Pas­sion to help fam­i­lies lauded

Long­time vol­un­teer do­nates her time to as­sist­ing those in need

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Vera Ber­tola

IT’S hum­bling to dis­cover Sal­lie Ham­mond’s life’s work – apart from rais­ing a beau­ti­ful fam­ily – has been vol­un­teer­ing her time and skills to en­sure other fam­i­lies have the same op­por­tu­ni­ties she pro­vided her own.

For more than 30 years, Ms Ham­mond has vol­un­teered at Fu­sion Western Syd­ney – her in­tro­duc­tion to the or­gan­i­sa­tion was as a 16-yearold help­ing to run a pro­gram for the home­less.

Her hus­band-to-be was one of the many kids who con­nected to the ser­vice, which is de­scribed as hav­ing “a heart for the well­be­ing of the most vul­ner­a­ble”.

Over the years, they both worked at Fu­sion.

While her hus­band has since left, Ms Ham­mond con­tin­ues sup­port­ing fam­i­lies in the re­gion as the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s fam­i­lies train­ing and sup­port man­ager.

Ms Ham­mond said Fu­sion Western Syd­ney was not funded and the work was done by vol­un­teers.

“I’ve al­ways worked in an un­paid role, but I get a lot of sup­port from peo­ple who liked what we were do­ing and helped us out in lots of dif­fer­ent ways,” she said.

“Over the years, I’ve de­vel­oped a fam­i­lies course, which has been taught all over Aus­tralia.

“Now we are train­ing the train­ers.”

Ms Ham­mond also has be­come an au­thor with a book on fam­i­lies, which com­ple­ments the course.

“It’s just gone to the printer ... it’s called Fam­i­lies: Mine, Yours, Ours, and it’s very much my story.

“Ma­te­rial from the course has been wo­ven into my story – my chil­dren and my fam­ily.”

Ms Ham­mond’s on­go­ing work re­flects the qual­i­ties of the Pride of Aus­tralia – to cel­e­brate and ac­knowl­edge the re­mark­able con­tri­bu­tion of mem­bers of the Aus­tralian com­mu­nity.

To nom­i­nate, visit prideof aus­tralia.com.au.

De­tails: fu­sion­west­ern syd­ney.org.au.

I’ve al­ways worked in an un­paid role, but I get a lot of sup­port from peo­ple who liked what we were do­ing and helped us out in lots of dif­fer­ent ways

Pic­ture: Carmela Roche

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