Meet Tricia: “I’m blessed to be a small part of their stories”

May 23, 2024

The ASC was built on the kindness of community members, powered from the start by volunteers who offered shared meals, English classes, and social support. More than 30 years later, our organisation has grown, as has the need, but volunteers remain the lifeblood of the Centre.

So we wish our wonderful and mighty volunteer community a happy National Volunteer Week!

To all the volunteers who have made the ASC a place of welcome, practical support, and empowerment for so many people over the last 30 years, thank you. Your passion and dedication is incredibly inspiring – it breathes life, warmth, and that ineffable spirit into the Centre every day.

This week, we sat down with one of our valued volunteers, Tricia Rubenstein, who volunteers with the ASC’s Employment Service.

What does volunteering at the ASC mean to you?
I feel like a bigger and better part of Sydney that extends beyond our small suburbs. I know what it’s like to move countries so I understand a small portion of what our clients are feeling. Being part of the ASC allows me to meet some of the best people in Sydney and be inspired by their resilience.

Can you tell us about a story or an example of something you worked on at ASC that touched your heart?
The other day I was working with the most energetic, lively, sweet, intelligent person who recently arrived in Sydney. They clearly had a difficult transition to Australia. We were working on their resume as we really needed to get this dynamic personality across for them to secure an interview.

I said, “I know this is taking a long time but we want to show the world how amazing and special you really are!”. In response they said, “Do you really think I’m special? I feel something but I don’t think others can see it”. At this point, I was holding back tears and responded, “of course I see how special you are but you need to know this in your heart”.

I don’t know how they didn’t see how unique and amazing they are but clearly needed a little love. It was just one of those moments that my words are not clearly describing right now but it was pure magic.

What impact do you hope to have through your work at ASC?
I hope to make people feel welcomed and appreciated in Australia. So many people have such amazing stories and I’m blessed to be a small part of their stories.

What does this year’s National Volunteer Week theme of ‘Something for Everyone’ mean to you?
I think this means there are so many ways that volunteers can assist in our community especially at ASC. I hope “everyone” can find “something” that has meaning in order to contribute to society.

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