I have been a stay-at-home mum for 28 years. It wasn’t until my youngest of three graduated high school that I realised I didn’t have any work experience to put together a resume. I never looked into volunteering as I assumed all volunteering experiences involved a lot of sadness and remorse.
In 2016, I found my opportunity. I began volunteering with Red Cross in Adelaide in the Police Call Outs Program which supports young people aged 10 to 17 in police interviews. This program operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and has 50 to 60 volunteers.
We are all on call, either as a dispatcher or responder, where we act as a suitable person during a police interview if the young person’s parent or guardian is unable to attend. We do not provide legal advice, we are there to ensure the young person’s rights are respected and due processes are followed. Once the interview is over, we are not told the outcome.
As I have children who have lived a very privileged life, I volunteer to give back to those in need. When we receive a call, we never know what we’re going to get – some interviews go for 15 minutes, while others go for two hours. It really is a mixed bag.