Volunteer Profile: Meet Katie From Melbourne’s Northern Hub

There would be no Welcome Dinner Project if it wasn’t for hundreds of amazing volunteers all around the country who give boundless passion, dedication and love to make people feel welcome in our communities.

Every fortnight, the Welcome Dinner Project – Victoria will profile one of its volunteers. We hope this helps you to get to know us better.

Role: Coordinator
: North

Why did I join WDP?

After university I was looking for a volunteer role. One evening I attended an Eat Think Drink Talk event (a networking and conversation night about sustainable fair food) and one of the presenters was former State Coordinator Meagan Williams. The idea behind WDP was so simple and Meagan was just so violently passionate about WDP that I thought it must be good! I joined WDP soon after that.

What I enjoy the most about being involved in the project is the contribution people have to give – they have to bring a plate of food and tell a story about it and although that’s all we require of them, this allows them to fully participate. So many events across Australia are great for meeting people but this process allows you to get a far better picture of who someone is and that’s why it works.

My Favourite WDP Memory?

At a Werribee Community Dinner, a lady on my table who had recently arrived in Australia stood up to read her thoughts on the dinner. She was very emotional, she was pushing back tears and saying through them, things like “I feel safe at this dinner, I now feel safe in this place. I know now there are good people and I can relax”. You could tell she had experienced some pretty awful things before arriving here and I felt that that dinner gave her hope that things were going to get better. I was bawling my eyes out!

My other favourite memory was attending the WDP Volunteer Christmas party. I was super excited to go because since joining the project, acquaintances have become friends and only strengthened my reasons for being part of WDP.

A Bit About Me

I was born in England and grew up as a navy brat, always moving around as a child. I played very rough and American style sports like ice hockey and basketball growing up which makes me quite competitive. I’ve played Ice Hockey for Western Australia as well as the Australian team.

In 2010 I travelled through North America doing volunteer farm work and it changed my life. I went from a materialistic urbanite to becoming obsessed with soil and goats. I went on to study Permaculture and then Social and Environmental Science at University which I recently graduated from. My future aspirations are to become a flower farmer and raise goats. I just need to decide where!

My dog is the love of my life (my boyfriend will tell you the same thing).

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