Volunteers of the Month – April 2022: Lucy & Emma

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

Lucy: I’m a third year Medical Student studying at The University of Melbourne, completing my placement at The Austin Hospital.

Emma: I’m a medical intern at Royal Melbourne Hospital this year, having completed my medical training at Monash University. I am also currently working for the Department of Health in the COVID-19 response as a Team Leader. Through these experiences, I have become very passionate about equitable access and quality of healthcare for all patients within a local and global context.

2. What inspired you to become a volunteer with The Water Well Project?

Lucy: Improving health equity within such a well-resourced country like Australia is an important issue to me, and something which I wanted to contribute to as a Medical Student. The Water Well Project empowers individuals from migrant, refugee and asylum seeker communities by improving their health literacy, and I believe this can have a significant and lasting impact on the individuals, their families and communities. I was also attracted to the idea of being involved with a group of like-minded people who were coming together and sharing ideas to promote change.
Emma: I’ve been involved in projects targeting rural healthcare in Africa and Nepal, spending time in Uganda and the Lower Everest Region to set up health clinics offering testing and treatment for common communicable diseases, as well as health promotion sessions. From these experiences, I developed an appreciation of the importance of health literacy as the foundation of equitable community health. I realised that within our own local community there are barriers to receiving timely and appropriate healthcare which often stem from poor health literacy. I feel strongly that people of refugee and asylum seeker background deserve our support to foster their knowledge of healthcare in Australia. Ultimately, through reciprocal sharing of experience and knowledge, we will all gain from the beautiful and diverse cultures that encompass and enrich our everyday lives in Australia.

3. What is your role with The Water Well Project?

We form part of the Volunteer Engagement team at The Water Well Project, meaning we have the privilege of working with you to ensure you receive quality training and engagement. You may have seen us at your induction! We work behind the scenes to ensure resources are up to date, we write these newsletters each month, and we organise all events for prospective and current volunteers. We always love to hear from volunteers, receive your feedback, or to see you in the community, so please reach out or say hi!