A night of appreciation for our dedicated volunteers

Multicultural Hub, Drill Hall

For National Volunteer Week 2022  – which fell on 16-22 May – various teams across CMY came together to organise a Volunteer Appreciation Night. The aim of the event was to celebrate and thank our wonderful volunteers who are very much at the heart of everything we do at CMY.  

The event was held on Friday 20th May at the Multicultural Hub in Melbourne City, and saw around 70 volunteers of all ages and from programs across the organisation attend.

The night kicked off with an address from the event MCs, Youth-Led Unit volunteers, Sherry-Rose Bih Watts, Krushnadevsinh (Kano) Ravalji, Rosie Thyer and Liem Nguyen. Each shared their valuable experiences being involved with CMY in various ways over the years.  

MC, Kano Ravalji

Senior Multicultural Youth Worker, Darren Chan, and MC Kano ran an icebreaker activity to get volunteers excited for the night ahead, and a beautiful performance by Le Mana volunteer, Lynn Laufou, followed. 

CMY Executive Managers, Marissa Phillips and Jemal Ahmet, thanked our volunteers for their tireless dedication in their speeches, and gave a special acknowledgement to our long-standing volunteers. We would like to thank the following volunteers who have made an incredible contribution over many years through their dedication and kindness: 

  • Chris Knight (5 years, Employment Empowers) 
  • Kaela Calimbayan (4 semesters across 3 years + a placement semester, Ucan2) 
  • John Agwalama (7 semesters across 4 years, Ucan2) 
  • Rob Peters (12+ years, YRIPP) 
  • Heather Stock (15+ years, YRIPP) 
  • Sharon King Harris (18+ years since the start of YRIPP) 

Next, a panel of volunteers, featuring Heather Stock (YRIPP), Shailja Sharma (YAG/Shout Out Speaker), Liem Nguyen (Youth Led Unit/Shout Out Speaker), Lynn Laufou (Le Mana) and Kaela Calimbayan (Ucan2) shared their stories about what encouraged them to become volunteers at CMY.  

Inspired by their stories and experiences, long-time YRIPP volunteer, Sharon King Harris, felt compelled to share a heart-warming story. She spoke about bumping into a young person at a shopping mall, years after she had supported him at a police station through the YRIPP program. She said that he thanked her and went on to say that he wouldn’t be where he was if it wasn’t for her support that day. 

Executive Managers, Jemal Ahmet and Marissa Phillips with YRIPP volunteer, Sharon King Harris.

“The night was inspirational, seeing all the hard work every person contributed to CMY. It was so powerful to talk to individuals and understand their own personal journeys with the groups they are involved in. Everyone had such a unique connection to the organisation and it made me grateful for the opportunity I have to be a part of it!” 

MC Rosie said.

A big congratulations to the team who organised the event and to all the volunteers for the passion and commitment they bring to supporting young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. We hope to be able to continue connecting with our volunteers in-person and inspiring each other. 

Catering by A1 Bakery

To become a volunteer at CMY, check out our current opportunities here.