Mike Slingsby – Conversational English Volunteer

My interest in teaching English as a second language started many years ago. Initially I was a volunteer home tutor with the Adult Migrant Education Program and then volunteered as a Teacher’s Assistant at Thornlie TAFE for about two years.

I trained as a Teacher of English as a Second Language at Central Institute of Technology in 2011, and then worked as a teacher there for a few years. When the Institute reduced the number of contractors, I looked for volunteer opportunities, starting with a class at Belmont Library in 2016. I approached the Cannington Library about running a similar class there, and started that class in January 2017.

Why do I volunteer? I think that helping people with the English language, particularly how it is used in Australia, is to provide them with one of the most important skills they will need. I’m also becoming more and more interested in the language, and enjoy sharing this with others.

I’ve come to realise that I’m a show pony, and enjoy standing in front of a group, talking about language and drawing silly pictures to illustrate a point. I really enjoy seeing the furrowed brow that hides a question, teasing the question out, and then the ‘light bulb’ moment when participants understand what I’m trying to get across.

I do this because I love it – an undeniably selfish motive, and I’m just very lucky that my interest has a benefit to others. I really appreciate people turning up each week to listen to me and to participate in the classes.

Leslie Hunt (R) - Books on Wheels Volunteer Driver

Leslie (pictured above, far right) has been a volunteer driver since retiring sixteen years ago and has dedicated fourteen of those years to supporting the elderly to remain connected to their communities. Les worked tirelessly for Harold Hawthorn Community Centre for fourteen years before joining the City of Canning Books on Wheels Program at its inception in 2017.

When asked why he decided to volunteer, Les replied with a cheeky grin that he initially started volunteering because his wife told him he needed something to do post retirement as he was 'getting under foot'.

On a more serious note, Les is aware that his volunteering efforts have not only given his life purpose, but has changed the lives of countless individuals who would otherwise be at high risk of social isolation without the support he and others like him are able to provide through volunteering initiatives. 

Les is a highly valued Books on Wheels team member and has willingly picked up extra runs when the program is short of volunteers. He also passes on his knowledge and skills by mentoring new volunteers.

Les says the best part about being a volunteer driver over many years has been the interesting conversations he has had with people from all walks of life; and the importance of stories and how they connect us has made for a very rewarding and interesting volunteering journey. ​

Shirlene Scanlan – Canning River Eco Education Centre (CREEC) Volunteer

My career in nursing spanned 42 years and as I approached retirement, I began considering my options in voluntary work.

I have always loved the outdoors and have taken a keen interest in environmental issues, and felt that I wanted to work with children and the environment. Children are the future custodians of our Earth and education is the most important way to encourage children and their families to care for the environment. I came across CREEC after a visit to the cafe. On investigation I realised that becoming a volunteer at CREEC would fit my brief perfectly.

My role at CREEC is many and varied and has evolved over the years. I have escorted children on bird watching excursions, participated in both Earth Day and Science Expo, and other community events, created educational tools, supported my colleagues, forged great friendships and learnt a lot about our beautiful Canning River Regional Park (CRRP).

My favourite activity is preparing educational displays for our public gallery. My aim is that our visitors enjoy the displays and take home some message, be it about our native flora or fauna, or some current environmental topic.

I like that I am part of a team that promotes sustainability and community and that my place of work, CREEC, is in such a beautiful setting. The CRRP is my favourite place in the metro area. I think that sums up why I continue to be so enthusiastic about the best job I have ever had.

Soon-Wah (Sally) See – Young People’s Services (YPS) Activities Volunteer

I started volunteering with the City of Canning’s Community Visitors Scheme Program in 2017 and was asked to visit Irene at Seaforth Gardens Age Care in Gosnells whom I continue to support.

During 2017 I also signed up to volunteer with EdConnect to mentor children at primary schools, which I have been doing to this day with Bannister Creek Primary School.

In 2018 I became a YPS Activities Volunteer with the City of Canning's “All About Play” program at Cannington Library.

I thoroughly enjoy volunteering with the City of Canning because it provides me with opportunities to give back to the community and to connect with many people from all walks of life. I especially enjoy spending time communicating with people but, most importantly, being able to positively impact children's lives through interactive play and early learning initiatives.

Willetton Uniting Church Volunteers

Willetton Uniting Church Volunteers - L-R Dorothy Jackson, Mary Baggett, Phyllis Muller, Sophia Hayhurst. Lyn Waterhouse (absent)

The amazing volunteers from Willetton Uniting Church have volunteered numerous hours over the past fifteen plus years to support the residents of Canning Lodge to remain connected to their church community.

Visiting Canning Lodge every second Wednesday, the dedicated volunteers provide residents with opportunities to engage in fellowship through song, stories and a shared afternoon tea.

For Canning Lodge’s residents this is an opportunity to engage in activities that evoke life long memories, supports good mental health and a connection to their own personal spirituality.

For this special group of volunteers it's not just about a regular commitment to visit the residents of Canning Lodge, it's also about building relationships through shared experiences, stories and a recognition that a sense of community is key to having a 'whole of life' approach to living regardless of your age.

Want to volunteer for the City of Canning?
Visit Volunteering Opportunities or contact the City of Canning's Volunteer Officer at volunteer.enquiries@canning.wa.gov.au

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