20 May National Volunteer Week Profile – Meet Nat
National Volunteer Week, May 17 – 23, is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers.
Each year almost six million volunteers dedicate over 600 million hours to help others.
We’ve profiled five local volunteers from five different groups as a way of saying thank you to those who keep our community running.
Looking for an opportunity to give back?
Visit www.gladstoneregionvolunteering.com.au to find local volunteer work.
Mother of three Natalie Petersen has been a volunteer for as long as she can remember.
As a little girl she was always offering to help an elderly resident with their garden or bake biscuits and other goodies.
“After my cancer diagnosis, organisations like Zonta, Cancer Council Queensland, Restore More, CWA and more offered assistance,” she said.
“I was so grateful for the generosity shown to me, as soon as I was able to I started to volunteer for organisations like Zonta.
“A large part of my recovery process was volunteering, helping others is a good way to step outside of yourself.”
Natalie, who also runs two businesses, Evolve HR Solutions and Evolve Holistic Solutions, said she was fortunate to have a very supportive family which allowed her to volunteer.
“Everyone pitches in, from my parents to my partner, children and even friends,” she said.
“Some days I don’t feel like I have the time, but we all have days like that.”
The Zonta Club of Gladstone was founded in 1991, and currently has 26 members that support a variety of local and international projects that empower women of all ages.
“One of my favourite projects that we work on is the Breast Care Cushions,” Natalie said.
“They are donated to McGrath Breast Care and provided to women who been diagnosed with breast cancer and have had to have a lumpectomy or mastectomy.
“I have been a recipient myself, in my time of need, and it was a gift that meant the world to me when I was in need of comfort.”