May 12, 2016

This year I celebrated my 10th anniversary at the Lung Foundation – Eileen Perry

National Volunteer Week is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our volunteers. Lung Foundation Australia takes this opportunity to thank the hundreds of volunteers who generously donate their time, skills and support to making lung health a priority in Australia.

This week we have put together a few profiles of our hardworking volunteers so that you can get to know them too. Learn more about Eileen:

Tell us a little bit about yourself…

EileenA baby boomer, I was born in Brisbane and have lived all my life on the north side. Actually, I now live at the same address where I spent the first twelve months of my life. I am the eldest of four children and I have three brothers. I have a lifelong interest in horse racing, trotting and greyhounds and regularly attended race meetings. Together with some friends, I owned several greyhounds, one of which was particularly successful, winning 17 races for us. Travelling has always been of interest to me and I have been fortunate to travel overseas on several occasions.

For most of my working life, I was a public servant and worked in the Queensland Forestry Department for 27 years in various positions. This was followed by a couple of years in the private sector doing temporary work for Drake personnel. I then worked Environmental Protection Agency until I retired in mid-2004.

What made you decide to become a volunteer?

I am a person who likes to keep busy and strives to live a full and meaningful life. Some years ago in the Albion community, a volunteer group existed called the Albion CBD in which I was an active member. For the last 22 years, I have also kept myself busy the duties of Secretary/Treasurer/Manager of the Body Corporate for my building.

Why did you become a volunteer at Lung Foundation Australia?

About a year after I retired in 2004, I investigated opportunities through Volunteering Queensland and discovered  Lung Foundation Australia had a position involving some administration work for about four hours a week. At that stage the Lung Foundation was located at Lutwyche which was in walking distance to my home, although it has since relocated to Milton.

What is the most rewarding part of volunteering?

Volunteering is incredibly beneficial to me personally and it is also a great opportunity to give something back. I am also able to use some valuable skills and life experiences.

Each week, week I chat with patients and provide them with information and support, send out information packs and assist in maintaining the Lung Foundation database. I enjoy my time at the Lung Foundation Australia so much that I regularly pop in on other days to help out. In April this year, I celebrated my 10th anniversary at the Foundation – I am due for Long Service Leave! I enjoy every minute of my volunteer role and I feel I am a valuable member of the Lung Foundation team.

What are the challenges, if any?

The only constraints of volunteering are those you impose on yourself. You can help out once a week, once a month or whenever suits you.

Would you encourage others to volunteer?

I encourage others to volunteer, however, I suggest you do something that you enjoy and that gives you satisfaction. For example, if you like administration work look for that type of role or if you like meeting and greeting people then consider volunteering at a hospital. There is always something for everyone.