Wickham vollie shows the Pilbara how it’s done
There are many things that can prompt people to volunteer for St John WA.
For Wickham’s Kate Marinko, who has been a St John vollie for more than four years, it was a sporting injury.
“Five years ago I decided to play netball and dislocated my ankle,” Kate said.
“Our community paramedic, Paul, was volunteering at the kids’ soccer training nearby and he splinted my ankle.
“I was so relieved, I promised to volunteer with St John when I recovered – and I haven’t looked back since.”
Kate and her family – husband Mitch, and children Renee and Max – moved to Wickham in 2016 and made the small community their home.
“I work as a laboratory operator for Rio Tinto and I’m a part-time nursing student and a part-time lifeguard at Wickham and Roebourne swimming pools,” she said.
“I’ve always been involved in community volunteering, doing volunteering umpiring for netball, basketball and ticket box for our outdoor picture gardens .
“We are like family with our other volunteers and enjoy social barbecues and pizza nights, and we always include partners and kids – it’s important to acknowledge that without their support, volunteering isn’t possible.”
Kate said she loved bringing new ideas to her town, and her own skin cancer scare led to her rallying the WA Cancer Council Skin Check Bus to provide free skin checks for more than 200 locals in her area.
She also started a Men’s Health Night at the Wickham sub centre and has been involved with the installation of three new defibrillators along with sporting and community groups and the Lottery West Heart Start grants.
My family are supportive of my choices to volunteer,” Kate said.
“My husband is a DFES volunteer and my kids think it’s great to help out the community.
“Wickham sub centre can do up to 650 jobs a year.
“We are privileged to be invited into people homes in their most vulnerable times of need.
“I’m a massive advocate for volunteerism here.
“If your mum needed care, wouldn’t you want someone to step up if you couldn’t be there?
“That’s what I say to my kids when they ask why I have to go.”
Like many regional areas, Wickham – and nearby Roebourne – are always on the hunt for new volunteers and, with no local GP, the local St John team is relied upon heavily by the local residents.
“If you want to give back, or if you feel like are missing something in life, give volunteering a go,” Kate said.
“It’s not for everyone, but the support and mentoring you get and the feel-good moments outweigh the bad.
“Our Community Paramedic Paul Williet is on-call 24/7 and is always there for us.
“Thanks to my fellow St John crews, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Anyone can make a positive contribution to their community and change lives by becoming a St John volunteer.
St John has a range of volunteer roles on offer all over WA.
To find out more, go to stjohnwa.com.au/changelives/volunteer