Julie (second from right) at the Launch of “Take the First Step” video
Julie Tognolini has lived in Broadmeadows for over 20 years. During that time she’s seen a lot of changes “for the good”, she says. Like a lot of residents, she likes the diversity of the community.
Julie first came to Dallas Neighbourhood House when it was the “old Broady Cop Shop”, prior to it being redeveloped into the Broadmeadows Community Hub, as it stands today. She enrolled in a Computer Course and later in Hospitality. Most recently she was part of our Family Violence Peer Education Project. In between attending courses and programs Julie found herself volunteering. It wasn’t a conscious decision, it just happened organically.
Most weeks Julie pops in 2 to 3 times and helps out where she can. She always sets Thursdays aside to come and help with our Food Parcel Program. Other times you can find her in the kitchen doing dishes or helping to set up when there’s an event happening. She’s also a good advocate of DNH and promotes our courses to whoever will listen.
Julie’s motivation to volunteer is about giving back. “Some of the people that have worked here have helped me a lot, so it’s about giving back to them”, she says. “There’s a lot of people in the area that need help. I understand their needs, we all need help. I can empathise with where they are at”.
When she’s not volunteering at DNH Julie likes to spend time in her garden. She has a big garden full of mostly native plants along with three baths full of aquatic plants. She also grows a bit of fruit and veg. Over the last few weeks the DNH community has benefited from Julie’s two very abundant feijoa trees.
Julie is a generous person and luckily for DNH has no immediate plans to step away from volunteering. We asked her “do you still see yourself here in five years”. “Yeah probably”, she replied with a big smile on her face.