How long have you been volunteering with Lifeline Canberra?
I started my journey as a crisis supporter when I was 17 – in 2011. This means I’ve been part of the Lifeline Canberra family for eight incredible years.
How did you get started volunteering with Lifeline Canberra?
I don’t know what possessed me to think I was ready to be a crisis supporter when I was 17, but I’m so, so glad I did. I had just finished school where I’d volunteered a lot of my time mentoring and guiding the younger students. I really wanted to continue to give back to my community and Lifeline Canberra seemed like a great idea.
Do you take part in any other volunteer or community activities?
I run a social enterprise florist named GG’s Flowers. The business purely operates to provide meaningful employment opportunities for people with special needs. I have volunteered my time for the life of the business and haven’t drawn a wage as I see it as my philanthropic investment into the life of people with special needs, especially my little sister Gayana. Gayana is a 17-year-old girl with Down Syndrome and is the inspiration behind GG’s Flowers.
GG’s Flowers eats into a lot of my time, but I truly believe that while I don’t have that much money – I have time, and I can absolutely donate as much as possible to try make a real social impact to the mammoth issue of employment for people with special needs.
Are you involved in any other mental health awareness and suicide prevention activities?
Not at the moment however, my dream for GG’s Flowers is to support people with special needs and mental illnesses into meaningful employment all around Australia. That’s a very big picture dream – but I really hope I can deliver one day as I truly believe there just aren’t enough opportunities out there for such vulnerable members of our community.