Cancer survivor encourages all to volunteer their time
EXISTING Cancer Council Queensland volunteers and those interested in becoming volunteers are invited to a recruitment session in Rockhampton on March 4.
The session will provide information about the different types of volunteering options available such as Cancer Connect, transport, administration, fundraising and branch activities.
Guest speaker, local Cancer Council Queensland volunteer Aurilea Augustine, said the evening was the ideal opportunity for existing volunteers to expand their current skills and volunteer options, and for anyone interested in volunteering to find out more.
Ms Augustine joined the organisation two decades ago and has undertaken a number of volunteer roles including selling raffle tickets, coordinating the annual Relay For Life, supporting the work of the Rockhampton volunteer branch as a secretary and providing peer support to people touched by cancer.
Ms Augustine said she was inspired to get involved in 1993 after she won her very own fight against cancer.
"In 1991 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after I finished my treatment - surgery, radiation and chemo - I decided I wanted to help others travelling the same path," she said.
Ms Augustine began her long Cancer Council Queensland volunteering history as a breast cancer support volunteer, providing peer support to patients undergoing treatment in hospital - a task that remains close to her heart.
"Initially I wanted to fill a void - I wasn't offered the opportunity for someone to visit me in hospital, so when I saw this service existed I thought it would be very worthwhile to be a part of," Ms Augustine said.
"That's something so beneficial- to be able to speak face-to-face with someone who has had cancer.
"Even though I'd had some experience with cancer in my family, I think to speak to someone around the same age as me who had gone through a similar experience and similar treatment - just having contact with someone who had been down that path, felt the same way and see that they're okay - it's comforting to know that."
The breast cancer support group has since evolved into Cancer Council's Cancer Connect program, one of many valuable programs Rockhampton and regional residents can volunteer to be a part of, to help support the one in two Queenslanders diagnosed with cancer.
"It's such a wonderful organisation to be a volunteer with," Ms Augustine said.
"Cancer Council Queensland is proud that they are an organisation based on volunteers, and they're not afraid to show it. You are very valued as a volunteer and they make you feel so special.
"You also get to work with such a nice group of people, who become your friends and a part of your network, and the work is not arduous at all, it's quite pleasurable, and you can choose to volunteer as the opportunity arises.
"I would certainly like to see more volunteers come on board though, more people to help carry the load and make a bigger difference in the fight against cancer."
To find out more or to express your interest in attending call (07) 4932 8600 or email JessicaONeill@cancerqld.org.au.
The introduction to volunteering session will be held at the Cancer Council Queensland Education Centre (43 Upper Dawson Road, Rockhampton) at 5:30pm on Monday, March 4.
For those interested in signing up as a volunteer, a training and induction session will be held in March.
Cancer Council Queensland is an independent, community-based charity, the achievements of which are made possible by the generosity of Queenslanders.