*The Food Co-Op
Call it work, call it advocacy, call it volunteering.
I prefer to call it being human and being a part of the community in which I live.
Whilst in Canberra (2010-2016), my partner and I joined as members of the Food Coop (now with a Cafe!), which was on the campus at the ANU and has been operating since 1976.
Our son grew up in the Coop, since his Dad was the Operations Manager (started said cafe) and we all volunteered in the shop in order to make local and sustainable foods more readily accessible and available for all Canberrans.
My partner, son (from about ages 2-4) and I would all volunteer to work the shift on Saturdays. It’s hard to find good help, and when you do, as this picture of our son at 3 attests, they exhaust themselves and fall asleep on the comfy couches in the cafe!
I was a volunteer Shop Coordinator for several months, once I returned from Hong Kong and the USA in early 2015 for a much-needed sabbatical.
*Bringing CMEG to Canberra…then all of Australia!
Mother’s groups are set up for mum’s all around Australia and are run by the Community Health Nurses. I still keep in touch with many of the mums from my group. Although, as our bubs got older, I was in need of some support to get strong again and bond with other mums who were struggling like my partner and I were! Enter CMEG, Canberra Mums Exercise Group. I began my journey with CMEG through one of the mums I met at Wiradjuri Pre School and Child Care where our sons attended and we were on the Management Committee together. The rest is history! An interview with Jeanette, the founder, for Radio ABC in Canberra gained us larger exposure and more members.
I was appointed Grants Coordinator and won a Volunteers Grant to begin First Aid training and launch our first scholarship ‘mum’ to earn certification as a Physical Trainer.