Mercy Health volunteers provide a valuable resource to support our health and aged care staff and services in performing at their best. During National Volunteers Week (9-15 May) Mercy Health recognised the dedication and hard work of those people who generously donate their time across the organisation, including the efforts of staff who volunteer in the wider community.
Werribee Mercy Hospital Elective Surgery Access Manager Tamara Turley and Nurse Unit Manager Michael Krejany (seen right) both juggle their work and family commitments to volunteer for the Country Fire Authority (CFA).
“My kids have both been through the junior program at the CFA and I thought it would be nice to give something back to the community,” explained Tamara. “For the past two years I have helped teach kids aged between 11-16 basic firefighting skills as well as attended call outs for things like house fires and car accidents. Some nights my pager can go off up to four times.” “I also coach a youth girl’s football team with the aim of helping these girls achieve their dream of one day playing for the AFL.”
Michael not only volunteers as a firefighter for the Point Cook CFA but he also finds time to work with the Australian Airforce Cadets.
“I volunteer because I get my soul back when I do it and that benefits all aspects of my life,” said Michael. “My 13 year old daughter marched beside me in this year’s Anzac Day parade and she turned to me afterwards and said she wanted to join the cadets too because she could see what I was doing was important.”
Mercy Hospital for Women Theatre Technician Nick Barbante (above with Kym) started volunteering with the State Emergency Service (SES) two years ago and he doesn’t regret his decision.
“I was at a point in my life where I wanted to give back and help people in times of need and the SES provided that opportunity,” said Nick. “I get a lot of satisfaction out of volunteering, from learning new skills to building new friendships. I feel like I’m making a real difference.”
Clinical Midwife Consultant Kym Harrison is also making a big difference of her own by helping to upskill healthcare workers in Timor Leste to handle obstetric emergencies.
“I found out about this opportunity through the Professor of Midwifery at Mercy Hospital for Women, Sue McDonald, who has been largely driving this Rotary funded project,” said Kym. “Timor Leste has a much higher rate of maternal mortality and morbidity than Australia with fewer resources to manage challenging clinical situations.” “Our aim is to help local midwives recognise birthing complications early and with some hands on training hopefully reduce the number of deaths of mums and babies each year.”
We acknowledge these and the many more volunteers who contribute so much to our society.