True Stories: Helen Walker – Multi-skilling was a prerequisite when I entered the sector!

Helen Walker_edited

I oversee the service and systems management of my organisation, including financial management, staff supervision and support. I also coordinate service funding and policy development, reporting to the Board of Management and liaison with the community and our funding bodies.

I entered the community sector as a volunteer. I had just moved to a totally new area and had three young sons, two with disabilities. I desperately needed an outlet and contact within the local community.

I started as a meals on wheels driver and then worked as an office receptionist at the local neighbourhood centre, before being employed as the ‘pay person’ at the centre.

Having worked in a bank before having children, meant I had had no contact with community groups, but I did have skills that were transferrable to an administrative role, and then a management role later on. There weren’t any formal qualifications for working in the community sector when I joined, so it was learn as you go, and multi-skilling was also a prerequisite.

I joined community transport in 1986 and have been able to be part of a service that has grown from one worker, with no vehicles and servicing one Local Government Area (LGA), to a service with two offices, servicing two LGAs with 26 staff, 19 vehicles and 120 volunteers. The service now provides transport assistance to 3,000 clients, once or multiple times.

Helen Walker



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