Deaf Children Australia Volunteer Stories
Here are some stories of present and past Deaf Children Australia volunteers. If you are interested in our work and would like to be considered for a volunteer role at Deaf Children Australia, please complete a Volunteer Expression of Interest form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, together with a copy of your current Curriculum Vitae.
Franky Triolo was a dedicated volunteer for six years before he started working at DCA as a paid employee in 2010. Franky says, “The infectious positivity of the people at DCA has kept me here since 2004. It’s like a big family where people really do care about each other. I would definitely recommend volunteering to others. I work at the front desk which is like the heartbeat of the organisation in a lot of respects. You get to know everyone and learn everything. I help supervise volunteers and I also work in DCA’s Sign For Work Employment Services, supporting clients and overseeing the Employee Assistance Fund.
“When I started as a volunteer, I was studying Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts and the volunteering role provided great experience. I had a Certificate 4 in Disabilities and was always interested in helping people who had additional challenges. I started working at a transport company but I kept volunteering at DCA because I loved it so much. I have dyspraxia which means I had learning difficulties while growing up. When we lived in Italy for a year, I was sent to school with children with different disabilities, including three boys who were deaf. I guess my experiences have given me a strong empathy for people who are deaf or who face extra hurdles to achieve their goals.”
Lorraine Sage has been volunteering at Deaf Children Australia for the past three and a half years. She comes in to the bluestone building on St Kilda Rd half a day every month and says, “It’s not a big commitment but it is really rewarding. I have been working with another volunteer, Kathryn Thaniel, on the Auslan dictionaries for a long time and it has been interesting learning about sign language. I had been an office secretary all my life and had recently retired when I saw an ad from DCA seeking administrative volunteers. Volunteering has provided a great avenue to meet new people. Most importantly, it feels good to be contributing – to be able to help others.”
Aya Murakami volunteered and worked casually with DCA’s Sign for Work program for two and a half years. While she completed a Certificate IV and then a Diploma in Community Services, Aya came in to DCA three or four days a week, which is an extraordinary commitment.
Aya says, “DCA felt like a family to me. It was so friendly and welcoming. I always wanted to come in and meet new people. They have a good culture and a good network. I really recommend volunteering at DCA. It was great for me as a student and it gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of deaf people and learn to sign. After graduation, I have become an employment consultant with another Employment Services agency. All my fantastic experience at DCA’s Sign For Work definitely helped me get this job. I really miss Sign For Work and hope that one day, I might be able to return to work there.” Recently Aya has returned to DCA in paid work as an Employment Case Manager with Sign For Work.