Shining a spotlight on our volunteers

“I love giving back.” “It’s great to meet new people.” “I like to help in any way I can.” “It’s a simple act that makes a big difference.”

Those are just a few of the statements I have heard this week as volunteers from across our Diocese come together to celebrate National Volunteer Week.

The annual fixture is Australia’s largest celebration of volunteering and the theme in 2023 is The Change Makers. It celebrates the powerful impact volunteers have in supporting our communities. 

The dedication and passion of our volunteers across our Community Kitchens, the CatholicCare Refugee Hub, our parishes, and schools are proof that every act of kindness can create change.

Irena Dickson says volunteering at the Hamilton South Community Kitchen has enriched her life.

“I love helping people out by doing whatever I can,” she says.

“Volunteering is great because you meet different people and as a fellow volunteer says, we all have different talents to share.

“And the people who I have come across are just beautiful. The first time I volunteered at the Kitchen, I came home and said I have never met so many polite people in my life because they really appreciate what we give them.”

St Columba’s Adamstown volunteer Barry Bourke added volunteering gives you something meaningful to do.

Barry has been volunteering for years, he’s supported Ronald McDonald House Charities, Lake Macquarie City Council, the Kotara South football club and more.

Currently, he volunteers at Mass every Sunday.

“I love it, I love supporting the community,” he says.

“I was very lucky and had a very good upbringing in the Catholic system and I got a very good job when I was young, and I just really like to give back.”

Both Barry and Irena encourage others to get involved with volunteer work.

“There are so many volunteering opportunities out there,” Barry says.

Hear from a few more of our wonderful volunteers in the video below.




For more information about volunteering in our Diocese, visit

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