It’s not surprising that so many young people who volunteer with IOE receive well deserved community recognition for their work.

The most recent to receive an accolade is Georgia Read who became Maroondah’s Young Citizen of the Year in early February.

Georgia first started volunteering with IOE in 2015 and has been a regular on rec programs since then. Her work for the community isn’t just limited to her volunteering at IOE. She’s been involved in her church since her early teens, helping out with the children and running Sunday school. At the age of fourteen Georgia became involved in school wellbeing and joined their equality group. It was one of her teachers at her school who nominated her for the Maroondah award in recognition of all she puts back into her local community and because of how hard she works to fit her volunteering commitment into her demanding school regime.

Georgia says ‘My community work has made me realise how different the world is from different views. Being able to be part of so many amazing communities with so many amazing people has made me realise how wonderful all ability is in the world. Helping someone achieve something they did not believe they could achieve is thrilling. The smiles and love that I get from the kids I work with motivate me to keep going because it’s so wonderful to see their happiness and enjoyment.

Volunteering can change the course of your life and change how you see the world. Everyone should try volunteering in an area they are passionate about.

I could never imagine my life without interchange and all the beautiful kids I get to look after, work with and learn from. I’m so grateful IOE is part of my life.’

Well done Georgia on your award … and a huge thank you from the entire IOE community.