Volunteering plays a special role in Jared’s FIFO life. Away on site for two weeks at a time, and in Perth for just one week each month – it’s a routine which is often challenging, socially, physically and mentally.

“Volunteering grounds me when I am pulled away from the daily routine of FIFO life, and helps to re-engage me back into a social environment. I thoroughly enjoy being part of an amazing team – from the clients to the volunteers and staff.

Jared said it was the COVID-19 pandemic which motivated him to want to become a volunteer. Having seen the effects it was having on people globally, he felt gratitude for his own circumstances, being able to have a job at a time when so many others had lost theirs. He wanted to be able to help others, to be able to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Fortunately for Jared he has found the flexibility of ECHO’s volunteer program a real bonus. There are no long-term rosters to adhere to, and ECHO is happy to work around a schedule that suits Jared’s needs.

Having arrived from New Zealand in 2010 to pursue a mining career, Jared had planned to stay for just a few years to ‘give it a go’. However, he loved it so much he decided to stay. 11 years later Jared says he has ‘fallen in love with the country, the culture, and the people’, and now calls Perth home. Many of his family members have since migrated to Perth too, and have also taken up jobs as mining FIFO workers.

One of eight children, Jared was brought up in a tight-knit family environment which strongly believes in having great respect for their elders.  He says that it was ECHO’s ‘My Mum’ philosophy which drew his attention, motivating him to want to help support clients in need.

Jared enjoys the variety of options available to volunteers. One day he might be driving clients to and from appointments, and on others he could be participating in activities in the day centre, like crafts and bingo. This is always a time for a few laughs, especially when Jared is often the designated ‘caller’ – he can’t resist teaching clients ‘proper New Zealand English’ with the pronunciation of number ‘six’. And in turn, clients do their best to teach him to speak Strayan.

Want to volunteer?

If you are interested in  volunteering with us, please contact Betty at Betty.Beretta@echocommunity.org.au or phone our office during business hours on 9271 7011.