Welcome to your MCI Wellbeing Blog for July!
This month we are talking about Volunteering.
Volunteering is a great way of giving back and adding value to your community. If you can do so, volunteering can be a great way to network, develop existing skills and learn new skillsets, all of which may help you in your future career. Moreso, volunteering can be tremendous fun and deeply satisfying.
You could also try contacting a non-profit organisation or a charity directly. Please see the Australian charity website: https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity
Sometimes volunteer opportunities may appear on the websites of the individual charity/non-profit organisation. Seek Volunteer may also be a source for you to find volunteer roles.
In addition, some local councils also have websites for volunteer opportunities.
Other ways of giving back:
Time & Effort
Giving back can also take place in many forms. Even the smallest action can make a difference to your community as well as have unexpected rewards and satisfaction for yourself.
Some simple examples are:
- - Taking your elderly neighbour to a doctor’s appointment.
- - Offering to assist a co-worker with tasks when they are overloaded.
- - Assisting your neighbour by putting their garbage bin out once a week when they are away, collecting their mail and watering their plants.
- - Making a purchase from a struggling local small business such as a café (if you are able to do so).
- - Letting someone in the supermarket checkout with only one item in before you when you have a whole trolley full of items.
- - Giving away unwanted items to charities i.e. (www.feecycle.org) (make sure they are in an acceptable condition according to the specifications of a charity)
- - Growing some flowers for the bees and small plant for ground coverage for the lizards.
- - Picking up rubbish around your area. (Don’t forget to wear gloves when doing so)
- - Supporting a local museum or other deserving establishment by making a visit such as: Old Government House Parramatta, The Port Macquarie Koala hospital, The Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum, The Yaamaganu Galley in Moree amongst others.
- And the list goes on and on!
Examples of mentors volunteering in their community.
“In 2017 I had the privilege of volunteering in Thailand as a part of my undergraduate studies to become an educator. I was able to volunteer with like-minded individuals from various fields wanting to contribute to a community but also learn a lot about themselves. We were able to build strong connections with the students and faculty in a local school located in Mae Sariang, rural north Thailand. Working with minimal school supplies and resources, we were able to develop fun and engaging lessons to expand on our student’s English. This included things like reading picture books with the kindergarten classes to playing “What’s the time Mr.Wolf?” with the third grade students. It was a wonderful experience that I truly treasure and learnt a lot from.”
Tutor (Accounting) Karen:
“I have been a volunteer convenor for an investor group within the Australian Shareholders Association since November 2018. This organisation helps to educate members and to assist in enhancing Australian companies’ corporate governance. This increased governance can help to benefit society in general. I organise speakers, liaise with members in my group, and organise venues for member meetings.”
What if I am not able to give back and I need assistance?
That is OK too. You can ask people and organisations for help if and when you need it. You might consider reaching out for assistance to one of the numerous charitable organisations in Australia as an example. Do you need help in the form of a government service? Consider reaching out to a relevant government department that can assist you. Please see the website www.servicesaustralia.gov.au. This website provides useful information about government services that are available to you.
Is English your second language? Do you need assistance with learning English? Check and see with your local council whether they are offering free English classes. I know when I was living in Japan, I attended free English classes in Omiya, Tokyo. The classes were run by volunteers. It enriched my experience in Japan and it helped me to better understand the Japanese culture.
Need more information about local services available to you? Your local library and your local community centre often contain information about services that can assist you. See https://www.nla.gov.au/librariesaustralia/ and https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community-centres
Need assistance as a student at MCI?
Do you require assistance with your studies at MCI? Do you need a role play partner? Be reminded, to please reach out to your mentor. Finally, you always have the option and are encouraged to interact with other students by joining the MCI Student Facebook page.
If you would like to talk to a MCI Wellbeing officer, please click below:
All the best!
The Team at MCI