Volunteer of the Month – January 2021: Tarini

1. What is your background (profession/ workplace/ training)?
First year resident at The Mercy Hospital for Women. I’ve been volunteering with the WWP since final year med school and have a special interest in women’s and refugee health.


2. What inspired you to become a Water Well volunteer?
My parents are Sri Lankan and I know that navigating the health care system when they came to Australia was daunting. Whilst working in the hospital I became aware of the gap in health literacy and the communication barriers that often face refugee and migrant communities. The Water Well Project is a great way to give people some tools and resources to help make their experience with healthcare a little bit easier. It’s also really helped improve my communication skills especially when working with interpreters and larger groups.


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

Seeing the light-bulb moments when talking to a group of Pakistani women about how to address 'the birds and the bees’ with their young children. It was great to see everyone sharing personal stories and realising how similar all of our experiences with puberty were when growing up.


4. What tips do you have for new volunteers?
Be prepared but stay flexible! It’s a good idea to have some resources in relevant languages available for discussion - a mixture of articles, books, podcasts etc can be handy. Try to engage the group with an ice-breaker and leave plenty of time for questions. The chat function on zoom can also be good for larger groups or quieter participants.