Better Together
May 23, 2022

Better Together

Celebrating National Volunteer Week 2022

National Volunteer Week is a chance for all of us to celebrate and recognise the vital work of Doncare's volunteers and to say thank you.

Over 100 guests attended Doncare’s National Volunteer Week afternoon tea at the Manningham Centre where volunteers from the Social Support for Seniors and Community Visitors Scheme, Emergency Relief and Counselling programs, as well as Doncare’s opportunity shops and the DAWN Mentoring program were acknowledged for their contribution.

Together, through volunteering, we are changing communities for the better.
We are, Better Together.

Doncare’s Patron Dr Rosie Batty AO paid tribute to our former CEO, Doreen Stoves AM PSM JP who passed away suddenly in July of 2021. Having led the organisation for nearly 20 years, Doreen was dearly loved by our volunteers, but sadly lockdowns did not permit everyone to join together to pay their respects at her funeral. It was lovely to hear Rosie speak so passionately about her friend and share her sentiments. The SaSSing choir also treated guests with a couple of songs in memory of Doreen.

Thanks to the generous donation from Arundhati and Goutam, our volunteers will be enjoying Tealicious moments from WellTea. What a treat!

Announcing Volunteer of the Year 2022

Acting CEO, Deborah de Rossi and Rosie presented this award to two deserving volunteers this year. One of whom has been with us for over 12 years and the other, a volunteer who only joined us in 2021.

Congratulations to Volunteer of the Year award recipients, Barbara Hall and John Skofic!

Barb has been a Clerical volunteer at Doncare for more than 12 years and in that time has become one of the most highly regarded members of the Doncare family. Her professionalism and dedication is second to none and her work is always of the highest standard.

We have been so lucky to have Barbara especially as she has the important, and sometimes complex, task of updating a Government-run database. Barbara takes this responsibility very seriously and her understanding of the system and her extensive knowledge of community services makes her perfect for this role. Also, her ability to adapt when faced with hurdles has been essential and Barbara always works hard to find a solution to the problem.

Beyond this, Barbara is a huge personality around the Doncare offices. She has a fabulous sense of humour and sharp wit which has her colleagues in stiches at times. She is insightful and has a strong sense of self which allows her to focus on what she is good at for the benefit of Doncare. She is totally reliable and when she says she will do something, it will be done.

Barbara does a lot of work in the community generally and always looks for ways in which she can use her own network to help Doncare in its mission e.g. raising funds or donations to the ER pantry. It is a privilege to have Barbara as one of our Doncare volunteers and she embodies what it means to contribute time and skills to improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our community

John Skofic joined Doncare in 2021 beginning work in the opportunity shops but then quickly raised his hand to join the depot team.

John is helpful, kind and always willing to give something new a go if it means we can increase our profits or make a customer happy. John has reupholstered furniture, fixed old clocks and I have even seen him lengthen a watch strap for a customer.

John is happy to take home projects for repair and when they make their way back into the stores they look like a true treasure. He goes above and beyond and is a great asset to the program.

In John's short time with us he has made a great impact. Most volunteers in the stores know his name and think of him as our local Mr Fix it. John is always happy to volunteer his time and has assisted at previous Doncare events such as the depot sale. We hope to keep John with us for many more years to come.

Ron Kitchingman OAM with Michael Phillips

Honouring our Volunteers

As we honoured our volunteers who have dedicated years of service to Doncare, we felt the very best person to present the certificates would be someone who has a distinguished history volunteering in the community.

Ron Kitchingman OAM has served as a volunteer on our Board for 13 years. He was a Councillor of the City of Doncaster and Templestowe for two terms and Mayor in 1978.

Ron served as a Manningham City Councillor for 3 years and as Mayor of Manningham in 2004.

He is a recipient of a Menzies Australia Day Award and was Manningham Citizen of the Year in 2004. Ron was awarded an OAM in 2013 and presented the Keys to the City in 2019.

Together with Acting CEO, Deborah de Rossi, Ron presented service certificates to the following volunteers and thanked them for their service to the community.

Helen Rigopoulos (op shops)

Shirley Monahan (Social Support)

Dorothy Pearson (Social Support)

Frank Johnston (Social Support)

Joan Middleton (Social Support)

Christine Crawford (Social Support)

Carmel Schofield (Social Support)

Peter Gartner (op shops)

Michelina Fronticcia (op shops)

Sonia Gough (op shops)

Mooi-Sim NG (social support)

Colleen Chan (Social Support)

Rachel Lee (Emergency Relief)

Roger Chan (op shops)

Windy Huang (op shops)

Fiona Chiang (op shops)

Emmy Raquel (social support)

Gurpreet Singh (social support)

Rosina Cincotta (Emergency Relief)