Volunteer of the Month- Feb 2017: Rachel


1. What is your background (profession/ workplace/ training)?
I'm working as a junior doctor at Monash Health.

2. What inspired you to become a Water Well volunteer?
I think Water Well sessions are a brilliant way of engaging and educating communities to look after their health, and I love being able to use my knowledge to serve refugee/migrant groups that often slip through the cracks in our health system due to language barriers and suboptimal health literacy or access. Talking to participants during the sessions has also taught me a lot about different cultural attitudes and common knowledge gaps about health which I try to incorporate into my practice at work too.

3. Please share one of your favourite Water Well sessions or moments.
I ran a session for a mother's group in Dandenong and it turned out that they still remembered lessons from a Healthy Eating session I had helped to run over a year before! They were not only adding more fruits and veggies to their diets but also making healthier food choices for their young children. It was incredibly heartwarming to hear and reminded me that what we do really does make a difference.

4. What tips do you have for new volunteers?
- Use plenty of props and pictures. Humour is also a great way to break the ice
- Be well prepared but also ready to be flexible. Sometimes it turns out what the group wants to discuss most is completely different from what was in the brief!
- Dive in head first and have lots of fun! Don't be scared even if it's a topic you don't know much about, there's plenty to learn from your fellow volunteers and the groups will teach you so much along the way too.