At this year’s virtual Length of Service Awards, we honoured close to 50 volunteers, ranging in service from five years through to 35 years.
The contribution of our volunteers is extraordinary and vital to our health service. They provide the calm, guiding voice at a time of great stress, they make coffee, they show people how to navigate our hallways, they provide emotional support and so much more. The Length of Service Awards gave us another opportunity to hear more about their commitment, and how they go above and beyond to make patients feel comfortable and to help keep our health service running.
We’ve missed them greatly this year (because they’ve been kept away from us by COVID-19 restrictions) so read on to learn more about a few of our longest-serving volunteers.
Janet Jenkins, Ward Ambassador at Dandenong Hospital, 35 years of service
Janet is a truly compassionate person who engages with patients deeply. She loves to hear about people’s stories and always lends an ear to those who need it. She enjoys bringing a little joy to the lives of patients and their families. Janet likes to look at the bigger picture to identify areas in need of help or improvement. If she doesn’t have the answer, she seeks different resources to figure out how to help.
“Monash Health volunteer services have always been so welcoming. They backed us and supported us,” says Janet.
Chris Phillips, Patient Visitor, 20 years of service
Chris is a Patient Visitor who mainly works at McCulloch House, in the palliative care environment. He says that people appreciate the presence of someone with a warm smile or some verbal enthusiasm. But it’s not just patients who are grateful, employees also appreciate the work of Patient Visitors such as Chris, who have more time to spend with those who are in need of emotional support.
Chris’ personal story, losing both parents early in life and later losing two sons, keeps him grounded and appreciative of the joy life provides, even when times are tough. His Volunteer Coordinator, Laura Green, spoke to how valued Chris is among the team:
“His compassion, empathy, kindness, commitment, reliability and sense of humour are a real gift to McCulloch House, our patients, their families and employees. We feel privileged to have him on the team and know our unit is a better place because of his contributions.”
Chris starred in our Length of Service videos this year, telling us about the importance of keeping an open mind and embracing diversity. He also shared his thoughts on the benefits experienced by the volunteers themselves. Watch this story of Chris to hear more.
Pauline Stegelman, Volunteer Guide at Monash Medical Centre, 20 years of service
Those of us who work or visit Monash Medical Centre understand how easy it can be to get lost if you don’t know your way around. This is where Pauline steps in. Pauline has been helping patients and families get where they need to for years, easing their anxiety and answering their questions.
Pauline enjoys meeting new people in her role and interacting with employees and other volunteers. Her Volunteer Coordinator, Annessa Conquest, speaks of her welcoming nature and dedication throughout her 20 years at Monash Health:
“Pauline is a very dedicated and caring volunteer who uses her kind and calming nature to comfort the patients and visitors as they arrive at Monash Medical Centre. She never misses a shift and gets along well with employees, patients and other volunteers.”
There are so many stories of kindness and compassion from our volunteers, and we thank them all for their time and service. A special congratulations to our volunteers who were honoured for their valued service at the Length of Service Awards this year. Check and see if a volunteer you work with was honoured this year:
Spiritual Care – Dandenong
Kaz Waloszek (5 years), Judy Hopkins (15 years), Mary Nagendirarajah (20 years)
Spiritual Care – Monash Medical Centre
Annie Whitlocke (10 years)
Community Health – Cranbourne
David Wylie (5 years), Linda Fiske (20 years)
Community Health – Dandenong
Diane Lockwood (5 years), Lubna Razzaq (5 years), Mohammad Daud Shaghassi (5 years)
Yarraman Aged Care
Siham Walton (5 years)
Stephen Jackson (10 years), Delcie Hegarty (10 years)
Janine Ross (5 years), Chris Phillips (20 years)
Monash Children’s Hospital
Jo Forde (5 years), Robyn Evans (10 years)
Monash Medical Centre
Pauline Stegelman (20 years)
Sandy Cowling (5 years), Jenny Hill (5 years), Peter Hughes (5 years)
Spiritual Care- Casey
Julia Torelli (5 years), Josephine Mani (5 years), Pam Ferey (10 years), Michael Manuel (10 years), Miryam Prasetyo (10 years), Veronica Valenta (15 years), Liz Overdyk (15 years)
Michael Gibbons (5 years), Nathalie Walker (5 years), Heather Anthony (15 years), Jeanette Davis (15 years), Adriana Hughson (15 years), Jenny McArthur (15 years)
Jan Flentjar (10 years)
Jim Demetriou (5 years), Danny Elbaum (5 years), Barbara Giorno (5 years), Sharon Harris (5 years), Sharon Redmond (5 years), Felicity Stretch (5 years), Heidi Wisken (5 years), Pauline Hopkins (15 years)
Jerome Labrooy (5 years), Garry Porter (5 years), Jo Langsford (10 years), Nan Howe (10 years), David Blanch (15 years), Patricia Blanch (15 years)
Approved by Dr Anjali Dhulia