03 9328 3021

Volunteer Advisory Committee member profiles

Sarah Banks

Share with us a little about yourself and your role as a volunteer at Lort Smith.
I'm Sarah and originally from London but have been living in Australia now for 11 years so Melbourne is now home for me. I have been volunteering with Lort Smith since October 2013 and volunteer in the kennels every other week. I've also helped in a few other areas of the organisation such as events or other admin areas.

Why do you volunteer with Lort Smith?
I’ve always enjoys being around animals and I’m passionate about animal welfare so volunteering at Lort Smith was a great opportunity for me. I believe in the mission and values of the organisation which was very important when looking for a volunteer organisation. My full time job also involves working for a not-for-profit and as Operations Manager. I manage a team of Volunteer Coordinators that in turn coordinate approximately 400 volunteers each year so I see the great benefit volunteers bring to an organisation. 

Why are you part of the Volunteer Advisory Committee?
I really enjoy volunteering at Lort Smith and think that the Volunteer Advisory Committee is a great opportunity for volunteers to 'have a voice'.  It's a chance for there to be two way regular commuincation between Lort Smith staff and management and the team of volunteers. It's fantastic that Lort Smith is setting up this VAC as it shows that volunteers are valued and that the organisation wants to improve the volunteer program which will benefit both the volunteers and the organisation as a whole. 

Heather Leadbetter 

Share with us a little about yourself and your role as a volunteer at Lort Smith.
About five years ago I was asked about what I wanted for Christmas and I wanted to give to an animal rescue organisation – but which one as there are so many to choose from. Upon researching I came across the Lort Smith website and was very impressed with the work that they do in the vet clinic and adoption centre, so I was hooked and haven't looked back since. I've now been volunteering in the kennels for over four years and enjoy every minute of it. I've also just been accepted as a foster care volunteer, so can't wait to bring my first dog home to care for.

Why do you volunteer with Lort Smith?
As a Senior Volunteer, I come into the kennels every second Saturday at 7.30 am and enjoy this shift as I get to be there when the dogs wake up as they are so happy to see you, even though they don't see the mess they have made the night before, but once I see their happy smiles and wagging tails – I don't see this mess either. Its great being hands on with the dogs, feeding, walking, bathing, enrichment and giving them TLC. I'm pleased to see the dogs (and cats of course) are rehomed and have a satisfaction that I've played a small part in their happiness.

Why are you part of the Volunteer Advisory Committee?
I joined the Volunteer Advisory Commitee so I could contribute ideas and suggestions for improvement of processes and procedures and improve communication between volunteers and staff members, by providing feedback which would benefit all parties.

Maria Moeller

Share with us a little about yourself and your role as a volunteer at Lort Smith.
My name's Maria. I am a volunteer foster carer with the Lort Smith kennels. I temporarily look after dogs that need some time in foster care before finding their forever homes. I have been foster caring for the kennels for approximately three years. 

Why do you volunteer with Lort Smith?
I volunteer as a foster carer with Lort Smith becaues it is a way that I can contribute to an organisation that plays an outstanding role in caring for animals in need. As a foster carer, I have a wonderful opportunity to show a dog in need some TLC and help prepare them in becoming a fantastic family pet.

Why are you part of the Volunteer Advisory Committee?
I've chosen to become a part of the Volunteer Advisory Commitee to be a voice for volunteer foster carers. I hope to provide insight to the Lort Smith into the challenges faced by foster carers, suggestions for continuous improvement in the foster care program and ideas for recruitment of more foster carers into the foster care program. I hope to achieve worthwile and visible outcomes for volunteer foster carers, Lort Smith and all of our furry, winged and scaley friends.

Sally McIntyre

Share with us a little about yourself and your role as a volunteer at Lort Smith.
Hi there, I’m Sally. I started as a foster carer and weekly Kennels volunteer about a year ago, and soon after became a Cattery volunteer to support Lort Smith during an obviously busy kitten season. 

Why do you volunteer with Lort Smith?
I volunteer as my way of thanking an organisation that is so committed to helping animals and the people who care for them. They have helped my family (and all our dogs and cats) in the past, and will continue to help many others in the future. I love being a part of this wonderfully caring and well-run institution and the brilliant work they do. They have a much-loved and respected place in the community and I am proud to be associated. Every week I get to spend TLC time with our gorgeous shelter dogs or cats, and every week I get to hear a success story as they are re-homed one by one.

Why are you part of the Volunteer Advisory Committee?
Volunteers come from all work backgrounds and life experiences, so are able to contribute ideas and suggest solutions from widely (sometimes wildly!) different perspectives. Lort Smith genuinely welcomes the input of volunteers, so I’m keen to participate while I have fresh eyes. I would like to see the VAC bridge the information gap between the Adoption Centre and foster home environments, and find more ways to recruit and support foster families.

Maggie Koumi

Share with us a little about yourself and your role as a volunteer at Lort Smith.
My name is Maggie Koumi and I have been fostering dogs for Lort Smith for seven years.

Why do you volunteer with Lort Smith?
I love animals and I believe Lort Smith to be a terrific organisation. By fostering I am helping give the dogs a better chance at a new life by bringing them into a loving home environment, introducing them to other animals and training them to be the best pet they can be.

Why are you part of the Volunteer Advisory Committee?
I chose to be part of the VAC as I believe my experience can be of help to not only other foster carers but also the organisation as a whole.

I believe the VAC will provide ongoing valuable and insightful ideas that may help other volunteers by sharing knowledge and experience and also offer suggestions and comments that may help improve the functioning and efficiency of Lort Smith itself. 

I hope that the VAC will help volunteers to feel that we are very much a part of the Lort Smith Team.

Val Walsh

Share with us a little about yourself and your role as a volunteer at Lort Smith.
I'm Val Walsh, I have volunteered for almost four and a half years in the Cattery and am a Senior volunteer as well as a foster carer for cats and kittens.

Why do you volunteer with Lort Smith?
I am passionate about care and education involving all pet owners hoping the future will give all animals care they should have. Having people understand how important desexing , chipping  and vet care is and being able to help improve the quality of care for animals that aren't always in that situation. 

Why are you part of the Volunteer Advisory Committee?
I'm excited to be part of the VAC, I see the vision of Lort Smith giving volunteers the respect and offering opportunity to grow with education and training,  to be prepared to listen to ideas and sometimes see these ideas implemented. Hopefully to be able to add anything I can contribute to help Lort Smith grow towards the vision our CEO has.  

Helen Tink

Share with us a little about yourself and your role as a volunteer at Lort Smith.
I volunteer in the Cattery and am also a Foster Carer for the cats and kittens. I have been doing this going on to two years and love every part of it. 

Why do you volunteer with Lort Smith?
It is the most rewarding thing you can do, not only for the support that Lort Smith needs but also for the cats and kittens. When Fostering these beautiful animals (some of which have had a very hard start to life) gaining confidence and knowing the meaning of love, then to watch the kittens growing everyday is absolutely beautiful. To see how they respond when they have that extra and attention in an home environment is amazing. 

As you can tell this is something I value greatly and hope to be able to do it for many years to come. 

Why are you part of the Volunteer Advisory Committee?

As a member of the VAC I hope to be able put forward ideas that some of the volunteers mention when just talking to them, that it might be of help in the roles that they do. I think communication between staff and volunteers is the most important part of achieving a great work environment. 

Hopefully the VAC with some of the ideas put forward can help to have a bit of input into the future of Lort Smith. 

Elspeth Black

Share with us a little about yourself and your role as a volunteer at Lort Smith.
I volunteer as a Pet Therapy volunteer and I have volunteered at the following facilities.

Vasey Aged Care Brighton East: July 2013 until present day with Biggles and Vlad
Royal Children’s Hospital: July 2013 until February 2014 with Biggles
Peter Mac: September 2016 until present day with Vlad

Why do you volunteer with Lort Smith?
My dogs are all very special to me and I love sharing them with other people so they can get enjoyment from them too. I get a special warmth in brightening up people’s days, especially the sick and frail. I enjoy the interaction, meeting new people and chatting about “everything and anything”. Volunteering, especially at Peter Mac, makes me feel extremely humble, thankful and fortunate. I enjoy volunteering with such a worthwhile organisation as Lort Smith

Why are you part of the Volunteer Advisory Committee?

I joined the VAC to utilise my pet therapy experiences to assist others, to assist wherever possible and perhaps with any forward planning input, to keep updated with other areas of Lort Smith to become involved with other volunteers, as pet therapy can be rather an isolated experience compared with the volunteers who are actually volunteering in Lort Smith facility itself.

Beth Healy

Share with us a little about yourself and your role as a volunteer at Lort Smith.

I am Beth Healy. I initially did some volunteering with lort smith as a foster carer a few years ago. Then about a year ago I joined the vollies team in the Cattery where I only did a handful of shifts, before finding my true calling in the bowels of the building doing the laundry! 

Why do you volunteer with Lort Smith?

This is definitely a two way street for me; I really want to help in a meaningful way, but as well I want to learn about the shelter/animal hospital industry and how it operates.

Why are you part of the Volunteer Advisory Committee?

In my career I have enjoyed organisational development, process improvement and how teams are built. I am very interested in helping to shape the volunteer function at lort smith and I really value the opportunity to participate in the VAC. I applaud Lort Smith on setting up a world class volunteer function and for putting the resources into this area. The VAC is a fundamentally important information source and conduit between the volunteers and the central co-ordinating team.  I hope that the VAC can provide to the organisation, valuable insight into how to make the volunteer system work most effectively and enjoyably. 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Banks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heather Leadbetter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maria Moeller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Sally McIntyre

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 
Maggie Koumi

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Val Walsh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Tink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elspeth Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beth Healy

 

 

Lort Smith Contact Details