More than 70 volunteers generously donate their time, energy and expertise undertaking the wide range of activities needed to deliver EERN’s services.
EERN volunteers include:
Margaret is one of the longest serving EERN volunteers (she says nearly as long as Keri – 20 years!) A proud 6th generation Australian (does that make her forebearers convicts?), she has always lived in Melbourne. An aspiring journalist (not allowed by her first employer, a rural newspaper group) she has had two periods in the workforce around raising her family.
She found her niche in sales and enjoyed working as a sales representative for several large companies. This ranged across bread, garden seeds/supplies and household lubricants. Margaret enjoys the routine of coming in regularly and working (and sharing a joke) with other volunteers.
Helen studied engineering at Monash University then worked professionally enjoying the practical aspects of engineering. Later, she juggled family commitments with studying (and achieving) higher qualifications. As her family grew up, she changed direction and worked in a local kindergarten complementing her support and inputs into her children’s school, sporting clubs and other community activities.
Another change in direction led Helen to start volunteering with EERN and a local Op shop. She has been with EERN for about 2 years.
Helen finds it very satisfying helping the families, in particular those with children, who use EERN. She believes assisting people in our community to not just obtain necessary household items but also items that can “turn a house into a home” from items all donated from our community, is a very rewarding feeling. Seeing the happiness and gratitude of parents who can take home linen in their child’s favourite colours or theme, so that their child feels special and proud to show their friends “their” room, is priceless. Helen would like to encourage more younger volunteers to work with EERN. Also, to assist EERN develop stronger links with the local community.
Adrienne Born in New Zealand, Adrienne came the long way to Australia via the UK where she met her Australian husband who persuaded her to move across the Tasman. She worked in the Victorian public hospital system as a dietitian.
After retirement she started volunteering with EERN and has been with us for three years (including the annual packing of Christmas hampers). She enjoys the EERN work place as there is usually something funny going on and the pleasures that come from helping people. Adrienne also leads a local U3A walking group which requires organising different routes each week and facilitating the activity.
Mike After being lured from Adelaide (or rather his parents were), Mike studied metallurgy at RMIT. Working to improve the quality of the gears in Holden gearboxes and differentials was his first job at Fishermen’s Bend. He then worked locally in Nunawading with Stanley Tools making sure the tools were made strong enough. With the changes to off-shore manufacturing, Mike set up, and still runs, his own heat treatment consultancy advising a range of clients and ensuring their products are made as specified. In addition to doing a “little” bike riding as he has more spare time, Mike also makes the time to volunteer with EERN and at the Box Hill Hospital as a “Welcome Ambassador”. He was introduced to EERN by another metallurgist. He has become EERN’s chief bike repairer in addition to working in the warehouse. He enjoys working with interesting people and is known to enjoy a good joke. Mike said “he wants to give back to society as it has been good to me”.
Noel’s family migrated from Mentone to Mitcham before he started school. He has lived in Mitcham ever since. His first job was working for about 10 years in a local sawmill where he mainly worked in the yard area and developed skills with forklifts and managing stocks of raw logs and sawn timber.
He then moved to the old MMBW in the maintenance side of the water supply system. With the corporate changes, he moved to Yarra Valley Water then, with changes in contractors he moved to City West Water, later moving back into the stores/yard management area. As retirement approached and computerised store management system were introduced, Noel retired. A friend suggested that he volunteer with EERN and he has now been with EERN for 4 years starting in the warehouse and now driving the truck for furniture pickups. He enjoys working with EERN volunteers and meeting new people during his weekly furniture pickup runs.
Peter joined the old State Electricity Commission in Victoria as an mechanical engineer and spent 17 years working as a project engineer during the buildings of large power stations at Loy Yang in Gippsland. He then worked in the oil and gas industry in procurement. Through a connection via his mother, he started working with EERN as a truck jockey about eight years ago in between shorter consulting assignments. Now fully retired, Peter drive the truck one day per week. He enjoys getting out and meeting the different people who provide EERN with its used furniture and whitegoods through the truck pickups.