Volunteer Spotlight: Lauren from Oxfam campaigns

Blogs, Volunteers article written on the 12 Aug 2015

Lauren has volunteered with Oxfam since 2014 and has been involved with huge campaigns like the G20, National Close the Gap Day and Australian Aid — just to name a few! Find out why volunteering is so rewarding.

Hi, my name is Lauren and I volunteer for Oxfam with the Campaigns and Engagement Team in the Brisbane office.

I became involved with Oxfam as a volunteer in 2014 when the G20 came to Brisbane and some friends told me about Oxfam’s plans and need for volunteers. I wanted to get amongst the advocacy and campaigning around the G20 and the opportunity to be involved with Oxfam’s campaign sounded fun (and it was!). We all had such a great time dressing up for the media and making a statement about the need for global leaders to take action on the ebola crisis (despite the heat!).

That evening we were all so stoked to see the images, and more importantly, that the message had reached national and international media.

L-R: Lauren, Jess and Tom

After all the excitement of the G20, I saw that the Queensland campaigns team were looking for an office volunteer to work on the 2015 National Close The Gap Day. I jumped at the opportunity. Not only was Indigenous disadvantage an issue close to my heart, but after being involved with smaller NGOs in Brisbane, I was interested in gaining experience within a larger organisation — and I couldn’t think of a better one than Oxfam.

Needless to say, the experience was amazing! The Queensland campaigns team were so invested in me and the other volunteers, and made sure we were having a rewarding and relevant volunteer experience from the get-go. They threw me right into the thick of it and I was away working on promoting and supporting National Close The Gap Day events all around Queensland.

In my role, I got to speak with passionate people all around the state who were doing their bit to raise awareness and show support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health equality — this was inspirational stuff! After weeks of phone calls, emails and meetings, National Close The Gap Day arrived (with the largest number of events held in Queensland ever!) and I got to spend the day on the street at local events getting petition signatures and having conversations with people about the Close The Gap campaign.

During the day while talking to people, I realised how much I’d actually learnt since starting out on the campaign. The responses from people I met were overwhelmingly positive and I got to spend the day with people who were all doing amazing things in their own communities, as well as other passionate Oxfam volunteers! My experience working on National Close The Gap Day 2015 couldn’t have been better. I was supported by the amazing Campaigns Team in Brisbane; I got to learn new media, events and communications skills; and I learnt some intangible things along the way too.

Since National Close The Gap Day wrapped up for 2015, I’ve continued working with the Campaigns Team in the Brisbane office and have had the opportunity to work across Oxfam’s Campaign for Australian Aid, GROW campaign and a million other fundraising and advocacy events. I am always learning new skills and am being constantly mentored by the amazing Campaigns staff, Jess and Tom, who are always sending me interesting articles and reports to read or making time to teach me about the theories and strategies behind their campaigns and advocacy work, which makes volunteering all the more valuable for me.

I genuinely look forward to being in the Oxfam office every week where I’m surrounded by passionate Oxfam staff and volunteers who truly believe in the amazing work they do.

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