We are excited to welcome Nicole to the Sacred Heart Mission team. With a long history of working in non-profits both locally and abroad, Nicole is our new Relationships Manager, responsible for raising the necessary funds to ensure the Mission can plan for the future with confidence, investing in services that will address the underlying causes of deep, persistent disadvantage and social exclusion.
Leaving her Elwood home singing along to music on the radio, Nicole drives through St Kilda, Grey Street.
People gathered at the front of the Dining Hall and a gorgeous bedside table standing outside the op shop attracts Nicole’s attention. She sees the sign of Sacred Heart Mission and wonders what the organisation is about.
After learning about the work the Mission does with people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage, Nicole knew she wanted to be part of the community. With a great passion for helping people, she wanted to be a part of something truly amazing.
Now sitting in the fundraising meeting room, sipping her coffee, she says: “I always had an appreciation for the Mission and when this role came up, I knew I had to apply. I have not regretted that decision for a minute.”
Nicole has an interesting life story to tell. Name a place and Nicole has lived there. With her Dutch accent she has moved from Europe to Singapore, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Toronto, and ended up in Melbourne, the place she decided to call home seven years ago. Fresh in the fundraising team, Nicole has processed her first impressions. Reminiscing about her first months at the organisation, her eyes lit up and it is clear she is amazed and proud to be part of it.
“It is such a compassionate organisation and you see and feel that wherever you go. The staff in the different service areas are all extremely dedicated and have amazing stories to tell. This makes me feel privileged to be working for such a genuinely loving organisation.”
“Sacred Heart Mission practice what they preach and that gives me the confidence to sincerely advocate the cause.”
It is very important to Nicole she gets to know all the services and collect real stories. When she returned from serving lunches at the Dining Hall, she felt humbled with the volunteering experience.
“The volunteer program is incredible. It takes more than 20 volunteers everyday to run the meals program. Finding all these people every day, willing to give their time and energy without asking for something in return. How incredible is that?”
Nicole is dreaming about her aspirations for the Mission. “This organisation does so much more than giving meals. It has impressed me how much they care for their clients.
The pastoral care worker for example, makes sure people who pass away in our hostels get a respectful and personal funeral. This assures the residents they will be taken care of when they pass away and their friends, on the streets or in the hostels, can say their goodbyes. That is so important on a human level.”
Nicole has always been passionate about helping those less fortunate. With a background in marketing, communications and public relations, she has worked in several fundraising roles at charity and education organisations. Coming from a similar role at World Vision Australia, she has what it takes to be a great contribution to the team.
Nicole Punte is the new Relationships Manager Fundraising, responsible for raising the necessary funds to ensure the Mission can plan for the future with confidence, investing in services that will address the underlying causes of deep, persistent disadvantage and social exclusion.
For Nicole, philanthropy is so much more than promoting our cause to generous donors. She takes donors on a journey with the Mission and personally engages them to be part of the Sacred Heart family.
“I make sure donors are not left out in the cold, but welcomed in our warm community. It is about giving them a personal connection to us and making sure they not only know, but also experience the wonderful things we do with their donations.”
Stay up to date with our monthly newsletter, Heartbeat