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.