Who We Are

Volunteers

The Volunteers are the foundation of the Avalon Centre. Their dedication, commitment and support ensures that the mission of meeting unmet needs is fulfilled.

There are many roles undertaken by volunteers; sorting clothes, office administration, marketing, driving the bus, social interaction at the Drop-in, distributing clothes to the homeless, gardening, maintenance and much more.

Volunteers range from 3 years to 92 years. Volunteers may attend 1h hour a month to 3-4 days a week.

Anytime contributed is valued.

 

Committee

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Deborah Holmes
(President)

Deborah’s background is Dramatherapy and recreational Arts. She trained and worked in the U.K. for 12 years completing a post Graduate diploma in Dramatherapy before returning home to establish the Avalon Centre in 1987.

Deborah is passionate about helping those who have ‘slipped through the cracks’, of making a difference by meeting unmet needs and is a devoted member of the Richmond Football Club.

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Mich Mak
(Member)

Mich’s degree is in Finance and she has more than 15 years’ experience in CRM & Marketing Communications for global tech brands such as O2, Sony and Dassault Systemes. She was part of the executive team in O2, currently services as a committee member on the Victorian Defence Alliance and also works for an ASX listed company.

Mich is also directly involved in the marketing committee with Avalon and is a regular volunteer on the weekends. She hopes to do more in any way she can to help give back to the community.

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Bill Jewel
(Treasurer)

With a Management Degree and a Accounting Certificate both obtained by part time study, Bill worked for 45 years in administration and accounting, the last 20 years for small companies  assisting the owners restructure their business and then in the management of their operations.

After retiring early, Bill was keen to give something back to the community and chose Avalon as he appreciated Avalon’s philosophy of direct assistance  to some of the most vulnerable members of our community  by an organisations made up wholly of volunteers.

Not afraid to get his hands dirty and undertake a variety of tasks, Bills business experience will be invaluable to Avalon as Avalon’s  activities continue to grow and has embraced with enthusiasm Avalon’s Home For The Homeless program.

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Patrick Flynn
(Vice President)

Patrick has been a volunteer in Avalon since 2015. He arrived in Melbourne from Ireland in 2012 where he now works making high end furniture. He has been assisting on the on the homeless distribution run, driving every week, since he arrived.

Patrick is also sharing the role of Bus coordinator at Avalon. He always had ‘an interest in helping others and making the world a better place’. He fitted in very quickly into Avalon and fully supports meeting unmet needs.

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Kevin Reich
(Secretary)

Kevin has over 35 years experience in Small business in both Hospitality and Franchise administration. His experience also includes Senior roles in Banking and Construction industries where he has been able to use his knowledge and ability to adapt to project manage both large and small scale projects. As a multi award-winning business owner and Business of the year winner, Kevin has strong ties with the local community and fundraising.

Kevin has a 10-year-old daughter and has volunteered in community roles as Kindergarten President, and Local Council Liquor Licensing initiatives.

Kevin is excited to be involved with Avalon’s new initiative ‘Avalon Homes for the Homeless’. His experience and expertise provide an invaluable contribution.

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Andrew De Kretser
(Member)

Andrew started volunteering at Avalon as a driver for the Homeless clothes distribution programme in July 2014. Andrew has operated a law firm as a sole legal practitioner for about 10 years in Highett where he acts on behalf of clients in a wide range of legal matters including civil, criminal and property matters. Prior to being registered as a legal practitioner, he was a law lecturer at Chisholm Institute Frankston for about 4 years.

Andrew was initially attracted to volunteering at Avalon as it was a private, non-religious affiliated charity that achieved demonstrably good outcomes for people who have generally fallen through the cracks or hit hard times.

Outside of Avalon Andrew enjoys travelling around Italy with his wife and playing with his dog, Rocky Balboa.

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Lisa Payne
(Member)

Lisa has volunteered with Avalon since 2011 and has enjoyed a wide range of roles from attending the Avalon Drop-In, to assisting with the Homeless and Clothes Distribution Support Program.

Lisa has a Bachelor of Social Work and is currently working as a drug and alcohol clinician and consultant. Lisa is a proud to be a part of Avalon because ‘they are a unique, compassionate, diverse and kind team of volunteers and I find it personally rewarding to give back to the community’.

Get involved

Donating to Avalon means you are supporting a small charity that is run solely by volunteers and donations. Your support will help keep our buses on the road, provide warmth to the homeless, and offer opportunities to people with disabilities. In short, you will be making a difference to people’s lives and providing hope and happiness to many.