Murdoch student helps others despite facing her own challenges

May 12, 2015

Jessica Frost left, Thank You Volunteers eventTo celebrate National Volunteer Week, May 11 to 15, second year education student Jessica Frost shared her inspiring volunteering stories along with other Murdoch Volunteering Ambassadors at the Royal Agricultural Society Thank You Volunteers event on May 11.

Jessica is a member of the Murdoch Guild Volunteer Hub which connects students to volunteer roles and inspires active citizenship. As a Murdoch Volunteering Ambassador her role is to share her love of volunteering with others and inspire them to get involved in active citizenship.

“I have definitely become a less selfish and more patient person because of my volunteering,” Jessica said.

“The more I volunteer, the more I want to volunteer—the sense of fulfilment and learning I get is such a great high!”

What makes Jessica’s story unique is that she has been struggling with chronic pain, inflammation and depression for the last decade as a result of her autoimmune diseases Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Cerebral Vasculitis.

“I have faced my mortality on a number of occasions and ‘picked myself up’ more times than I care to reflect on,” Jessica said.

“My experiences have led me to realise that I am not alone in my struggles with ill health and mental illness.”

Jessica has volunteered for The Smith Family, the Shenton Park Cat Haven and is involved with the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience.

Over the past few years she has devoted much of her personal time to providing support and raising awareness in the greater community about invisible illnesses, chronic illnesses and mental health concerns. She is currently working on a book, website (http://thislupuslife.com/) and social media network to connect people and encourage communication about these issues.

“I speak openly about my struggles to show that it is okay to open oneself up and admit when you are not feeling well and need help,” she said.

“There are inappropriate behaviours and stigmas surrounding much of the health community, particularly mental health.

“We need to have open and honest conversations so that the greater community realise how many people are struggling with chronic illnesses and mental health, and then behaviours and treatments need to change.”

Also speaking at the Thank You Volunteers event were other Murdoch Volunteering Ambassadors, psychology student Darya Abolenzeva, animal science students Teanna Cahill and Tayla Symons and Murdoch Guild Volunteering Coordinator Dr Emma Nicoletti.

“Volunteering students become responsible and engaged citizens who care about the world around them and who actively help to make it a better place for all,” Dr Nicoletti said.

“Volunteering also leads to improved employability and professional networks as well as an enriched and deepened world outlook.”

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Comments (9 responses)

Kay Fuller May 13, 2015

Emma Nicoletti and four Volunteer Ambassadors from the Murdoch Volunteer Hub addressed volunteers from The RAS at our National volunteer week morning tea. The feedback I received from the volunteers in attendance was how inspirational the girls were. The quote below sums up the overall feeling, "We particularly enjoyed listening to Emma and the girls from the Volunteer Hub, a most enthusiastic and inspiring group. We enjoyed hearing how the young ones fit volunteering into their busy lives, especially as they must also devote so much time to their studies." Thank you Emma for letting us see the contribution you and the students are making to the community. It was a wonderful and informative experience for our volunteers.

Karen Wellington May 14, 2015

Congratulations to Jessica for her achievements! What an inspiring young person!

Thank you to Murdoch University for supporting volunteering initiatives for students.

We have had several fantastic volunteers involved in our organisation thanks to the Guild Hub. Keep up the great work!

Paddy Cullen May 14, 2015

Thank you for all the amazing work you do. You make a huge difference.

Griffin Longley May 14, 2015

Just want to say a big thank you to Murdoch Volutneer Hub, and to the great volunteers they connected us with, for helping make Night Hoops Midland possible! Your volunteers help us provide positive engagement for at-risk young people in a really fun way. Much appreciated!

Louisa Choi May 15, 2015

A huge thank you to Murdoch University Volunteer Hub for connecting Gymnastics WA with such wonderful volunteers. We look forward to continually supplying opportunities and working with you. It is very much appreciated!

Rhys Gustafsson May 15, 2015

Thank you to the volunteering Hub for providing willing and enthusiastic volunteers to the Organising Committee for this year's World Student Environmental Network Global Summit. These volunteers have played a vital role in making this event a reality, through creative contribution and simply lending an extra hand where required. So thank you very much for linking us up!

Kenzie Dann May 18, 2015

A huge THANK YOU to the Murdoch University Volunteer Hub!! Its amazing the level of support the AIME program has had since it started in 2013.

Its my second year running the program and I'm overwhelmed by the passion, commitment that the Murdoch students have shown by being mentors for Indigenous high school students.
Having great support from the Murdoch University Volunteer Hub, the Murdoch staff and of course the Murdoch students I'm very confident that the AIME program will get better and bigger, Thank you all 🙂

Jennifer Davies May 27, 2015

It has been wonderful to have the support of the Murdoch Volunteer Hub who have referred so many students to us. We currently have some outstanding volunteers from Murdoch who are very serious and committed to assisting refugee children at their schools.

Sandy Beardwood June 1, 2015

Brightwater Care Group would like to acknowledge and offer a huge thank you to the volunteers who have been referred via the Murdoch Hub.
They have added an important dimention to what we can offer to enhance the lives of the residents who live within the Brightwater Community. I hope that we will continue to have a lasting partnership with the lovely volunteers of the Murdoch Hub.

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