Destined to make difference
Community development worker on helping others
LIFE has always been a matter of taking the road less travelled for Caloundra’s Tomas Passeggi.
And that is exactly the way he likes it.
Born and bred on the Sunshine Coast, Mr Passeggi studied here before taking up a post as the community development co-ordinator at the Caloundra Community Centre.
It’s a role he says allows him to make a difference in someone’s life every day.
This combined with his presidency of the Queensland Families and Communities Association show the value he places on helping others.
“My day often involves dealing with people who might present to the centre in crisis,” he said.
“The other part of the role are the developmental things looking at things that are happening around Caloundra and seeing what we can do.
“At the moment, I’ve been working in the area of suicide prevention and looking at initiatives or programs that we can do at the local level to address this issue.”
Mr Passeggi describes himself as “fortunate” to be able to participate in these kinds of developmental programs every day.
After years of volunteering in the region within an organisation for homeless youth, his role is all the more special.
trying to empower people in the local community and provide training for them.
— Tomas Passeggi
“This year we were able to partner with Lifeline and the council to hold workshops for the community,” he said.
“We’re trying to empower people in the local community and provide training for them.”
He said in other organisations, sometimes a role can be tied to something specific where he has the opportunity to focus on anything he deems important.
“Our Pets for Life program is something that was developed by a person in the community coming to us,” he said.
“She came to us as she was a volunteer at the animal shelter and she was seeing a lot of elderly having to relinquish their pets because they couldn’t look after them, which was causing a lot of stress.
“We worked with her to launch this program, which has now received more than $300,000 of Federal Government funding.”
Mr Passeggi said the program worked so well it has now been replicated in other parts of Australia.
He hopes that as time progresses he can remain in Caloundra and continue pioneering programs such as Pets for Life.
“I work in Caloundra, I live in Caloundra and my kids go to school here,” he said.
“So I’m a big stakeholder in what happens in the community.
“I want to keep working here to make the area a very liveable place.”
VERGE OF CHANGE: Tomas Passeggi of the Caloundra Community Centre.