Who We Are

Volunteers

The Volunteers are the foundation of the Avalon Centre. Their dedication, commitment and support ensures that the mission of meeting unmet needs is fulfilled.

There are many roles undertaken by volunteers; sorting clothes, office administration, marketing, driving the bus, social interaction at the Drop-in, distributing clothes to the homeless, gardening, maintenance and much more.

Volunteers range from 3 years to 92 years. Volunteers may attend 1h hour a month to 3-4 days a week.

Anytime contributed is valued.

 

Committee

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Deborah Holmes
(President)

Deborah’s background is Dramatherapy and recreational Arts. She trained and worked in the U.K. for 12 years completing a post Graduate diploma in Dramatherapy before returning home to establish the Avalon Centre in 1987.

Deborah is passionate about helping those who have ‘slipped through the cracks’, of making a difference by meeting unmet needs and is a devoted member of the Richmond Football Club.

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Mich Mak
(Member)

Mich’s degree is in Finance and she has more than 15 years’ experience in CRM & Marketing Communications for global tech brands such as O2, Sony and Dassault Systemes. She was part of the executive team in O2, currently services as a committee member on the Victorian Defence Alliance and also works for an ASX listed company, as a senior executive reporting to the board.

Mich is also directly involved in the marketing committee with Avalon and is a regular volunteer on the weekends. She hopes to do more in any way she can to help give back to the community.

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Lisa Payne
(Secretary)

Lisa has volunteered with Avalon since 2011 and has enjoyed a wide range of roles from attending the Avalon Drop-In, to assisting with the Homeless and Clothes Distribution Support Program.

Lisa has a Bachelor of Social Work and is currently working as a drug and alcohol clinician and consultant. Lisa is a proud to be a part of Avalon because ‘they are a unique, compassionate, diverse and kind team of volunteers and I find it personally rewarding to give back to the community’.

Andrew De Kretser

Andrew De Kretser
(Member)

Andrew started volunteering at Avalon as a driver for the Homeless clothes distribution programme in July 2014. Andrew has operated a law firm as a sole legal practitioner for about 10 years in Highett where he acts on behalf of clients in a wide range of legal matters including civil, criminal and property matters. Prior to being registered as a legal practitioner, he was a law lecturer at Chisholm Institute Frankston for about 4 years.

Andrew was initially attracted to volunteering at Avalon as it was a private, non-religious affiliated charity that achieved demonstrably good outcomes for people who have generally fallen through the cracks or hit hard times.

Outside of Avalon Andrew enjoys travelling around Italy with his wife and playing with his dog, Rocky Balboa

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Patrick Flynn
(Vice President)

Patrick has been a volunteer in Avalon since 2015. He arrived in Melbourne from Ireland in 2012 where he now works making high end furniture. He has been assisting on the on the homeless distribution run, driving every week, since he arrived.

Patrick is also sharing the role of Bus coordinator at Avalon. He always had ‘an interest in helping others and making the world a better place’. He fitted in very quickly into Avalon and fully supports meeting unmet needs.

Adi Singer

Adi Singer
(Member)

Adi came to the Avalon Centre over four years ago. After being involved with other charities, he finally found an “agency full of energy and enthusiasm where one has the opportunity to work closely and “hands on” with clients in need”. He hasn’t looked back since.

Adi believes that being blessed with a loving and devoted family puts him in a good position to appreciate people who are less fortunate. He hopes that his life experience and being involved in Business Management will make a humble contribution to advancing the work that Avalon does and will be expanding on further in years to come.

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Kevin Reich
(Treasurer)

Kevin has over 35 years experience in Small business in both Hospitality and Franchise administration. His experience also includes Senior roles in Banking and Construction industries where he has been able to use his knowledge and ability to adapt to project manage both large and small scale projects. As a multi award-winning business owner and Business of the year winner, Kevin has strong ties with the local community and fundraising.

Kevin has a 10-year-old daughter and has volunteered in community roles as Kindergarten President, and Local Council Liquor Licencing initiatives.

Kevin is excited to be involved with Avalon’s new initiative ‘Avalon Homes for the Homeless’. His experience and expertise provide an invaluable contribution.

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Andy Newey
(Member)

Andy is a Professional Civil Engineer, Managing Director and owner of an engineering consultancy providing engineering and construction management services to the Tier 1 Infrastructure Industry. An industry he has been involved in since 1992, between Australia and the UK from where he originally hails. A proud Australian Citizen since 2008 and an avid explorer of the world. As a volunteer with Avalon since September 2017, driving the vehicles for the homeless distribution program, Andy found an organisation in Avalon that was “different from its counterparts with a refreshing lack of bureaucracy and a real sense of a team working together to meet unmet needs.” Outside of work and time with Avalon, Andy will be found indulging his passion for motorcycles and Rock and Roll.

Get involved

Donating to Avalon means you are supporting a small charity that is run solely by volunteers and donations. Your support will help keep our buses on the road, provide warmth to the homeless, and offer opportunities to people with disabilities. In short, you will be making a difference to people’s lives and providing hope and happiness to many.