Volunteers' stories

Belinda; Banksia group, Melbourne, VIC

I’ve been volunteering with ABA since my little girl was about 3 months old. There was a call out for someone to volunteer to edit our local group’s Bulletin, and as I have had experience in this area in my professional life, it seemed like a good fit! It was also great because it gave me something to do that reminded me that while I’m a mother and that’s of the utmost importance, I’m also capable of doing many other things!

In addition, I am secretary for my group, have helped organise and staff sausage sizzles and other ABA events, sold raffle tickets and hosted meetings.

As an ABA volunteer, you are really appreciated for whatever time you can manage to spare, be it only an hour! You can choose when to help and if you have issues with your children that day, there is always someone to take over or give you a hand. It is very flexible.

ABA and breastfeeding in general need all the publicity, support and promotion we can provide. Bearing in mind that ABA is a not-for-profit association and that all our breastfeeding counsellors are volunteers, giving my personal time to such an organisation just makes sense. Volunteering with ABA is a very rewarding experience. Breastfeeding is a passion for most of the people involved with ABA. It’s great to spend time with like-minded people and I feel as though I’m doing something important. Volunteering for ABA has given me a purpose (other than mothering) during my leave from paid work and as I feel so passionately about breastfeeding, it gives me a sense of satisfaction to know I’m doing my part to promote, support and encourage breastfeeding as the most normal and beneficial way to feed your baby.

Bec; Banksia group, Melbourne, VIC

I began volunteering with ABA in 2011. I have been the Bulletin Editor, Treasurer and Social Coordinator, as well as hosting meetings, cooking sausages and cakes for fundraising stalls, and manning the feed and change tent at local festivals.

I have always tended to be a helper and active participant in anything that I do. As I only returned to work part time following my first child, I was happy to help out when a position (Bulletin Editor) was offered to me. It gave me the opportunity to use my brain a bit again and to get to know other mums in the area a little better. I feel good to be using my skills to enhance the group and make it better than ever.

I think that volunteering with ABA has shown that I am active and motivated, as well as showing the way in which I give back to the community. I have fine tuned my budgeting skills and learnt how to apply for grants, as well as a lot of informal breastfeeding and mothering knowledge. I would recommend volunteering with ABA to anyone. There are multiple opportunities to participate as much or as little as you have time for and it brings you closer to other mothers/families and to your community.

Erin; Townsville group, QLD

I have volunteered on and off with ABA for the past 3 years, after the birth of my first child. I have been the Group Treasurer, National Raffle Coordinator and assisted with other activities such as fundraisers.

Volunteering with ABA gave me an opportunity to give back to a group who helped me, also to do something else whilst raising my children that used my brain a bit as I wasn’t working anymore. At times I felt challenged, but also enjoyed that challenge. It made me feel good knowing I was still able to do things that weren’t just being a mother. It has given me the confidence to do more accounting type work and coordinate other activities. I’m now a coordinator for a local playgroup.

Rebekah; Kalamunda group, WA

I have been volunteering with ABA since 2011. I have volunteered as the ABA group Publicity Officer and have occasionally hosted group catch ups at my house. I was on maternity leave and wanted a project to focus on where I could contribute to society, was interesting and flexible and was possible to do from home.

I enjoy volunteering with ABA as I have found it interesting and fulfilling. It has given me experience with issuing press releases and liaising with media outlets. It also helped develop my skills in working with others to achieve a common objective. Volunteering with ABA has increased my confidence, particularly when I was on maternity leave. I have also developed friendships and skills as a result of volunteering with ABA. I would say that I have found the experience to be positive and that there are a number of ways to volunteer and contribute.

Louise; City West group, NSW

I have been a member since 2008. I have done raffles tickets sales at local supermarket, sausage sizzles, hosted meeting, also helped out at a show feed and change tent.

I am a midwife and I am passionate about breastfeeding. As a breastfeeding mother, I would like to share my breastfeeding experiences with other mothers on their breastfeeding journey.  Also, I am happy about volunteering as it is a way to contribute to the community. When I am involved with ABA, I am comfortable and feel supported.  Being involved with ABA has helped me to understand that sometimes things do not go according to plans (i.e. breastfeeding). The life experience has made me more knowledgeable to contribute to my work. I have learnt a lot of things, and get pleasure from helping the group and friendships.

To others thinking about volunteering with ABA I encourage them to volunteer with ABA, and share with them the experience I had. ABA has good services for breastfeeding mothers, and ABA support mothers who are having a challenging breastfeeding times.  By volunteering, you are contributing to a good cause for mothers and babies.

Kerri; Townsville group, QLD

I was Group Administrator for a while, I have done the Diary Dates, been responsible for getting Diary Dates printed, newsletter, Facebook Admin for our local group, volunteered for sausage sizzles, organised a Breastfeeding Week function at the hospital, volunteered at ABA feed/change tent for several Baby Welcoming Ceremonies.

Whenever I have volunteered at Baby Welcoming Ceremonies or Sausage Sizzles there has always been someone approach us who is eager to share their own breastfeeding stories - usually older women who are now grandparents who breastfed their own children 2 years and beyond in the days when breastfeeding was definitely the exception and not the norm.  It's so lovely to hear them talk about their own journeys and perhaps we offer them a safe place to share.