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Iraqi newcomer balances community work with volunteering and claims ‘volunteering is good for the soul!’

International Volunteer Day, held annually on December 5, is an opportunity to celebrate the important role volunteers, like Welcome Ambassador Ms. Alaa Al Karam, play in connecting communities and enhancing people’s lives.

Volunteer’s inspiring commitment to supporting newcomers

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.

“The more we give, the happier we feel” – SSI Volunteer Jayanthi

Immediately after moving to Australia from Sri Lanka in 2018, Jayanthi, who has more than 15 years of experience working in the Non-For-Profit (NFP) sector, began looking for opportunities to volunteer and work with Australian organisations.

SSI expresses appreciation for volunteers’ and collaborators’ profound contribution to communities

A retired police superintendent, a dance artist and members of a Community Hub were among recipients of SSI’s 2019 Community Appreciation Awards.

Volunteering brings benefits to the community and to volunteers themselves

Volunteering attracts people from diverse backgrounds with a broad range of experiences. This adds to the richness and impact that SSI’s volunteers have across a wide range of roles and programs that support vulnerable people.

New arrivals create beautiful mosaic surfboard thanks to volunteer at Community Kitchen

Serena Horton brought together two seemingly disjointed activities, mosaic and surfing, to unite a community of newly arrived refugees and people seeking asylum, around the creation of a unique piece of art - a surfboard adorned with mosaic.

SSI Volunteer Spotlight – Paul Hemphill

Volunteer with SSI Coffs Harbour, Paul Hemphill, uses his passion for people and Arabic language skills to make new arrivals feel welcome in their new home.

Meet SSI volunteer Ashley Thomas

“I knew I could help out in the kitchen, I’m a wife and a mum, I like to talk, and I was a newcomer once too.” This is the self-described list of prerequisites SSI volunteer, Ashley Thomas, cites as her motivation for getting involved in Settlement Services International’s (SSI) Community Kitchen.

SSI Ignite volunteer reveals why working with refugees is one of the most rewarding experiences

When Cornelia Schulze moved to Sydney from Germany four years ago, she found the transition difficult at first. With two business degrees and a 25-year career in publishing, Ms Schulz has a wide range of skills which she was keen to put to good use.

Corporate volunteers: ‘very busy, very enjoyable’, bringing community together

Seven staff from Deutsche Bank who volunteered at SSI’s Armenian-themed Community Kitchen on November 15 were so excited by the experience they have vowed to return with more of their colleagues.

Volunteers teach English to asylum seekers and refugees

An inspiring group of volunteer teachers are offering free English language tuition to people from CALD backgrounds who are supported by SSI.

Lack of shared language not a barrier for SSI volunteer

Volunteering with SSI means coming into contact with people who are still learning English, but Maegan Williams has quickly learned that you don’t need to speak the same language in order to communicate.

National Volunteer Week 2017 profile: Meet Ladan

Ladan Haghighat volunteers for SSI in the Friendship Garden at Auburn Centre for Community. That’s fitting because her name, Ladan, is Persian for the nasturtium flower.

National Volunteer Week 2017 profile: Meet Al

His name is Clodoaldo Moroni but you can call him Al. Al, originally from Brazil, loves volunteering.

National Volunteer Week 2017 profile: Meet Zakia

When Zakia Housaini started working with SSI it changed her personality.  “It made me more confident. And I kind of know the world better,” she said.

From the CEO — Game-changing volunteers and social businesses

Something that unites the different arms of civil society is a belief in working for the common good. Religious organisations, community groups, unions, Rotary branches and more benefit from the hard work of everyday citizens who have put up their hands to get involved with something that inspires their passion. They do this for no other reason than that they believe in a cause.

Volunteer uses business experience to help young refugees

Using experience gained over a career in technology and management, Ian Elgey is supporting young refugees and migrants to find their feet in the Australian workplace.

Volunteers help refugee entrepreneurs thrive

Rosanna Barbero has just hung up from a frustrating phone call with a customer service representative for a large electrical retailer, trying to sort out an issue with a faulty device. She is exasperated.