As part of a new ongoing series we’re celebrating the work of our volunteers using their professional communication skills to give a charity or not for profit a helping hand or boast. In the second in the series we’re celebrating the eggciting new talents of Carmen Hutchison.
Be the change
Carmen packed up her bags from Scotland and recently arrived here in Sydney. She is an events and communications specialist. In her spare time Carmen has been volunteering through Good Eggs with the Physical Disability Council of NSW. We caught up with Carmen to talk all things volunteering.
Let’s start with why? Why volunteer and why through good eggs?
Giving my time has always been inherent, I believe it is something you should always do if you’re able. Giving your time and help can be at any level. I love and feel privileged to be a position to be able to have the skills and then use them to assist with organisations I care about. In the end why would you not help!
Initially I volunteer to help others, then I find it is a good way to meet people. I’m new to Sydney so it’s been a good way to get involved with communities and get to know the city. Then hopefully this will help make a name for myself and showcase a range of my skills to potential employers. With good eggs I felt that any time offering was acceptable rather than having to commit to a large or very descriptive timeline. I believe through this work I’m making a tangible difference and I hope the charity feels the same.
What is the project?
I’m working with the Physical Disability Council of NSW (PDCN) an umbrella organisation that is a state-wide voice representing approximately 950,000 people of all ages who live in NSW with a physical/diverse disability; their focus is on inclusion, empowerment, education and capacity development for people with a physical disability and the organisations that support them. I’m assisting in a PR advisory capacity, assisting with developing strategies around their press releases.
What do you do when you are not being an eggling?
I’m a communications and events specialist. At the moment I’m interning for two fantastic agencies One Space events and The Atticism, it’s been a great way to make a name for myself in the industry in Sydney and learn from some great people. My roles are vast and ever changing but can be anything from pitching ideas, contacting media, producing press releases, setting up events, contacting bloggers and researching for campaigns. I also have a blog that I try and update to keep everyone updated on my travels when I have the chance.
How easy has it been to juggle work with volunteering?
It has been pretty easy, there is no doubt the work has sometimes been time consuming but I believe if you work smartly, the project is communicated well then expectations are managed and you then understand what impact your work is having on the charity it becomes very easy to make it a priority. At the moment I’m doing about two hours a week and I find it just comes down to working smarter.
What if anything have you gained through this placement?
Confidence, confidence in the work that I do is meaningful and easily transferable into the third sector. I tended to think that some of the work I do was obvious and common sense, but that is due to the fact I’ve been doing it for a number of years, I sometimes think it is ‘easy’ but then you see the reaction from the charity and how they appreciate the help and you realise that communications and storytelling isn’t a skill set everyone has.
Do you have a motto?
‘Be the change’
I have this tattooed onto my arm, it’s so easy to complain that there are so many things wrong with the world but then we have to think what are we doing about it, we need to lead and be the change. The tattoo is an everyday visual reminder that changes in my world and in relationships that I want to see have to come from me.
How did you find out about us?
I was at a wonderful Change makers festival event about storytelling and I was following the @g00deggs tweets. I got in touch with the team through twitter.
What benefits to the charity do you see?
Their most recent press release was a huge improvement, I like to think I’ve helped with some capability building, they have used the tools I recommended and you can notice the difference in their high quality press release which is much more eye catching. I hope it significantly increase their media impact.
What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering?
Go for it, do it, be the change
How do you like your eggs?
Poached with avocado and a press release that makes an impact.
At 20 years old Carmen packed her communications degree and Scottish accent in to a little red suitcase and moved to Sydney. She’s since worked with renowned brands including Provocator, Wanderlust and Solotel. As an event planner and communications account manager she believes in hard work, transparancy and thinking outside of the box. Always looking for ways to help out charities on a local, national and global scale you can contact Carmen @KUWcarmen or firstname.lastname@example.org.