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05 Mar 2019

Flicking through my childhood books of “what I want to be when I grow up”, I was going to be a teacher, a doctor or a prima ballerina. After accelerating through high school, still hoping to do Medicine, I was presented with my first obstacle. I was 16 and interviewing for the undergraduate medical course at Monash University. On reflection, I was probably too young in a naïve sense, and would not have had the same insights and outlook on my career as entering as a postgraduate seven years later.

After embarking on an alternate pathway of studying and graduating from Pharmacy, then working in community pharmacy, industry and teaching at the Pharmacy college at Monash, I was ready yet again to start medical school. I loved medical school but couldn’t wait to get into the clinical world. But what I realised when reaching the public hospital system was that we were limited in what we could do as hospital doctors. Interactions were one on one. Patient to doctor. There was no room for preventative healthcare.

So, when people ask me why I started The Water Well Project… my answer, that I never set out to start a not-for-profit organisation. There were perhaps many driving factors including my parents’ refugee background. To me, it appeared to be a simple idea- the delivery of simple, practical and interactive health education. After surrounding myself with a team of great people, creating a committee, documenting some basic processes, we became an incorporated association, then one day we were a national organisation in three states- Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.

Today, The Water Well Project is proud of our 500 healthcare professional volunteers and delivery of over 550 health education sessions to multiple different cultural and language groups. Our organisation also proudly received a Melbourne Award (2018) for Contribution to Multiculturalism by a community organisation. Our organisation is proudly supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission, Geelong Communities Foundation and private donations. We also receive in-kind support from Maddocks Lawyers and Translating Interpreting Services (TIS).

We always appreciate enthusiastic healthcare professional volunteers and final years from related disciplines. Prospective volunteers can register on our website- www.thewaterwellproject.org and come along to an induction session for new volunteers. We also accept tax-deductible donations.

Read other articles in this edition


Published: 05 Mar 2019