Volunteering: The Gift of Time that creates connection

03 Jan 2023

The RBWH Foundation’s Compassion Crew has long known it, but now it is official - volunteering is an important measure of social connection and will feature in the Federal Government’s Measuring What Matters, Australia's first wellbeing framework.

This is wonderful acknowledgment of the role volunteering plays, so if you spot one of our volunteer Compassion Crew, such as Ma’an, around the hospital, please take time to thank them for what they do!

Compassion crew member Ma'an

RBWH Foundation volunteer, Ma’an, who knows firsthand the power of kindness. When he and his family emigrated from Iraq to Australia in 2016, they were welcomed into the community. Then two years later, while Ma'an was attending Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) for physiotherapy appointments, he started asking, 'How can I give back?'

Since 2018, Ma'an has been working as a volunteer at RBWH, providing weekly support and companionship to patients in the RBWH Physiotherapy gym as part of the Heart Support Service team.

Ma'an is particularly passionate about helping those who may be facing language barriers. Always proudly wearing his Arabic-speaking badge on his volunteer lanyard, being able to assist others and make a positive difference in their lives is the ultimate reward, "I like that when others see that badge, they know I can speak Arabic and that I can help them".

For Ma'an, volunteering is a way of saying thank you to Australia for giving him and his family a new life. But it's more than that. Ma'an has lived through unimaginable hardship. He lost everything in his home country and yet he still finds joy in helping others.

In volunteering, Ma'an has made new friends, learned new skills, and found purpose in his weekly visits to the hospital. Ma'an is a shining example of the extraordinary things that can happen when we come together and show compassion.

To all the RBWH Foundation Compassion Crew volunteers, thank you for being incredible examples of giving the gift of time. Your selfless dedication to helping others is truly inspiring and it makes a real difference in our community. We are honored to have you be a part of our team and we cannot thank you enough for being #changemakers.