Volunteer of the Month – November 2023: Helena

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

Obstetrics and Gynaecology Senior Resident Medical Officer at The Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney.


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

My inspiration is deeply rooted in my personal experiences. As an immigrant, I have firsthand knowledge of the significant impact of poor literacy on my family and others like us. Witnessing the kindness of strangers and dedicated volunteers who helped my family integrate into Australian society left a lasting impression on me. Thus, my passion for assisting migrant and culturally diverse populations has been a driving force. I firmly believe that education is a gift that can never be taken away, and I want to pay it forward.


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

One of my most cherished moments was conducting a dental health session in Mt Druitt. What made it special was the presence of a natural-born comedian among the participants. Her humor set a friendly and open tone for the session. We not only covered important dental health topics but also engaged in lighthearted discussions, including her attempts to play matchmaker for an elderly couple, exploring intriguing homophones within Arabic dialects, and sharing cultural exchanges. The interpreter even joined in the laughter, making it a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone.


4. What tips do you have for new volunteers?

You don't need to be an expert on the topic to lead an interactive and effective session! None of the sessions I have run have been on women's health, instead, they have been on topics that range from skin health to eye health. The Water Well Project provides excellent templates that serve as a valuable guide for familiarizing yourself with the material. Embrace the opportunity to learn and grow along with the participants.


5. “I volunteer because…”

it brings a profound sense of fulfillment to my life. It not only allows me to contribute positively to my community but also provides personal growth and connection with individuals from diverse backgrounds who have unique life experiences.