Team member spotlight – Volunteer & Student Placement Coordinator

woman and her dog

Pictured: Jenny and her dog Lewis.

Meet Jenny, the Volunteer & Student Placement Coordinator at Gateways. Jenny has been with Gateways for an impressive 18 years, bringing volunteers into our community and helping them grow. Her special talent is making everyone feel welcome and valued.

Jenny’s career at Gateways began as a volunteer in the Interchange Host Program, where she first discovered her passion for working in the disability sector. Over the years, she’s taken on various roles, including Recreation Coordinator and involvement in recruitment, inductions, and training. Her journey through these diverse positions led her to her current role.

Among Jenny’s most memorable achievements, she fondly recalls, ‘The many successful host/buddy matches over the years that have continued on as lifelong friendships, even after the formal volunteering role has ended.’

Away from her desk, Jenny finds her balance in an active and outdoorsy lifestyle. She shares, ‘After sitting at a desk most of the day, I really need to get out and move! As well as regular yoga and Zumba classes at the gym, most days I take myself & Lewis (pictured) for a walk to relax and unwind as soon as I get home from work.’ Her love for the outdoors extends to gardening, beach, and bush walking, and an interesting hobby of home brewing kombucha.

Jenny’s motivation in her role at Gateways is rooted in the diversity and development of the volunteers she mentors. She says, ‘The diversity of our volunteers is always so amazing. Anyone over 16 can be a volunteer – there’s no upper age limit, you don’t need any experience in disability, just a willingness to jump in and get involved, and an acceptance of all the wonderful people you will meet along the way.’ She finds great joy in seeing volunteers progress in their careers, often influenced by their experiences at Gateways. ‘I also love hearing that a volunteer has gained employment in this field or has gone on to further studies because of the interest and experience they gained from volunteering,’ she adds.

Inspired by Jenny’s story and interested in making a difference? Join our community of volunteers at Gateways. Visit our volunteering page to learn more and get involved!