Alan joined TADVIC in 2006 soon after leaving full time employment as an Electrical Engineer at Telstra for 33 years. During that time, he had always maintained a hobby interest in electronics and repairing anything electrical or mechanical around the home.
"The most enjoyable aspect of volunteer work for me is to understand a problem and then to formulate a practical solution. Sometimes it takes a bit of brainstorming for options and alternatives before the best solution begins to come clear. I enjoy that "ah-ha" moment when a proposed solution just "feels right" because it's simple, effective and economical."¯
The most memorable aspect of Alan's time at TADVIC has been the gratitude shown by clients when a project makes life easier for them. Seeing the enormous difficulties some people face, just being able to help in some way is reward in itself.
Philippa joined TADVIC in 1999, bring with her, sewing and craft skills. Philippa had worked as an Occupational Therapist until starting a family.
Philippa loves the challenge that TADVIC projects present. They have varied from constructing a jolly jumper harness to designing customised pyjamas to making jaunty bandanna bibs for students with cerebral palsy.
To begin with, she likes to get as many details as possible about the client's request but keeps an open mind because after meeting the client, may find something quite different is required. She visits clients with a few props, designs and fabrics to demonstrate. She likes to make her items aesthetically pleasing for the client and is conscientious in finding appealing patterns for children's items, while selecting colours to suit the tastes of older clients.
David qualified as a Fitter and Machinist, and worked in various positions in the State Electricity Commission Power Plant in Gippsland. He joined the Central Gippsland Branch of TADVIC in 1993.
One of the aspects that David most enjoys in his role at TADVIC is the contact with other volunteers, especially the "older statesmen"¯. He also enjoys the challenge of solving problems for the clients both simply and economically. When he is allocated a job, he bounces ideas around with the Project Coordinator, tries to think laterally and sleeps on it - inspiration usually follows!
One of his most memorable TADVIC moments occured after fixing a removable hand rail to a trampoline, so that a young boy with muscular problems could jump on it like his brother. As soon as the rail was fixed in place, the boy was up and going for his life. The look on his face was priceless!
Kevin is a retired plumber who spent many years teaching within the TAFE system. He joined TADVIC as a volunteer in 1993. Kevin has been involved in a wide range of projects over the years from modifications to wheelchairs,seating and support devices to finding ways to improve access to baths, toilets and kitchens.
"What I enjoy most about TADVIC is the personal contact and the satisfaction of problem solving - of getting something to work. I think sometimes the volunteer gets more from the experience than the person he or she assists."¯
One of Kevin's recent projects demonstrates how often the simplest solutions are the most effective. A woman was having trouble getting out of her car. After considering a wide and increasingly complicated range of options, the very simple solution of a piece of 80mm drainage pipe placed on the seat worked to give her a handhold to push herself up!
Neville, a retired electrical engineer, joined TADVIC in 2006. As a technical volunteer with TADVIC Neville has been able to put his technical and engineering skills to good use on projects that have been as varied as they have been rewarding. Neville is a keen cyclist and has recently become involved in TADVIC's Freedom Wheels modified bike program. As a member of the team, Neville has been able to put his interest and skills in bike mechanics to good use in giving independence to children with disabilities by allowing them to ride a bike for the first time. As well as getting a lot out of the joy on the childrenā€™s faces, Neville enjoys the camaraderie of being part of a team of volunteers working alongside each other.
Liz is the Project Co-ordinator for the Sunraysia branch of TADVIC. TADVIC's philosophy had always appealed to Liz's "fix it" mentality so after attending a public meeting, she joined TADVIC in 1993, helping to set up the Sunraysia branch. At the time, she hadn't worked as an Occupational Therapist for many years, and welcomed the opportunity to get back into this field. As the project co-ordinator, Liz finds it helpful to visit the client on her own first, to encourage them or their carer to talk about the problem and what solutions they may have to solve it. She can then assess whether a project is feasible before involving the appropriate volunteer. She and the volunteer then work as a team with the client to solve the problem. It is the teamwork and the resulting solution that she most enjoys in her role.