I’m a 43-year-old wife and Mum to two amazing kids, whom I adore. As a family we have travelled the world and have lived in 3 different states in Australia, but for now we are very much at home and settled in Melbourne. After a long career in Human Resource Management I made the decision to re-train in beauty therapy and as a make-up artist, and it was because of this I became involved with Look Good Feel Better.
I began volunteering with the program in 2015. While working as a facial therapist, I met a client undergoing treatment for cancer who was so desperate to feel and look ‘normal’ and like her old self. I was so inspired and encouraged when I was able to help her feel so wonderful that I went straight home to search for ways I could help others in this situation. Look Good Feel Better was ideal, and a perfect way to utilise my skills as a beauty therapist and make-up artist.
The workshops offer women a great opportunity to learn helpful tips and tricks for improving their appearance but more importantly, give women a chance to meet other women dealing with the same concerns. They are understandably vulnerable but find a safe place and a sisterhood, sometimes even developing lasting friendships after our workshops have finished.
I meet women at every workshop dealing with the devastating effects of cancer and its treatments on their appearance. Some of them don’t recognise themselves anymore and avoid looking at themselves in the mirror. Some women have never worn make-up or have never been shown how to use it. Our workshops take away any fear they may have and we give easy to follow tips that they can use at home. I love to watch the physical transformation after our participants have spent the morning playing with make-up and learning about wigs and head scarves. Most participants are quiet in the beginning, but often our workshops end in loud and joyous laughter and conversation. They leave having learned practical ways to help themselves feel better about putting their best selves out into the world.
I love meeting new people and contributing to our community through volunteering with Look Good Feel Better. It’s incredibly inspiring to witness women facing enormous health challenges doing so with bravery, courage and compassion for each other. The workshops are always such great fun and I’ve found some lovely friendships with my fellow volunteers. I also love showing my kids how incredible it feels to help others – Mum is always in a good mood after a morning at a Look Good Feel Better workshop!
Giving my time and help to others voluntarily is a one of the most rewarding parts of my life. Knowing that I can help to make a small difference in the life of someone else is such a great feeling. I’m often asked if I feel sad by what I see in the workshops but quite honestly, I’m inspired and energised by the collective compassion shown by all the volunteers, and the bravery and positivity of the women participating.