February 24, 2021

Our volunteer and consumer Emel named Hume Citizen of the Year

We are delighted to announce Northern Health’s volunteer and consumer, Emel Huseyin, was awarded Hume Citizen of the Year by Hume City Council.

The council explained their decision, saying, “Emel has been recognised for her passion and drive to create a better community in all facets. Emel is generous with her time, and volunteers for more than 10 community groups in Hume such as; Northern Health Hospitals, Homestead Community Centre, and Centenary of Federation to name a few. No matter what Emel invests her time and energy in, she always promises to leave it in a better place than it was before.”

Emel joined the Northern Health Consumer Network in September 2015.

“She is an active and valued member of the Northern Health Consumer Health Network and the Volunteer Services Team at Northern Health,” said Henni Wade, Manager of Volunteer Services.

As a Northern Health consumer, Emel is involved with staff on committees, with the aim to improve the patient experience through quality improvement work. Emel currently sits on the National Safety & Quality Health Services Standard Five: Northern Health Nutrition & Hydration sub group-clinical improvement committee and the Support Services Cleaning committee.

“I am a passionate advocate for optimising patient meals and meal time experience. As part of my role in the committee, I contributed to the expansion of the range of Halal diet codes offered at Northern Health. The committee was successful in implementing a light Halal diet code. I have also worked on development of the Victorian Paediatric Menu Standards,” she said.

Emel also volunteers at Broadmeadows Hospital. She spends time in the Dialysis Unit and chats to patients and offers refreshments and also visits Turkish patients on the wards.

“I act as a support person particularly to Turkish families, giving information about how the hospital runs and the services available. Through this, I help people navigate the health care system. This helps reduce anxiety patients might have, as it clarifies expectations and processes which may be different to overseas healthcare,” she said.

During COVID-19 lockdowns, face to face volunteering wasn’t possible, but Emel was able to find ways to continue to volunteer from the safety of her home, participating in the mask-making project where over 2,000 hand-made masks were made for our staff to wear on their days off. Masks were also distributed to a target group of vulnerable residents residing within our community.

“Emel will go out of her way to help others and her strong desire to immerse herself into a wide range of community activities is admired. Emel’s desire to be active and involved in her local community is inspirational,” said Henni.

“I am grateful to whomever nominated me. It is a great honour to receive this award. It is wonderful, thank you very much,” Emel added.

Photo: hume.vic.gov.au