We would to introduce you to Dave – Volunteer Extraordinaire! Our QLD #KookaburraKids and families might recognise him from our QLD based Activity Days. Dave was a nominee for the 2021 Volunteering Sunshine Coast: Volunteer of Year Awards, and says he has always been motivated to volunteer with young people as he believes that is where you can make the most positive difference to the lives of people.
How did you find out about AKKF and what made you want to volunteer?
I’ve always been motivated to volunteer with young people as I believe that’s where you can make the most positive difference to the lives of people (future adults). I’d been volunteering for 10 years which started with community junior cricket and at the time of joining AKKF I was volunteering for 5 different frontline children’s non-profits. One of which was at the QLD Children’s hospital in which I came across young people in the Mental Health Unit. I was particularly struck with the quality and strength of those young people and wanted to do more in the mental health space so good old google found Kookaburra Kids and the it’s been a marriage made in heaven ever since 😊
How would you describe your volunteering experience with AKKF?
In a word fantastamazing (Ok that’s not a real word). It allows me to learn more about mental health and to do what I do best which is provide distraction, fun and interaction with ad between young people to help them cope with whatever issues their facing . At least for a small time.
What was the best AD/Camp so far?
Sooo many. All of them generally as it pushes me to personally do thing I may not normally do.
Specifically, the iFly day in Brisbane where I encouraged some very apprehensive young people to take the indoor skydiving challenge (including me) and for them to gain a lot of confidence doing that. The Townsville horse riding day where I somehow managed to be a human horse for 6 young people at once (Yikes). Townsville was also a bit disappointing as Erin Brown wouldn’t teach us volunteers a dance in the swimming pool (can’t understand why!) 😊
I was on the first Connect session with our international young person from Malaysia which was pretty awesome. Also, any connect session that I can get the young people laughing or talking non-stop together is always awesome.
What do you find most rewarding about volunteering?
HAVING FUN ! Facilitating young people having fun, distracting them from their situation, fostering connections between them, providing education in mental health in a fun way and wearing my name tag on my forehead 😊 and connecting with/mentoring other volunteers.
What would you tell other people out there interested in volunteering?
Do it – especially with young people you get so much positive energy from the experience.
Would you recommend volunteering AKKF? Why?
Definitely. It’s a very unique non-profit in the way it provides experience , education and distraction for young people in the mental health space. Especially with groups such as in the defence space.
Pineapple on pizza? Yes or No
Oh, my Yes !!!! it’s a classic – but add a dash of Paprika 😊