1. When did you first hear about the work of Dr Catherine Hamlin?
I first heard about the Hamlin’s’ work a very long time ago. Probably in the 1990’s. I was asked to do a talk on someone that I admired at my French group, so I chose Catherine. Then, when driving by one day, I noticed the gift shop in Turramurra and I thought about the women in such need. I imagined what it would be like to live with the condition.
2. What motivated you to start volunteering?
I thought that it would be something that I would like to help to change. So I popped in to enquire. As it happened, there was a space in the roster on Thursdays.
3. How long have you been volunteering and what are your volunteer roles?
I think it is approaching 3 years now that I have been volunteering. My roles are assisting in the shop, on-line orders, stock accession and generally bothering my beautiful “boss”.
4. What’s your favourite part about volunteering?
My favourite part about volunteering is feeling that I am making a contribution, however small, to improving the lives of those less fortunate and in need of an opportunity to create a better life for themselves. I cannot imagine the pain and distress of women living with fistula, particularly when the condition can be repaired and prevented by medical care.
5. Anything else about volunteering at Hamlin that you’d like to say?
Another reason I enjoy volunteering is the opportunity to broaden my horizons and my social circle. Whilst I am born and bred in Australia I have developed a firm friendship with my co-worker Jaleh who is of Iranian origin.
When we first met we discovered that, in addition to similar values and interests, we could both speak French. Now while we carry out our tasks we often indulge in a little chat in French. We have become such good friends that we recently travelled together – to Bhutan! If it were not for my involvement in the work of the Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation I would never have met this special friend. What a bonus!
I would like to express my thanks for offering me the opportunity to contribute to the organisation and to say what a delightful group of staff and volunteers I am privileged to work with in such a good cause.