A night to appreciate CMY Change Makers

Last week we celebrated National Volunteer Week 2023 (15-21 May) and hosted a special event to show our appreciation for our incredible volunteers. This year’s National Volunteer Week theme was “Change Makers”, those words ring true when it comes to our team of volunteers and the way they impact and shape change to multicultural young people.

Harrison (Harry) Htoo Po Kyaut

The event was held last Thursday 19th May at the Multicultural Hub – an important space for diverse communities to meet, work, share and learn in a safe space. The purpose of the evening was to acknowledge and give thanks to our wonderful volunteers who generously give their time and energy to make a difference.

Rosie Thyer and Hashwina Vimalarajan

The night was facilitated by MCs and CMY volunteers themselves, Hashwina Vimalarajan and Rosie Thyer. Each shared their experiences in volunteering across a variety of programs and we thank them for running such an engaging evening.

Volunteers are a significant and crucial part of CMY’s workforce, with over 700 volunteers contributing to a range of programs across the organisation. The work we do would not be possible without them and CMY CEO, Carmel Guerra OAM, shared some words during the night on her own experience as a volunteer in after school programs during her university studies:

“That’s where I met people that were like me, and people completely not like me. Volunteering was such a powerful thing for me to do and frames who I am today. I had wonderful mentors in my life that were volunteers… volunteers often underestimate what they do and how much they mean to young people.”

Carmel Guerra OAM
Marg Boothman and Sanjar Nessar

We had the honour of hearing from six-year YRIPP volunteer, Marg Boothman, and three-year Employment Empowers volunteer, Sanjar Nessar (now a CMY staff member!), on the reasons they got involved and their desire to volunteer somewhere they could make a direct impact.

CMY Executive Manager, Marissa Phillips, gave special acknowledgments to our long-standing volunteers and without them, CMY would not be where it is today. Special thanks to:

  • Jeff Parson (YRIPP, West Vic) – 12 years of service 
  • David Grigg (YRIPP, West Vic) 
  • Aditi Karna (RPP, Ballarat/Wimmera)  
  • Harrison (Harry) Htoo Po Kyaut (RPP, Ballarat/Wimmera)  
  • Ragn Hannah (YRIPP, NW Metro) – 11 years of service 
  • Frank Fornasier (YRIPP, NW Metro)  
  • Nazeera Juma Khan (Ucan2) 
  • Marg Boothman (YRIPP, Eastern Vic) – 6 years of service 
  • Alex Debeljakovic (Employment Empowers) 
  • Sara Asad (Ucan2) 
  • Meg Davis (YRIPP, East Metro & Inner City) – 10 years of service 
  • Rose Chapple (YRIPP, East Metro & Inner City) – 15 years of service 

Congratulations to the team who worked behind-the-scenes to bring this important event together, and a huge thank you to all CMY volunteers for the passion, compassion and dedication they bring in supporting young people from migrant and refugee backgrounds.  

CMY is stronger, more determined and more coordinated, thanks to our change-making volunteers. We recognise that without them, we can’t do the work that we do. Learn more about becoming a volunteer at CMY. 

CMY staff