I like being with older people and children
I am an international student from China. I study Waste Water Treatment, a specialist area of Environmental Engineering, at UNSW. I have been in Sydney for 18 months, 12 of those as a volunteer with SECC.
When I came to Sydney I wanted to experience something new, something very different.
I was looking for a volunteer job in aged care on SEEK.com and found two roles with South Eastern Community Connect. I like the feeling of being with older people and children. I am my most patient and calm with them. I already volunteer in a nursing home where I visit a lady who only speaks Chinese.
I never heard of a playgroup in China
Sue showed me the roles she had available, and one of them was playgroup. I have never heard of a playgroup in China but I love children, so I chose that.
I am involved with all tasks at playgroup. I help set up, I pack up at the end, I keep an eye on children when their parents are chatting, I help prepare and serve morning tea, I help with craft, and at free play I play with children . I also like chatting with parents, and sometimes I get to translate.
Many international students try to experience new things and learn about the new culture, but they often fail because they end up working in Chinese restaurants or on campus. I think they would benefit from volunteering, too.
I see the people at SECC as my friends
In China volunteering exists mostly around disasters, like a major earthquake that happened ten years ago in my hometown. People don’t value volunteering the way they do here.
At SECC I am treated like an employee. The only difference is that I don’t get paid, but I am still an important part of the program.
In China young people have no motivation to do unpaid work. But here, wherever I go, I am still always the youngest volunteer. Seeing a young man from China volunteering is new to many but I think that can be changed.
My friends envy me for the role I have, and there would be many who would like the opportunity to volunteer like this. So hopefully I’ll see someone younger than me at the next volunteering event.
Become a Volunteer
We have people in a huge variety for roles - from directly with clients to working behind the scenes, from helping occasionally with events to regular weekly programs.
If you think volunteering at playgroup or anywhere else Within SECC might be for you, contact our volunteer manager Sue Ohanian on
02 8338 8506 or email email@example.com
If you want to be happy, make someone else happy.
Shizuko and Rita are two of our volunteers who come in once a week to pack grocery boxes to support carers of children with disabilities. The food in the weekly boxes is donated by OzHarvest and gets packed by our volunteers before being collected by the families.
Rita and Shizuko are both carers of a child living with disability and came to volunteering for us through our carer support groups.
I volunteer because I like helping people.
I used to organise a Japanese playgroup at the Randwick Community Centre. I really like the OzHarvest program and have been in this volunteer role for three years,” says Shizuko, who migrated to Sydney from Japan.
Rita, originally from Indonesia has been packing boxes for carers since 2017.
“I am a single mum, I used to work full time, and I have a child with a disability, so work is important. Now I just work casually, and I have time to volunteer,” says Rita.
Our life is a social life.
“I want to be a role model for my daughter and show her that we all can do something: Do something, don’t give up, and help others with a smile.
“Our life is a social life, and volunteering is a way to be social and help others at the same time. None of us can live in isolation. I know that one day I might need the services of a volunteer myself.
“While we can we should volunteer. If you want to be happy, make someone else happy. “
Three years ago, after applying for two years, we were finally able to obtain a weekly Oz Harvest delivery for 16 of these families as well as 1 or 2 of our families who are working with our family worker and need a little extra assistance.
Our volunteers, including Riat and Shuziko, donate three hours a week each to receive, sort and pack the food. Without them we would not be able to get it out to our families.
“If you want to be happy, make someone else happy”, is Rita’s philosophy, and we thank her and the team for the wonderful work they do.
Embrace the holidays while keeping routine and structure as much as possible.
Have the children involved in preparations and decorating or even making Christmas cards to send – make them feel included and responsible for a task or even helping you shop for Christmas cooking or baking, help make the Christmas pudding or cake, perhaps set the table and depending on age they could write a list of things to do or a shopping list.
If you don’t have a family tradition for the holidays, make one and include the children in the decision making of what it could be ( give them a couple of choices that you have already decided upon, these could be what to cook for dinner or how the family is spending their time on Xmas eve or the opening of 1 present on Xmas eve).
Don’t forget to go with their strengths when deciding what they can help with) and this will boost their confidence and self-esteem and pride in their accomplishments as well as give everyone a Merry Christmas.
Family support worker and
Positive Parenting Facilitator
***** NEW DATES ***** for our most popular parenting seminar:
TRIPLE P Parenting ( 2-12 yrs)
Tuesday evenings 7th, 14th & 21st November 2017, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
Gardeners Rd Public School-Library
Parenting is fun, right? Well, most of the time.
A mother of three recently posted this on her facebook page: “Parenting is magical, and all children are perfect little miracles. But if they argue just one more time today I will get my chocolate mousse out of the fridge and eat it in front of them. I will.”
If your little person is driving you up the wall with his or her behaviour, our FREE Triple P parenting seminars may have some useful tools for you to help you keep your cool and keep being the terrific parent that you are - because chocolate mousse is more of a once-off statement than an everyday solution.
Arriving in a new country with a different culture can be both exciting and challenging. Mailboxes look different, the sounds and smells are unfamiliar and the food and produce in the shops does not resemble what you are accustomed to.
Living a healthy, active lifestyle in a foreign environment is a challenge that locals easily underestimate. The high density built environment of Singapore is vastly different to that of a remote village in Afghanistan and to suburban Melbourne. Each poses very different risks and opportunities that can take long to get used to as people settle into a new life abroad.
Supported multicultural playgroups are one way in which we help especially young parents from overseas find their way in our community. “It is our role to show safe ways of active play for children and help familiarise parents and children with healthy local foods to assist with the transition to a new but healthy diet," says Bronwynn Jursik, Families and Children's Services Team Leader at South Eastern Community Connect. "What makes up a healthy active lifestyle in Bolivia will be quite different to what you’ll do to achieve the same thing here”, she adds.
To help overcome these challenges SECC in partnership with Junction Neighbourhood Centre, the Deli Women and Children’s Centre, Botany Family and Children’s Centre and Multicultural Health, has revised a manual for Supported Playgroup facilitators to give advice and support for young families especially from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds.
“Healthy and Active Kids in a Multicultural Supported Playgroup” has a wealth of information and practical advice for playgroup organisers to include diet and exercise education in their program.
There is detailed information on how to plan snacks for playgroup, how to set up the eating area, handouts for parents, cooking demonstrations and active play activities.
The manual has been prepared by four organisations whose staff have already be trained to deliver the program in their own playgroups.
Active play is important for the development of the child's gross and fine motor skills. Like with so many other skills it is in the early years, when brain and body grow rapidly, that foundations are laid and the most incredible developmental leaps are made. Babies, toddlers and young children need safe and challenging active play opportunities for a number of benefits: Confidence, social skills, balance, coordination and strength, fitness and concentration all benefit from active play.
“The new manual is wonderful resource, but half of its benefits are in how the program is delivered. We have developed a training program for our staff that will give them the capacity to get the most out of this manual for their playgroup families", Bronwynn explains, "Our staff are the ones who build relationships with the children and their parents, and they are the ones who can really turn this resource into a life changer for the families.”
Read on for some sample recipes and play ideas!
Sweet potato balls
Food processor / stick blender, measuring cups and spoons, cutting board, bowls
Ants on a log!
Ants on a log
Active Play at Home
Young children love to imitate adults. Clap your hands, move around the room in different ways (jump, skip hop) and watch your child try to do the same. Also try playing games with them that involve a quick movement like squat to stand.
Cardboard boxes are great toys. They can be taped together, painted and decorated to become towers, cars or tunnels. Cut the ends off two cardboard boxes, line them up and tape them together. Ask your children to crawl through the tunnel to you. Cut windows and a door into a large box and you have a house.
Toddlers will start to run and they will love to be chased and caught. They also like to hop like a kangaroo run fast like a cheetah.
Young children love to help. Involve them in daily routines like unpacking and packing away the toys, and setting up games.
Multicultural PLAYGROUP runs
Term 3, 1st August—19th Sept and Term 4, 17th October—5th Dec
Eastlakes Public School, Florence Ave, Eastlakes 2018
Knowing first aid can save lives. For parents, learning the specific skills to treat a child in an emergency can save your child’s life and help prevent any lasting damage.
What many people with first aid skills are unaware of, however, is just how much first aid and CPR for children is different from first aid for adults.
The box the present came in, mum's car keys and dad's glasses. The favourite toy is often not a toy at all.
If you want ideas on how to play with your little one just with the things around the house our FREE Playpower workshop might be the thing for you.
The first three years of childhood lay the foundation for your child’s lifelong wellbeing. What better way to bond, learn and grow than by playing with dad - with every day household items!
Making the most of everyday moments from Birth to 3 Years - a FREE workshop especially for fathers, grandfathers and male carers.
Saturday 25th November 2017
9am-11am at Gardeners Rd Public School - Library
Gardeners Rd Entrance, Rosebery 2018
Come along, meet other parents and share your parenting experiences.
To register contact Bronwynn Jursik on 02 8338 8506 or via our Contact us page.
Most of us have been dealt a parking ticket or two at some point in our lives, but if your family is getting by on a tight budget the cost of the fine can hit hard and cause tremendous stress. To prevent undue hardship for families in crisis, the NSW Office of State Revenue Work offers its Work and Development Orders (WDO).
Well-being, quality of life and belonging. People, no matter what age, are social creatures. We live in cities and suburbs with thousands of other people we will likely never know. Yet, our happiness and well-being depends on the strength of the bonds between us and the
people around us, our sense of connection with our place of living and our feeling of belonging with the others who share this place.