Australia has a proud tradition in volunteerism, as shown by a remarkable 31 per cent of the population aged 15 and over who regularly offer their time to support others. Those who volunteer for SSI are prime examples.
SSI volunteers including Lewis Kiplin (left) helping at the Community Kitchen
The options for aspiring volunteers are endless, although sport, community and education have long maintained their status as the most popular recipients of the volunteering efforts of Australians.
SSI volunteer Lewis Klipin is one of over seven million Australians who have incorporated volunteering into their daily lives. His unwavering commitment to volunteering is an inspiration to others, having contributed at least two days a week for over 20 years since entering retirement.
The transition to retirement can be a challenge for some. However, Mr Klipin said he used this opportunity to take on volunteerism as a way of keeping a healthy mind, creating new social connections and, especially, giving back to the community.
“I started volunteering as a way of giving back to Sydney; a city that has given us so much,” he said. “My family and I are immigrants, as well. We arrived over 40 years ago and we’ve had a wonderful life here, so I took on volunteering as a way to give back to the community.”
This purpose led him to start volunteering with the Asylum Seeker Centre, where he spent three years visiting Villawood detention centre on a regular basis. After 10 years with the organisation, Mr Klipin joined SSI as a volunteer and has quickly become a valued team member.
“The part that I enjoy the most about volunteering is the direct interaction with clients,” he said. “Unfortunately, at the other organisations where I volunteered this started happening less and less every time, so I became disillusioned. However, at SSI I can have a direct relationship with clients, which is why I like it so much.”
Mr Klipin said it felt great to be part of an organisation that was concerned about the welfare of people in a vulnerable situation and in need of help.
“You can’t imagine the enormous amount of satisfaction that you can get out from giving back to the community.”
Volunteer opportunities with SSI are limited at the moment due to the pandemic, however we are welcoming expressions of interest for available roles. To find out more about SSI volunteer opportunities, visit the SSI website.