Happy National Volunteer Week 2022! Lana Davis, Volunteer Program Lead – Faces of Baptcare #15

Faces of Baptcare #15

Lana Davis, Volunteer Program Lead at Baptcare, lives by a piece of advice “time with family is always time well spent.”

Lucky for Baptcare, Lana includes our community of 400 volunteers in her definition of family and – it seems – her calling in life.

“Volunteering is the ultimate joy – creating a space where someone feels safe, empowered and cherished – it’s so fulfilling,” Lana says.

“My mother worked for a not-for-profit while I was growing up and I was roped into all sorts of fundraising activities from walk-a-thons to selling chocolates door-to-door. Whilst I may have rolled my eyes at my mum for putting my name forward for these things as a kid, I 110% appreciate the skills, knowledge and experience these volunteering acts have given to me over the course of my life. Little did I know that my mum generously donating my time to a cause would put me on a life-long trajectory towards supporting people to engage in their passions.”

How long have you been at Baptcare and what is your role?

I began my journey with Baptcare in December of 2017 as the Volunteer Co-ordinator for Baptcare Karingal Community in Devonport on the North-West Coast of Tassie. The staff, volunteers and residents at Karingal are warm and friendly and really bring the home to life. In January 2022 an opportunity came available to be the Volunteer Program Partner and I jumped at it!

What did you want to be when you were a little girl?

I don’t think I ever really knew what I wanted to be. I was always referred to as being someone who was ‘quick witted’ and having the ‘gift of the gab’. I tried my hand at many roles but the one I loved the most was my work with Volunteering Tasmania and now, of course, my role at Baptcare.

What do you like about working in the volunteering space?

I love nothing more than having someone come and talk to me about potentially volunteering for an hour a week only to have them find we have so much more to offer! Many of the volunteers I brought into Karingal started like that but were soon giving 10-15 hours a week! Members of our community have so much to offer us.

As a trained Volunteer coordinator, one of the best gifts you can offer a potential Volunteer is the gift of listening, asking the right questions and harnessing their personal passions in order to make a difference in the life of another. Volunteers come to me in those initial first weeks and marvel at how quickly and easily volunteering becomes part of their life, a piece they never knew was missing. It’s the ultimate joy – creating a space where someone feels safe, empowered and cherished.

What is an example of success in the volunteering space?

In just my time at Baptcare alone there have been many - from having a Volunteer be employed in a role they never thought they would be able to do (in just six weeks too!) to having Volunteers come thinking they would just have a cuppa and a chat with a resident but going on to create self-sustainable gardening and crochet programs where the residents and the Volunteers create items for sale! Seeing the volunteers delight in being able to be an active member of the home, together with the residents taking pride in their activities, is just wonderful for everyone.

What is your motto in life?

I have two – moments create momentum and work smarter not harder – neither have failed me yet!

What do you consider to be a great life?

A life filled with love, laughter and happiness. I may hold a few…ok…far too many…extra kilos but I know that I have a kind, loving family who bring laughter and happiness to my home. I love that I can still, at an age pushing 40, visit my parents and walk into their pantry - just for a look - and mum immediately knows ‘Lana’s home’. My toddler, James is 110% the same. “What are you doing James?” asks Nanny, “Just looking”, says James. Secretly we are both hoping Nanny has a hidden home-baked treat but we are also happy just to window shop!

If you could finish this sentence… “You’d be surprised to know that I….”

Make the world’s best Garlic Prawn Pasta! I’ve also been known to make a mean chocolate ripple cake too - just ask the volunteers at Karingal!

Who is your idol in life and why?

While it might sound cheesy, my parents and my grandparents. I have always been in awe of how they grew up with so few conveniences and before all the technological advances we now have.  Imagine raising children without television and all the convenient Apps we have to entertain our children with these days!

I also admired their relationship. Even at the age of 16. I remember thinking what a marvellous thing it was that they had been married for 40 years, raised 6 children, and yet still have things they didn’t know about each other.

I wanted a love like that too and I ended up finding it. Lucky me.