Christine started volunteering with Lort Smith in 2019 and what an impact she has made on the organisation. She assists in various capacities including laundry, cattery, concierge, pet therapy, foster care and even preps fruit and veg for the staff room! Nothing is too much trouble for Christine.
Following a long and successful military career in the Royal Australian Air Force, Christine wanted to continue to contribute in a meaningful way to the safety, security and wellbeing of her (newfound) Melbourne-based community. In addition to volunteering with Lort Smith she also helps Western Health and St Vincent de Paul.
“I have a passion for animal life and welfare. I explored the idea of volunteering with Lort Smith because I wanted to do something that involved spending time with my three-year-old miniature dachshund Chrysla.”
“My mother was in an aged care home in Western Australia and if we couldn’t share Chrysla’s special attributes with her, then perhaps we could bring joy to other peoples’ mums. So while I initially submitted an expression of interest for pet therapy, I soon discovered other onsite volunteering opportunities and applied for those as well,” explains Christine.
Christine describes Lort Smith’s volunteer induction as comprehensive and subject to a continual feedback and improvement cycle.
“The connection between volunteers, and with the volunteer support team is amazing. There is a true sense of community. The Lort Smith staff are all respectful, appreciative and supportive of the volunteer cadre. We have access to training and development opportunities that enrich our lives and our abilities as volunteers,” shares Christine.
The sense of belonging is what Christine enjoys most about volunteering. And the ability to make a difference to the health and happiness of beautiful animals and their humans.
“There is a great sense of satisfaction in delivering what the hard-working vets and nurses need in order to do their job caring for sick and injured animals,” shares Christine.
Volunteering across a range of service areas at Lort Smith, Christine has had many memorable experiences – some good, some very sad.
“I remember a lady and her daughter coming in with her terribly sick dog. I was on a concierge shift. I helped them check-in and sat with them while they waited for a nurse and vet. As they left, without their beautiful dog, the woman told me that her daughter said ‘that lady has the most spiritual and calming soul.’ This was such a special moment for me,” shares Christine.
Thank you Christine. The impact you have across our entire organisation is greatly appreciated. And you are a fantastic Lort Smith representative in our community. Melbourne is lucky to have you!