Robyn Raine has heard numerous times from Albury Wodonga Health management they would not be able to run the health service without volunteers like her.
And while Mrs Raine acknowledges this, she thinks there’s more benefit on her side.
“I have a son with a disability, and a lot of good things have happened through volunteers in the community that have made his life better,” she said.
“Volunteers get a lot out of it too – so many things we do in life are thankless tasks, but when you’re a volunteer, it’s so rewarding.
“I think it’s the best job you can do.”
Mrs Raine has been a volunteer with Albury Wodonga Health since it was formed in 2009, and was nominated by AWH for the Victorian Minister for Health Volunteer Awards.
As a finalist, she attended the award ceremony at the MCG on May 30.
“I was very humbled when they nominated me,” she said.
“The Health Minister (Jill Hennessy) was very genuine and spent time with everyone.”
Mrs Raine’s official volunteer role with the hospital began with the community advisory committee, providing a personal perspective as a full-time carer.
After five years, the maximum stint on the committee at one time, she joined an advisory group focused on patient experience.
“Because I was doing bits and pieces behind the scenes, they then asked me to help develop a consumer survey to see what patient experiences were like and how they could be improved,” she said.
“We created a survey and every week or fortnight we go in and ask patients eight questions, such as about their quality of care.
“People working in healthcare are there to try make that person’s life better … (but) sometimes they forget everybody is different, and the way they can learn is by sharing stories being shared.”
The work Mrs Raine is doing with her fellow volunteers behind the scenes is invaluable to Albury Wodonga Health, but it’s the hands-on stuff the Wodonga woman enjoys most.
“You feel like you’re giving them that little bit extra, whether you’re sitting down with them or playing cards, it helps make them feel they are not there alone,” she said.