Meet a Volunteer
Meet Sudhir, Justice of the Peace volunteer.
As one of the Council’s Volunteer Justices of the Peace, Sudhir Thakur is a familiar face at the Norwood Town Hall and on The Parade, Norwood.
Inspired by his late mother’s dedication to serving her community, Sudhir has become a committed Volunteer for the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters, in addition to giving his time to a host of other charitable causes.
“My mother came from a very modest, lower middle-class strata of the Indian society, says Sudhir.
“Volunteering for the benefit of others when we ourselves were struggling to make ends meet was truly commendable. This is what inspired me to become a Volunteer.”
Justice of the Peace services are often used by a wide range of people and I feel honoured to help them reduce the stress involved with getting documentation attested.
After migrating to Australia from India, Sudhir became a Justice of the Peace in 2015, to act as an independent and objective witness to documents used for official or legal purposes.
“Justice of the Peace services are often used by a wide range of people and I feel honoured to help them reduce the stress involved with getting documentation attested.”
Demand for the Council’s Justice of the Peace services is ever growing and even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sudhir and his colleagues were kept busy.
“Our work is increasing by the day because other Justices of the Peace such as police officers, doctors and nurses simply don’t have time to undertake these duties—and events such as the COVID-19 pandemic only add pressure to their already demanding workload.”
“During the pandemic we were busier than ever—I volunteered for 20 hours every week for more than 25 weeks.”
Sudhir said it was particularly important to him to help people at a time when there were added pressures to everyday life.
“There was an element of worry in the community—they were worried for their own health and the health of their loved ones.
“It was therefore my pleasure to continue offering our services to those who needed it and throughout such a trying time.
”The Council took every precaution to ensure the health, well-being and safety of everyone visiting the Norwood Town Hall where the Justice of the Peace Volunteers are based, by reconfiguring office layouts, ensuring physical distancing protocols were adhered to, and undertaking regular cleaning of high touch services.
“The type of work involved with being a Justice of the Peace means I get to meet people from all walks of life and I get a great sense of satisfaction from giving back to the local community.”
To find out more about Justice of the Peace services, visit: Justice of the Peace
Meet more Council volunteers
St Peter's Billabong volunteer
Just three kilometres from the centre of Adelaide CBD and a stone’s throw from the River Torrens, the St Peters Billabong is a local treasure which is home to a thriving ecosystem—and a popular place for families and friends to spend time with nature.
The billabong and its surrounding natural landscape have been carefully nurtured over many years by a group of professional and passionate Volunteers, including Nadia McLaren.
"The St Peters Billabong is a beautiful place offering multipurpose spaces for everyone to enjoy."
Volunteering at the billabong for more than ten years, Nadia brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as an ecologist —eclipsed only by her commitment to restoring the billabong to its natural state pre-European settlement.
Our purpose is simple - to care for the billabong and its natural landscape, ultimately ensuring the future biodiversity and conservation of the site.
Nadia says that volunteering is ideal for people who are in transition.
“Whether moving into the workforce or into retirement, or moving to a new suburb, state or country, volunteering in the local community is a great way to form connections to people and place.”
Nadia says that the work carried out by Friends of the Billabong promotes a healthy lifestyle.
“Our work affords us all the opportunity to connect with nature, environment, people and self.”
“Everyone is welcome to our group and the billabong. It’s a rewarding way of contributing to the local community while
learning about and raising awareness of the values of our natural environment.”
Volunteering in our City Our Volunteers make significant contributions to the well-being of our City, by giving their time and skills for the benefit of others.
For more information about Friends of the Billabong or to become a volunteer, visit: Friends of the Billabong (FOB)
Justice of the Peace, Community Bus Driver and Graffiti Removal Team volunteer
Sixty-four years young, Mick Roche is a seasoned volunteer who has dedicated his skills, expertise and energy to his community for more than 25 years.
Volunteering with the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters since January 2018, Mick can be found at the Norwood Town Hall in his capacity as a Justice of the Peace, on the road as a Community Bus Driver or on the streets removing illegal graffiti.
"The rewards of volunteering are immeasurable. While I achieve a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction through the work I do, I’ve also met some great people."
“My professional career was always driven by the notion of ‘think local, act global’ but today it’s ‘think global, act local’. My focus is on what I can do to best help people in my community.”
With a passion for the environment, Mick was naturally drawn to graffiti removal and feels a great sense of achievement when he drives the graffiti-free streets of our City.
“The rewards of volunteering are immeasurable. While I achieve a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction through the work I do, I’ve also met some great people – residents, volunteers and Council staff - and made new friends.”
Despite his significant volunteer commitments with the Council and other organisations, Mick still has time for a daily gym workout, family history research, and going to concerts and the theatre!
Community Visitor Scheme volunteer
Ayu Pamungkas is a 27 year old international student from Indonesia.
Currently studying her first year of a Master of Social Work, Ayu has been volunteering with the Council’s Community Visitor Scheme since July 2017, regularly visiting her client at Trowbridge House.
“This role has proved to me that money does not always make people smile but kindness does. When I visit we talk a lot about her life and sometimes I read her a magazine. It’s simple but we both look forward to our time together. I feel full and happy after every visit - my day is always better.”
Reflecting on herself in the early days of her volunteering, Ayu attributes her own personal growth and development to her volunteering.
“My communication skills have improved and I have developed a new level of empathy. At first I felt challenged, but after a few visits with my client I began to feel more confident in my purpose. I now look forward to our time together as we’ve developed a beautiful friendship.”
Ayu suggests that there are three key ingredients in dedicating yourself to a volunteer role, particularly with the Community Visitor Scheme. “Communication and just being yourself are essential, but most importantly, your willingness to contribute. People can feel it if you do it with your heart.”
Remembering Kingsley Turner
The late Kingsley Turner was a committed and passionate volunteer with the City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters, who worked tirelessly to restore and maintain the St Peters Billabong.
Kingsley was formally recognised by the Council for his extensive and valued contributions when he was awarded the Council’s 2009 Citizen of the Year Award.