Wednesday, May 19, 2010

To Volunteer or not to Volunteer

Last week was National Volunteering week, so what better way to continue the great Australian tradition of rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck into something than a blog by our very own Volunteer - Magda.

I came to Australia 8 months ago with my partner who had been offered a fantastic job in Sydney. Unfortunately for me, I have not yet been granted a visa with a work permit and the idea of being away from him on the other side of the planet for a long period of time wasn’t really an option. I decided to join him and take the opportunity whilst he was at work everyday to explore this fantastic city. The first month was exciting. Everything was new and fascinating. I loved sight-seeing but I didn’t want my partner to miss out on these experiences, so I started cutting back, settling into more of a housewife role. After a while I got bored...I needed something more to give me motivation to get out of bed every morning; something different from sight-seeing, shopping, cooking and cleaning our apartment.

Realising what a vibrant city Sydney is and how many events are being held every week, I thought I could be a part of it as a volunteer. A few words in the Google browser later, my idea had turned into action. I registered with ‘The Centre for Volunteering’ which provided me with basic training and matched my skills with Spinal Cord Injuries Australia.

Thanks to Spinal Cord Injuries Australia (SCIA), my volunteer position has made my time in Sydney so much more rewarding. I found that volunteering is a little give and take. SCIA has taught me so much about disability that I had never even thought of before. I’ve also met some great people with a passion for helping others. As a volunteer publicity officer, I am involved in writing articles, preparing presentations and creating media databases. And yes, it does feel great to be a part of a greater cause.

Along with more than 5 million people in Australia who think the same, we can really make a difference and show our involvement, not only during the Volunteer Week.