After graduating high school, Ashleigh was unsure what she wanted to do next. At first, she was interested in studying teaching, but over time she came to realise that her true passion lies in politics and law.
And so, she enrolled to study international relations.
Having gone to the same school since Kindy, Ashleigh initially struggled to get used to the new environment and the many new faces she would meet in her classes and around campus.
However, she quickly came to realise that everyone else was feeling just as nervous and awkward as she was. “Everyone is unsure how to begin making friends. So just strike up a conversation! Breaking the ice and getting involved is key.”
But what helped Ashleigh the most was meeting like-minded people through joining Curtin Volunteers!
The first CV! program she got involved in was called Cracking the Code, where she and a few other volunteers travelled to a primary school to help run events for the Kindy kids. As she had initially been interested in studying teaching, Ashleigh found this program incredibly rewarding. “It was really fun getting to know the kids.”
From there, Ashleigh signed up for more and more CV! programs. A highlight for her so far has been helping prepare the Busselton Scout Hall for bushfire season during the John Curtin Weekend. “It was a full day of mowing lawns, chopping down tree stumps left in the ground and [helping] reorganise the Scout Hall. Work that didn’t seem hard but that made an impact.”
Now, as a CV! leader, Ashleigh is excited to lead her own program while working with the other leaders who she now considers her close friends. For Ashleigh, the most surprising thing about volunteering with CV! has been “meeting like-minded people [and] having fascinating conversations around their passions and values.”
With such a busy schedule, Ashleigh splits her coursework and extracurricular time according to what brings her joy and aligns with her goals. She says, “I think it’s all well and good to get HDs, but I feel like I want to get a bit more out of my uni life.”
Ashleigh’s advice for anyone who is thinking of joining Curtin Volunteers! is simple. “I’d encourage anyone to get involved… I feel like there’s something for everyone. Giving up a few hours of your time can be really worthwhile in the end.”
Whether your passion is helping the environment, teaching children their ABCs or boosting cultural wellbeing, Curtin Volunteers! has a program that will work for you. Sign-up to find out how you can make a difference in your community.
Written by creative writing and professional writing and publishing student, Abbey Carson.