December 5, 2022

Northern Health celebrates International Volunteer Day

Today, we are celebrating International Day of the Volunteer, and the 81st birthday of Alan Kew, a long-term volunteer at Northern Health.

On this day, we aim to raise awareness of the important role volunteers play, and celebrate and promote volunteering. We take this opportunity to acknowledge, thank, and shine a light on the important work of volunteers.

The 2022 theme is: Solidarity through Volunteering.

Henni Wade, Manager of Volunteer Services, Northern Health, says that volunteers are an invaluable asset to the health service and its consumers, and that their work is always in line with Northern Health’s values of Safe, Kind, Together.

Despite the many obstacles volunteers and volunteering have faced during COVID-19, which ultimately led to a significant decline in the total number of volunteers and services provided in the hospital, 2022 was considered to be a transitioning year.

“We currently have 140 volunteers registered across our sites, and we are looking forward to 2023. We are positive that it will be a reinvigorating year and will enable us to provide new ways of supporting our local community and health services,” Henni said.

Encouraging, recognising, and promoting volunteering is an important part of creating a more equal and inclusive future for our community.

In light of this, the Volunteer Services team is organising a celebratory lunch on Wednesday, 14 December, at Bundoora Norris Banks Reserve.

“Our volunteers here at Northern Health are both resilient and adaptable. Just by having their friendly, smiling faces around it makes a big difference,” Henni said.

Stella Gibbons, Northern Health Volunteer, says, “I got involved at Northern Heath through my daughter working in the ED here, and I started off by baking cupcakes for the ED staff, back in 2018. Subsequently, life went on and COVID-19 happened, but now that I’m retired, I’m able to be here full-time.”

“I find it rewarding, I enjoy the atmosphere in the foyer and helping people. I think, whatever moment of your time you put in volunteering, you find it immensely satisfying,” Stella said.

“We are grateful every day to the volunteers who come in to support our health service. The energy, fun, empathy and enthusiasm they bring is contagious,” Henni said.

Some of the programs currently being provided by our Volunteer Services are:


This program matches lonely and isolated residents in aged care facilities with a volunteer who can either provide in person visits or Zoom calls. If you know someone that would like to be a volunteer with our Community Visitors Scheme, please direct them to register their interest here.


If you would like to refer a patient into our How-R-U Program which is a telephone social support service, please contact Natalie Carrol at


Phone: 8405 8971


To all our wonderful volunteers, thank you for all that you do!

Featured image: Northern Health volunteers with Henni Wade (far right).