From volunteer to staff member

18 November 2021
Faith Kaan, ICT Coordinator

Faith Kaan has worn many hats during her time at Sacred Heart Mission. From Dining Hall volunteer to ICT Coordinator, she has worked across many areas of the Mission with this year marking a decade of service.

Over ten years ago, newly arrived in Australia via New Zealand from the Netherlands, a friend invited Faith along to a volunteer information session at the Mission. Since she didn’t have a work visa yet, she was excited to learn she could still volunteer.

Faith started right away as a volunteer in the Dining Hall and then later at the East St Kilda op shop on Inkerman Street. “As a volunteer I felt really engaged and it gave me a sense of belonging. What I enjoyed most was the interaction with the clients and with staff.”

When a volunteer position at reception opened up, she jumped at the opportunity. This role eventually turned into a permanent position. Faith was later seconded to the volunteer program, where she stayed for a year and a half. When she returned to her role in reception her responsibilities shifted to focus more on administration, including information technology.

“I didn’t have an IT background but I did a lot of IT related work. It has always interested me.” When the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) department was created, Faith was excited to be part of the team.

Now she works as the ICT Coordinator, supporting the organisation’s many technology initiatives and operations.

Looking back at her time at Sacred Heart Mission, Faith says she has seen a lot of growth at the organisation.

“In the last five years we’ve doubled in size. We have grown from a local community organisation to having so many new programs, it’s incredible.”

Faith is always keen to talk about Sacred Heart Mission’s impact with friends and strangers alike, “Being able to have those conversations with people, that homelessness can happen to anyone, it creates empathy so that people better understand the issue and the complexity.”

For Faith, it’s the people who make the organisation. “We always talk about that sense of community and how important it is. As a newcomer to Australia I realised how vital that is and how lucky I am to have a job that gives me a sense of that community.”

“I’m proud of where the organisation stands and what we’re doing. We are making a difference to a whole lot of people.”

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