We are so humbled by all the thank you cards, notes, phone calls, and emails from you, our lovely members, sharing with us how COA is making a positive difference in your lives during the lockdown.

These positive messages have been the fuel that  keeps us going and every one of them is cherished  and celebrated by the entire team. So it is with great pride as I write that I can tell you COA was recognised for its COVID-19 response efforts by Dave Sharma MP in his speech to the Australian parliament.

During the last few months all these efforts have seen approximately 20,000 meals individually packed and delivered. We couldn’t have done it without each and every person involved.

And so, I will shamelessly brag of how proud I am to be a part of such an amazing bunch of people. They mean the world to our organisation and we simply would not be able to function without them.

I would like to share with you the efforts of a unique group of people who have been the glue through all of this. They are the ones that fill in the gaps and make sure that things happen - the COA staff and CEO, who, in addition to their paid roles, often spend countless hours as volunteers.

Aside from their usual contributions, extraordinary times have called for extraordinary efforts, looking  after our members during the lockdown. The 2 am over the phone strategic planning meetings, the    Sunday shifts, the 6 am starts and 9pm finishes ensuring everyone gets their meals and produce, the shopping trips, and after-hours phone calls. Upscaling our Shalom Connect project ensured we  can still provide that social connection and let our members know we are there for them without being able to meet under the same roof. There have been hundreds of phone calls each week to ensure our members are safe and well during these unprecedented times. Many personal sacrifices were made by our team and volunteers to ensure we continue to operate and provide services in such uncertain times.

In recognition of everyone’s efforts Sandy Matrai (Development Officer) and Robbie Clifford (Volunteer Coordinator)have created a Wall of Fame with photographs of most people who volunteers at COA. It’s a work in  progress as we add new photos to it every day. This project is close to Sandy’s heart as it’s something she has been wanting to do for the last 10 years! If this is not proof of good things coming to those who wait I don’t know what is! 

We have attached a picture of the wall and I am sure you will find many familiar faces on it - maybe even your own! 

In conclusion, I feel extremely grateful and proud to have a job I love, working with people whose lives revolve around making a difference helping others.

We miss our members, and can’t wait to see their faces again. Until then, please take care and stay safe.

As always, if you need assistance with shopping, meals, staying connected, or just a chat, please call   us at the COA office (9389 0035) to get connected to these services, and prepare to meet one of our amazing volunteers in person.

By Chief Operations Officer, Sabina Kovadlo