This year we celebrate National Volunteer Week from 15-21 May with the theme The Change Makers.

It is no doubt that being a volunteer enables people to be catalysts for change. As a Josephite Action Group (JAG) member, volunteering has become a large part of my life.

My love and admiration of Mary MacKillop and the Josephites has always enabled me to view the world through the eyes of those living on the edge and those who are less fortunate than myself. Having joined JAG as a high school student, JAG was the place I was able to put my Josephite Charism into practice and it has become a place where my passion for Social Justice has been invigorated. I have been inspired to become passionate about certain social issues such as the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia.

As a JAG volunteer I have been involved in a multitude of initiatives such as the House of Welcome’s Housing Program. Through this initiative, we clean and refurbish homes for newly arrived refugee families. Often, this has presented to be a strenuous task, however my Josephite Charism enables me to see the beauty in my volunteer work… knowing that I have made a small change in the lives of a refugee family that have no doubt had their fair share of struggle and social inequality.

As JAG volunteers we continue to exercise our Josephite hospitality by hosting annual Refugee Welcome Days alongside the House of Welcome. They serve as an opportunity to extend friendship and provide a secure space for refugee families. We gain the opportunity to experience a sense of accountability and purpose further enabling us to be change makers in the broader community.

In today’s world, we frequently hear how essential it is to think about people around us and to consider those who are less fortunate than ourselves. It is undeniable that the genuine concern for the common good and the welfare of others is continuously considered and acknowledged through volunteers in our society.

For me volunteering means being generous with my time and having an active desire to change and enhance the beauty of the world around me. Volunteering is also about being able to adapt and welcome change within myself all the while allowing others to influence my life. My knowledge and ability to grapple with change has evolved and renewed me as a person as a result of my volunteering opportunities. Volunteering is something I highly recommend to all.

Find out more and follow JAG on Instagram here.

Emilia Nicholas
JAG Volunteer
Josephite Justice Network