Posts tagged volunteer
The Driver - Joe Mills

The Driver - Joe Mills, oil & wax on canvas, 40 x 40 cm © Stephanie Brown 2011

A friend of the family had to undergo reconstructive knee surgery recently. Having always been an independent person living alone, they suddenly found themselves housebound recuperating and unable to get anywhere. So what do people do when they find themselves in such a challenging predicament?

They contact an organisation like Manly Warringah Pittwater Community Aid Service. They offer community support assisting the frail, aged, youth with disabilities and carers to remain in their own homes yet still be as independent as possible. That's when youʼd be greeted by a cheerful volunteer like Joe Mills knocking on your door.

I met Joe in a local cafe and he chatted about what led up to being a volunteer and his interesting life.

"Friendly faces will always find each other in a crowd,
Even walking in a street you can always find someone smiling at you.
You think to yourself, that was nice, was I smiling"

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Living is Giving - Angela Van Boxtel

Living in the moment - Angela Van Boxtel, wax & oil on canvas, 40 x 40 cm ©Stephanie Brown

As any parent knows work and family are difficult to juggle, but for Angela Van Boxtel she'd have it no other way. She's always there to pick her boys up from school and always volunteering for an arts project in her Manly community.

Angela and I met recently at a beachside cafe in Manly with our kids in tow. While the kids happily amused themselves in the sand in their own little world, we kept a watchful eye nearby enjoying a coffee and of course the magical scenery. Angela shared insightful observations and chatted about living her dream life here in Australia.

"There's so much I could tell you,
But in the end, it's a feeling that I can't describe,
'Living is Giving'
Isn't that what connects all us volunteers".

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The Mentor - Michelle Moffatt

The Mentor - Michelle Moffatt, oil and wax on canvas, 40 x 40cm © Stephanie Brown

When you travel, your eyes are open wide to all the beautiful vistas surrounding you but when you live in a place of natural beauty you can become blasé. Often we need fresh eyes, like those of migrants to remind us what we have.

I met Michelle Moffatt at one of the most picturesque cafe spots in Manly along the esplanade between Manly and Shelly Beach. I arrive a little late and Michelle's already seated taking in the scenery. "Wow, look isn't it just beautiful here," she says.

She's right. Even on a drizzly day like today, it's spectacular. You can't help but think how lucky we are. Then again, both Michelle and I are strangers, born in different countries but here we are marvelling at this amazing view in this beautiful Australia. It's the painting stuck in my head, yet to be painted, and every time I'm here it screams, 'paint me'.

Michelle kindly chatted about the helping hand she gives to migrants when they are new arrivals to Australia.


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