What was your background before volunteering with Advance Care Planning Australia?
I enjoyed a 30-year career as a teacher and educational manager with TAFE NSW Business and Computing Faculty.
I was a carer for my son with a mental illness and dedicated many years to the mental health sector in both volunteer roles and on committees. For over three years, I was the primary carer for my mother living with dementia in residential care.
Post TAFE retirement, I am working two days per week as a medical receptionist in a busy general practice.
What led you to begin volunteering?
I had spare time and a desire to give back to my community. The Volunteer Community Ambassador role with Advance Care Planning Australia aligned with my values and qualifications. I know from experience that the health care system can be very difficult to navigate, and how stressful it is for patients and those close to them trying to have input into their care.
What is your favourite part of volunteering?
I love working on the Support Service listening to and assisting people from a wide range of backgrounds and situations. Sometimes callers don’t feel comfortable talking to their family or friends about advance care planning or don’t have family and friends that they can talk to. They feel overwhelmed and sometimes stressed about the process. I am always glad when I can reassure them about the process and make it easier for them.
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about advance care planning?
A clearly written advance care plan can alleviate so much stress and burden for your substitute decision maker and helps avoid family conflicts.
To get involved in volunteering or to find out more, please contact us