SydWest recognises selfless volunteers during Volunteer Week

SydWest Multicultural Services

Two hours every week at Blacktown, Bashir Faiz can be found in the passenger seat of the SydWest Multicultural Services Learner Driver car, patiently instructing newly arrived refugees so that they can obtain a NSW drivers’ licence.

Over at our disability division at Croydon, Maggie Ross can be found baking up a storm with our NDIS participants every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Both agree that volunteering gives them a great deal of satisfaction.

Bashir and Maggie were just two of a host of SydWest volunteers who were celebrated this week at High Tea as part of National Volunteer Week celebrations.

Acting CEO Clement Meru said volunteers played a critical role in SydWest’s ability to provide quality services to the community.

‘Our volunteers take part in a range of activities,’ he said. ‘From helping teach refugees and humanitarian entrants new to Australia how to drive, to supporting our disability participants with cooking skills, to helping out with translations or with our Mother’s Support groups that help new mums make friends.’

‘There are people like Ana Estala who came to Australia in 1974 and who set up our first Spanish social support group for seniors. Even though she has recently moved to the Central Coast, she still comes back every week to ensure our Spanish speaking seniors can get together and socialise in their own language,’ he said.

‘Then there is Ivona Jurcevic, initially from Croatia, who pays regular visits to seniors, providing friendship and support, and will soon be running rockabilly dance lessons for our disability participants.

‘They are too many people to individually mention, but they are the lifeblood of our organisation and we are deeply grateful for their service.’

Each year SydWest has the hard task of awarding a volunteer of the year – this year it went to Bashir. He was presented with a certificate by our Board Member Professor Peter Zelas at the morning tea event. You can

/Public Release.