Over the next couple of weeks, we want you to get to know the fabulous volunteers that make Aware tick. We’ve profiled all of our volunteers, and we can’t wait for you to get to know them.
What’s your role at Aware?
My name is Stacey and I have been directing Aware since 2008. Zina Shanahan and I founded Aware four years ago in the final year of our Bachelor of International Development course. We were keen to put our volunteer experience and knowledge into action. Our vision for Aware was twofold, to creative positive, participatory, and empowering change in the lives marginalised groups, and involving our community through information sharing and providing volunteer opportunities.
What’s your day job?
During the day I work as the sustainability and campaigns associate for a company in Melbourne. I’m also studying a Masters of International Urban and Environmental Management. However, my favorite part of the day comes in the evenings when I get to do my volunteer work for Aware. Having volunteered, worked and studied international development for many years, my approach to directing Aware is be creative, be flexible and above all… listen.
What sparked your interest in volunteering for Aware
Initially, my interest was in running programs with children in Africa, as we founded Aware shortly after I had returned from a trip to Africa in which I was involved in many small community projects, focusing on children’s education. Recognising the power of art and creativity in addressing underlying issues of self-worth and self-esteem as a tool for change, we have drawn from the work we fund in Kenya to design and implement similar programs around the world.
What has been some of the highlights for you in volunteering for Aware
Over the past four years I have supervised, supported and implemented various programs on behalf of Aware. Highlights for me have been traveling to Honduras in 2010 to implement an art program with orphaned girls, building a strong relationship with our partner organisation, RYWA, in Kenya and working with enthusiastic, creative and dedicated volunteers. I am very much looking forward to running programs with women this year, as well as working with young people in Melbourne.