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Volunteer spotlight: Kate Coulman in the Corporate and Community Partnerships Team, Sydney

Volunteers Kate

Kate joined Oxfam to gain experience in a not-for-profit organisation as part of a career change. Since joining the Corporate and Community Partnerships team in Sydney, she’s done just that — while also contributing her corporate skills and knowledge. Read on to find out more about Kate’s experience and what her role involves.

What led you to start volunteering with Oxfam?

I am pursuing a career change from Corporate HR to the world of nonprofit. Since I’ve left Corporate America behind, I thought … what better way to get nonprofit experience and get involved in my new community than to volunteer.

One of the reasons I chose Oxfam is that they seem to have a hand in ALL the important issues. I am really drawn to international relief, but I also love the balance of proactive work on important issues around the globe and right here in Australia.

What does your volunteering with the Corporate and Community Partnerships Team involve?

It’s quite a spread, and I enjoy the diversity of it. It’s everything from helping with communications for community fundraising events like Trek Nepal and Run Melbourne, to calling our supporters who are registered to thank them. It’s really nice to get to interact with our fundraisers on a personal level. On the corporate side, it’s mainly running ethical screens on potential corporate partners. I’m constantly learning new things about companies and becoming a more responsible shopper.

What do you gain out of volunteering?

The obvious answer is that I’m gaining nonprofit experience while I look for a permanent nonprofit role, and learning the differences in the work environment and life balance compared to my corporate background. But I’m also getting to work with some really awesome, passionate people. And that is so rewarding in its own right.

What would you tell anyone interested in volunteering at Oxfam?

Do it! Every day that I come in, I feel like I’ve truly helped make a difference to someone. Not to mention those fab colleagues again.

When I’m not volunteering, I’m also working as a temp at the Royal Flying Doctor Service, taking tennis lessons, and grinding it out on the field with my flag football team.

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