After semi retiring, Andrew found himself missing the buzz and people activity in his office environment. 'I'd spent over 40 years in state government, specialising in human resources and people management. My life was a daily barrage of meetings, emails, phone calls, strategic thinking and managing complex projects,' Andrew said.
'Initially when I retired I thought it would be great to have time on my hands to fix things in our home and with my hobbies, such as golf, but soon I realised I was bored and isolated. I missed the connection with people, the busyness of work, the feeling of completing a project well done and knowing that my skills and experience were being well used and appreciated.'
Andrew has always been an active community member and committed volunteer. During his career, his volunteering mostly supported local community groups and sporting teams.
'I have always believed that giving back to community is important, and I was able to do that through my community work, but I hadn't really considered using the skills I'd acquired throughout my career in a voluntary capacity until I came across an advert on SEEK for the Brotherhood of St Laurence.'
Simone Power, Senior Manager of Volunteer Services, said skilled volunteering benefits the Brotherhood in so many ways.
'It allows us to extend our service provision, assists organisational operations and supports people experiencing poverty and disadvantage with professional, experienced and knowledgeable team members' she said. 'We benefit from a person's well developed career and life skills, allowing them to practice their area of expertise and feel good about it at the same time.'
'When I saw Andrew's wealth of experience and skills in his resume I knew he would be perfect for a project to help develop the Brotherhood's Volunteer Services Strategic Plan. He undertook research, made recommendations and help developed the plan, which is being implemented across the organisation.'
Andrew's passion and commitment to skilled volunteering has remained strong as he now assists asylum seekers and new arrivals settle into Australian life and find work, and mentors and provides support and advice to people experiencing hardship through the Brotherhood's Asylum Seeker Employment program. He has recently celebrated his 12 month anniversary as a Brotherhood volunteer.
'I get great satisfaction from sharing my skills and knowledge. I am really proud to know that I have helped an organisation like the Brotherhood in a lasting way by assisting Simone's work, and now helping people who really need it in a very practical way. I find it incredibly satisfying when someone gets a job, or works towards one because I know they are on the way to becoming part of our community,' Andrew said.
Are you interested in volunteering with us? View our current volunteer opportunities, or contact our Volunteer Services Team on (03) 9483 1390.