Volunteer of the Month – October 2019: Helena

1. What is your background (profession/ workplace/ training)?

I am a doctor currently working in women's health at Joan Kirner Women's and Children's Hospital, with an interest in global health.

2. What inspired you to become a Water Well volunteer

A healthy community is one that is engaged, educated and empowered 🙂
While hospitals are important, improving health literacy can prevent a lot of the illness that lands people there in the first place. The Water Well Project works in preventable healthcare with communities of refugee and asylum seeker background in Melbourne, and I'm grateful to be a part of it.

3. Please share one of your favourite Water Well sessions or moments.

Chatting to the young women at Victoria University about sexual health was so much fun. Not only did we talk about STIs and contraception, we also dove deep into consent, communication and respectful relationships, and by the end the room was buzzing - these women were on a mission to spread the word!

4. What tips do you have for new volunteers?

It's good to be prepared with some practical advice - for example, multilingual websites with reliable information, or knowing which nearby community dental service or sexual health clinic bulk-bills. If you aren't sure, you can always ask your community representative beforehand.

Be flexible and keep it simple - covering 2-3 points really well is plenty, and go with the flow and direction the group takes you. Have fun!