end it's one big happy family and this is the Australia i love and i'm proud of!
4. What tips do you have for new volunteers?
Get involved. The sessions are not only educational for the community groups but also for the volunteers. Every session that i have helped run i have also learned something. It is a very rewarding and enriching experience that brings people together. Preparation for tge sessions is helpful and necessary to a degree but often the session runs itself as it's shaped by the community members, how much they know and what they want to know. The most important thing is to go in to the session with a big smile, a positive attitude and to enjoy yourself!