Insights into volunteering panel – Good for you, good for your career

Insights into Volunteering Panel – Good for you, good for your career
Skills and Jobs Centre panel – Monday 13 May 2019

Volunteering Geelong, St John of God Hospital, Gen U

Come along and gain some insights into the world of volunteering.  There are many benefits of volunteering including an opportunity to give to our community, networking, gaining new skills and experience. A panel of volunteer organisations will discuss the benefits of volunteering for those who may be:

– exploring new careers
– gaining new skills & knowledge
– boosting job and career prospects
– connecting to community

Participate in National Volunteer week activities – 20-26 May
How to get involved

Panel members

Tara McCallum – Volunteering Coordinator – St John of God Hospital

Jolanda Dejong – Special Project and operations coordinator – Volunteering Geelong

Emily Learey – Volunteering Lead – GenU

Applications can be made: through online form, email/post form, or can be dropped in face to face.

General information: Specific organisations may require police checks, or working with children checks. These may be funded, but will depend on the volunteer organisation. First Aid certificates are generally not required.

Panel Career Stories & Organisational Information

Tara – St John of God Hospital – Tara was an Emergency Nurse for the past 12 years and 5 months ago she stepped into her Volunteer Coordinator role as a maternity leave cover. She feels that she has used a very different skill set in emergency nursing, but has a lot to offer the volunteer coordination role, looking after 140+ volunteers. She also volunteers for her son’s football team as the team manager and thoroughly enjoys supporting the 25 teenage boys. St John of God head office is in Perth and there are 1100 Care Givers in Geelong – all staff and volunteers are called care givers. St John of God Geelong has a private emergency, ICU, medical, and surgical areas. The volunteer roles cover 20 different roles including concierge, convenience trolleys, drivers, maintenance assistance, patient companions etc. There is a disability arm to the volunteering that creates opportunities for those with disabilities. One of the volunteers has been with the hospital for 20 years and they will be presented with a recognition, along with those serving the hospital for 5-15 years, next week.

Jolanda – Volunteering Geelong – Jolanda started at VG only 3 weeks ago. Jolanda’s career started as a primary school teacher, she is Dutch and came to Australia 24 years ago. She has worked at Centrelink, in the Job Network, and at Tasmania TAFE, then worked at professional colleges in training. She now teaches Yoga and works part time in her current role. She works with 8 dedicated volunteers. VG will set up an interview and help people find a suitable role to help build skills or social connections and in meaningful activities in life. They find volunteers from the Surfcoast to Colac and then Queenscliff, there are 300 opportunities on the database currently with 400 organisations on and off. There are short and long term opportunities in broad areas, they manage individual, group volunteers, or corporate volunteer opportunities. Areas include; working with animals, retail, transport, conservation, working with children, social support, healthcare etc.

Emily – GenU – Emily has worked in not for profit’s for the last 11 years. She graduated from Social Work and went to volunteer as a Lifeline counsellor when she struggled to find a graduate job. She then got a job as a Social Worker at St Laurance and worked in the role for 8 years. Once she went on maternity leave she returned to her Human Resources/People and Culture role coordinating the Volunteer Program, she has now worked in this space for the past 4 years. She likes helping people achieve their goals, and finding volunteer opportunities that complement their skills, experience and goals. When St Laurance and Karingal merged 18mths ago, the organisation became a huge conglomerate of disability and aged care services and they are now in most states in Australia with 3000+ staff, 350 volunteers, and across 200 locations. GenU helps those with disabilities and in aged care reach their goals through NDIS and My Aged Care services. They also have an employment services and training arm.

What are the organisations looking for?

St John of God
There are a variety of volunteering opportunities and commitment levels available. Induction and training is provided, and volunteers are chosen based on aligning with the values and mission of the organisation. The Hospital is a not for profit Catholic organisation and the values are important to the care givers. It is a wholistic organisation and they look at the family and community of the client. The opportunities available are varied with some medical students gaining exposure, to clerical positions, administration roles, and some can lead to employment opportunities. The volunteers are from a range of ages, however they cannot take on any volunteers under the age of 18 and the average person is aged 61, and the oldest is 90. The process will include a face to face meeting to establish what the volunteer is looking for. Generally the hospital likes to have a 12mth+ commitment and there is an induction process, OH&S training with yearly updates, and insurance is provided by the hospital.

Volunteering Geelong
Generally the process will include a discussion about what the person and the organisation are looking for. Ideally the volunteer will hold the values of the not for profit sector to provide services to the community, and this is not to replace paid work. The roles advertised will have a position description and these will outline the key expectations, and specific skills required.

Ideally looking for people who are passionate about what GenU stands for, looking for people who align with their values, vision and mission. Someone who wants to make a difference in community services, who is passionate about disability or aged care and wants to give back. Programs support the socially isolated, and life skill programs. Volunteers do not need qualifications or experience, and GenU provide training. They are looking for people who are motivated and generally the group will find a match to the individual’s interests. There are a diversity of opportunities and they assist in creating a match, including some business related skills and interests. Examples of opportunities include; supporting isolated people, events support, ICT support, disability adventures and outdoors activities, animal care farm therapy, working bees in horticulture and gardening. It is helpful for volunteers to have good communication skills, and volunteers can be flexible and notify the coordinator what they are looking for.