Volunteer Profile: Jillian Stewart
PCYC Queensland is celebrating our volunteers during National Volunteer Week!
Volunteering extensively in her own local Inala community for over four decades, Jillian is renowned for her integrity, resilience and mentorship, helping hundreds of young people and their families change their lives. Well loved and respected, read why Jillian has been a volunteer with PCYC Queensland for almost 40 years.
Why did you join PCYC Queensland?
Initially I was approached by the Assistant Branch Manager at PCYC Inala to assist in coaching young people in netball. I responded to her request and started volunteering. This was back in 1981!
Since then I have enjoyed nearly 40 years of being associated with the club and the community, not only through netball but many other essential activities and programs including Braking the Cycle.
What do you enjoy about volunteering with PCYC Queensland?
I enjoy it because I feel I can make a difference in people’s lives and actually witness them become active, engaged members in the community.
Whilst volunteering, I have certainly experienced the gratitude from quite a lot of young people who have moved on from the club. Sometimes that thankyou comes back to you many years later when you are out and about in the community, and it is certainly a great feeling when that happens.
What opportunities have you gained from being connected to PCYC Queensland?
I have been a netball coach, umpire, rep team manager, committee member and Treasurer for netball.
I have been a PCYC Inala Committee Member, Chairperson, Braking the Cycle Program Coordinator, Queensland Police Service (QPS) Community Panel Member and assisted the branch manager with other roles.
Over the years I have also assisted in various administration roles, helped with cleaning and maintenance duties, driven a bus, been a fundraiser, helped out as an OSHC volunteer in the school holidays, and been a Camp Leader at PCYC Bornhoffen’s Leadership Development Centre. You name it, I have pretty much done it all!
What advice would you give a young person thinking of engaging with their local PCYC Queensland club?
I would say it gives you the opportunity to interact with a wide range of people and fantastic volunteering experience which leads to being part of a community which helps others.
I would encourage anyone interested in helping others to consider their local PCYC Queensland club. You also get to meet and work with serving police officers and there is also the important aspect of gaining a good reference, learning new skills and improving your self-confidence.
What is your favourite PCYC Queensland moment?
Seeing the PCYC Inala club go through two major facility upgrades, making it into the wonderful community hub it is now. Being invited to the wedding of an at-risk teenager who used to attend the club, who managed to turn her life around and gain employment at the club as outside school hours care educator. Commencing the Braking the Cycle program at PCYC Inala as a volunteer and maintaining it for 18 months until funding allowed for the employment of a paid Coordinator.
I have been a volunteer with PCYC Queensland for nearly 40 years and enjoyed just about every moment and every challenge put in front of me. I still enjoy the feeling that volunteering in a club gives me and want to continue building favourite memories for more years to come!