Celebrating our Volunteers!

2020 National Volunteer Week has been a celebration of those who generously give their time and energy in the hope that they are positively impacting lives and making a difference!

We spoke to some of our volunteers to see what inspired them to start volunteering for YWCA Australia.

Asista volunteer Grace Smithson said that the reason she decided to start volunteering was because she wanted to start giving back to the community. And the reason she chose YWCA Australia?

“I wanted to start giving back to the community in a way that reflected my feminist ideals,” she said. “I didn’t have any older women around when I was growing up and I always really wished I had, so when I saw the chance to be that for another young woman, I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity.”

Jessia Grgat, another Asista volunteer mentor said that she volunteers with YWCA Australia because our feminist values align strongly with hers.

“The opportunity to mentor a young woman, to create a meaningful bond with her, I think is invaluable in a world where so many young women experience profound disconnect and overwhelm.”

Communications volunteer Tara Kortel says that she was inspired to volunteer with the organisation because we are Australia’s leading national feminist organisation!

“I love that they are a proud feminist organisation and that they are not afraid to use the “F” word! I also admire the work they have done for women across Australia, from campaigning for women’s rights to helping women face-to-face.”

“The organisation’s programs are really distinctive. I am a Youth Frontiers program mentor and I am always floored by the ways that YWCA is able to provide opportunities for people to discover their passions and beliefs through hands-on engagement in their community.”

Claire Bertholli, Youth Frontiers volunteer

We were also curious about what they found most rewarding about volunteering.

All the Youth Frontiers volunteers we spoke to answered unanimously: the students themselves.

“Seeing the development of the students and the way they work their way through the projects facing and conquering the hurdles as they go. The final presentations have been so inspiring to all people involved,” Gavin Bell responded.

Lucia Galanti answered that it has been so satisfying to watch each of them enthusiastically help each other.

Claire Bertholli says that when the young people she volunteers with achieve a breakthrough in their programs, it gives her a sense of pride. It’s awesome to see an idea for a project go from a tiny idea to a full-blown social movement,” she says.

John Blackley explains that he loves being involved in the community. “Being able to help young people tap into and connect to their communities is really powerful and seeing these teens overcome barriers and hurdles and have projects completed at the end.”

“To see my mentee’s confidence blossom is by far the most rewarding part of my volunteer experience. It has been a profound experience to watch my mentee become more expressive and sure of herself in the short time we’ve been matched, and I look forward to her continued realisation of potential. We have a lot of fun on our outings, and I enjoy her company immensely – my mentee is one of the most confident, resilient, and thoughtful people I’ve ever met, and I am deeply grateful to be her mentor.”

Jessica Grgat, Asista Volunteer

We take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers for their hard work, dedication, enthusiasm and commitment to the cause. We wouldn’t be able to do it without you!

Want to volunteer and make a difference in someone’s life? Head on over to our volunteer page to find out how!

And while you’re here, why not sign up and be a member? Membership is FREE, but the experience is priceless. Sign up here.

YWCA Australia wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the lands on which we work, live and play and pay our respects to Elders past and present. We recognise First Nations people as the custodians of the lands, seas and skies, with more than 60,000 years of wisdom, connection and relationship in caring for Country.

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