At Cabrini, we aim to provide more than just a job for all who work with us. We aim to provide a rich and purposeful experience for our staff, accredited medical practitioners and volunteers.
Working on the premise that most people want to do good things, we seek social and community outreach relationships that provide an opportunity for our staff to make a contribution to our program. We have found that this approach enhances our capacity for community service and has a positive impact on our workplace culture at Cabrini.
Through our social outreach program, Cabrini people can be involved in community service beyond their professional roles. Staff are able to be involved in our social and community outreach program in a number of practical ways. For example, staff can make donations, volunteer their time to participate in a particular activity or recycle goods/equipment from their homes.
Involvement takes a number of forms for example:
- Corporate volunteering – provision of labour by staff on a pro bono basis through one of our social outreach programs
- Skilled volunteering – provision of a professional service to one of Cabrini’s social outreach partners
- Community volunteering – provision of labour by staff on a pro bono basis through a structured community program
The difference it makes
Our last staff engagement survey (held in March 2012) showed that:
- Most staff (80 per cent) knew about our social and community outreach program
- More than one in five staff (22 per cent) had made a personal contribution to one of our social outreach projects during the past 12 months
- Almost half our staff (47 per cent) were involved in a voluntary community activity
At Cabrini, we take pride in these results and celebrate the contributions of our community minded staff. Read on to learn about some experiences of our staff.
How staff volunteer their time
Cabrini-Children First Big Days Out
Several times each year, Cabrini staff have the opportunity to spend the day with the children from the Children First Foundation. Sometimes Cabrini staff and the children in the care of Children First Foundation visit a Melbourne attraction such as the Melbourne Zoo and share a picnic lunch. Other times, Cabrini staff participate in events at the Children First Foundation Farm in Melbourne such as annual open days and special sports days.
Each year, staff are invited to visit Intjartnama, which provides an Aboriginal reconciliation experience. The visit lasts a few days and provides an opportunity for staff to experience the outback and learn about Aboriginal culture culture. The opportunity is open to all staff. Places are limited and allocated to those who are first to confirm. Participants are responsible for making and funding their own travel arrangements between Melbourne and Alice Springs and bring their own sleeping bags.
The acronym kogo stands for Knit One Give One. The kogo charity knitting project was established in 2004 to knit warm winter garments to help community members in need. Knitters are asked to make a whole range of items which include scarves, beanies, children’s and babies’ clothing and cot blankets. Read about Jenny’s experience being involved with kogo. Read Jenny's story here
Making Christmas special
Each year, we collect hundreds of Christmas gifts for the clients of the St Kilda UnitingCare Drop In Centre, Sacred Heart Mission, The Way Community and Family Life. Staff simply take a tag from the Giving Tree and buy a gift to share the spirit of Christmas with people who are unable to spend Christmas with their families or friends.
Staff who want to be more personally involved are able to volunteer on Christmas Day to:
- Help prepare and serve lunch at the Sacred Heart Mission dining hall or The Way Community Read TS Tan's story here
- Prepare and deliver Christmas hampers and gifts to clients of Open Family Australia Read Christine’s story here
Medical Evacuation Program
Each year, Cabrini treats approximately five patients under our medical evacuation program. Surgeons and theatre nursing staff are invited to volunteer their time for the surgical procedure, which is usually performed on a weekend, outside of scheduled operating times. Volunteer team members are coordinated by the Theatre Manager to ensure the right mix of experience and skills.
Malvern Emergency Food Program
Operated by a small group of volunteers, the Malvern Emergency Food Program provides food parcels for distribution to the ‘hidden poor’ through secondary organisations in the City of Stonington. Staff are able to volunteer their time to help with packing food parcels.
Overseas Clinician Training Program
The Overseas Clinician training program provides an opportunity for overseas medical staff to visit Cabrini to further personal education and then return to their country and practise their new skills/knowledge. For many of the clinicians, English language and Australian culture is incorporated into the training program. Staff can volunteer to provide hospitality to these visitors such as providing a barbecue dinner, hosting visitors at a sporting event such as a football game or visiting local cultural or leisure attractions.
Sacred Heart Mission
Located in the Melbourne suburb of St Kilda, Sacred Heart Mission offers a range of services that help people when they are in crisis and need immediate support. It addresses basic needs such as access to food, healthcare, laundry and bathroom facilities and material goods. Cabrini supports Sacred Heart Mission in various ways such as operational support, leadership, funding for research and volunteering opportunities for our staff. Staff are able to volunteer to prepare and serve meals in the dining hall and in the Women’s House. Read TS Tan’s story here
How Cabrini staff help financially
Cabrini Mission Club
In 1993, the Cabrini Mission Club was established to enable staff to take an active role in supporting Cabrini’s social outreach program. The funds are used to respond quickly to needs. For example, buying blankets for homeless people served by the Cabrini-Open Family Youth Bus and helping with the Giving Tree effort at Christmas.
Cabrini Ministries, Swaziland Child Education Scholarships
Schooling is not free in Swaziland and as a result, many children are unable to attend school. With no education, they are trapped in a cycle of poverty and their future is bleak. The goal of this program is to assist at least one child from each family to attend school, thereby helping to lift the whole family out of poverty. An education scholarship costs $250 per year. Read Sister Barbara’s story here
Cabrini Ministries, Swaziland Child Sponsorship
HIV-AIDS has devastated Swaziland. This country has the highest incidence in the world. The disease mainly affects parents who become ill and/or die, leaving the children with often just a grandmother to care for them. St Philip’s Mission Hostel provides a safe and secure environment for children who have been orphaned or are vulnerable due to HIV-AIDS. The children live at the hostel during school term, returning to their extended family during term breaks to ensure they do not lose contact with their family or their culture. Sponsors receive information about their child and regular updates about life at St Philip’s. The cost of sponsoring a child is $1100 per year.
How staff help with recycling and donating goods
Cabrini supplies secondhand goods to several organisations. Our staff play a key role in these gifts by donating, collecting, packing and helping to distribute the goods. For example:
- Blankets and warm clothing – St Mary’s House of Welcome and The Way Community distribute clothing to people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
- Second hand clothing/household items – the Sacred Heart Mission Opportunity Shop collects secondhand clothing/household items from Cabrini Malvern each week.
- Medical equipment – Cabrini donates medical equipment which has been replaced yet is still in good working order, to our project partners overseas.