Volunteer Engagement Coach Maria (centre with hat) shares a smile with volunteers Derek, Ziby and Jade.

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Welcome to Volunteer Week!

With this year’s theme “Changing Communities, Changing Lives” we reflect on the changes Chorus volunteers have made to lives in the community.

“One thing that the COVID-19 experience has shown us… it’s never more important to work as a community to change people’s lives and actually the experience has been one of an upswelling of community contribution and giving and compassion really around the world,” says Dan Minchin.

Lou, Dan and Jenene in the studio

Jenene Wilkins has been volunteering for 30 years with Chorus and joins Dan and Lou in the studio. Her community has changed over the years but Jenene has always stayed connected with customers (and staff and other volunteers) – and kept smiling!

“If I can give somebody a little giggle or laugh in between what they’re going to do, why not?” says Jenene.

Four Chorus volunteers talk about what volunteering means to them.

Gary Murfet is a transport driver, including the shopper’s bus – and has been volunteering for Chorus for an amazing 10 years. He has formed a great connection with customers and took the initiative to call customers who would normally go on the bus during COVID lockdown to see how they were going.

“The only thing that I can do is just give them a bit of time,” says Gary.

Gina Taylor shares experiences from the meals’ delivery road. Her stories show that customers, as well as volunteers are also changing communities by giving back.

“We try to help them in whatever they need help with. Give them a bit of a brighter day,” says Gina.

Kevin Collins (left) with gardening team members Paul and Mark

Kevin Collins helps with the Carlisle gardening team and tells the story of a customer’s life changing one day in the garden.

“Rod decided that we should give them a little extra and try and clear the vegetable patch out, which we did,” says Kevin.

Tony Stokes enjoys driving students to gardening jobs and helps out with the Bull Creek Activity Centre. He has a great affinity with gardening and loves working with the gardening team, too.

“It’s a good experience. It’s a happy experience. And I’ve liked the fact that you’ve got “smile” actually written on your vans,” says Tony.

Tony Stokes ready to deliver a smile

Tony Stokes ready to deliver a smile


Podcast Hosts: Louise Forster, Dan Minchin and Jenene Wilkins

Opening Voiceover: Ryan Burke

Opening Music: “Wattlebird” by Dylan Hatton Music

Interviewers: Maria Garzon, Judith Hatton and Carla Mele

Producer: Judith Hatton

Executive Producer: Meaghan Ferries

Post Production: Matthew Clark

Special Thanks To:

Jenene Wilkins
Gary Murfet
Gina Taylor
Kevin Collins
Tony Stokes
Maria Garzon
Carla Mele

And all the AMAZING Chorus volunteers who deliver smiles and so much more. Thank you for changing people’s lives.

Mentioned in This Episode

National Volunteer Week

Thanks for Listening! 

Thanks for tuning into this episode of the Chorus Voices Podcast. If you find yourself inspired by these stories, head to our website and learn more about what we’re doing.

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