Why community is important to me
I guess you could say my passion for community is genetic. While I was growing up in San Diego, CA, my parents were both heavily involved in our local community and made the act of giving back part of our family’s everyday lives. In addition to coaching our youth soccer teams, my dad chaired the Community Planning Board for years and even has a local park named after him. For her part, my mom found the time each week to volunteer in our classrooms and was on a first name basis with the local blood donation centre.
In both of these cases, my parents were not seeking financial benefit, but, rather, the benefit that comes from knowing you’ve made a positive difference. It’s largely for this reason that I have also been a volunteer for the majority of my life, most recently with Make-A-Wish Perth Branch. Seeing smiles on the faces of children who battle life-threatening conditions is more than worth the hours spent at volunteer meetings or training sessions. The experience of granting a wish for a sick child is unlike any other and it’s an honour to be given the ability to assist in that journey.
When I took up my role as Community Development Manager for Beyond Bank, I had worked in the community sector for my entire career and I was initially nervous about moving into the for-profit world. I knew, however, that my values would align well with an organisation that was already doing such meaningful work in the community. The idea that we can ‘create more good together’ in partnership with our members is at the core of what we do and we are able to see the impact of that work every day—an impact I am incredibly proud to be a part of.