Many of you may already be familiar with the name Bella O’Hara, who has been making waves in our community over the past year. Whether you’re following her on our social media pages or keeping up with the local news, there’s no denying that Bella has accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.
Bella’s dedication to her work is something truly inspiring. She has been awarded not once but twice for her outstanding contributions. The first award was presented to her at the Victorian Government’s Learn Local Award for Pre-accredited Learner Award for her skills and work. And more recently, she took home the Passionate Advocate Award at the Yarra Ranges YOUth Awards 2023. Bella’s passion for helping others has played a pivotal role in her being recognised as a youth ambassador. Her experiences have empowered her to connect and inspire so many others, making a real difference in her community. It’s no wonder that Bella’s efforts have been recognised with such prestigious accolades.
Bella’s story is one of perseverance and inspiration. Her determination to find her place in the workforce led her to join Cire’s Reconnect program and volunteer at FICE. This enabled her to gain valuable skills to help her build confidence and independence.
“I’m just so grateful to be part of a big community and what FICE has done, not just me, but other people as well. I would recommend anyone to volunteer at FICE because it will change their life. It’s changed mine for the better.”
Bella has been able to secure herself a part-time role in a local bakery, something she attributes to her volunteer
experience. She still makes time for FICE by volunteering weekly, recognising its value in her journey to success.
Bella eagerly jumped at the chance to join the Leaders for Change program. This program empowers young individuals to be ambassadors for gender equality and respectful relationships. Through interactive workshops, participants learn about important topics like gender equity, violence prevention, and how to take action as a bystander.
Young leaders in this project have the opportunity to make a real difference in their community. They will work together to design and deliver community events during the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence. These workshops are informative and empowering, with plenty of activities, icebreakers, guest speakers, deep discussions, and time for creativity when planning a project. Participants explore various topics, including gender equality and respectful relationships, issues facing young people today such as consent and the law, identity and inclusion, bystander action, activism and event planning.
“I found the workshops incredibly informative, particularly in learning about consent and safety. I highly recommend this program to anyone interested in getting involved in creating a safer and more inclusive community. By educating ourselves and others, we can all work towards creating positive change for the better.”
Bella has been participating every week since September and was one of the speakers at the Leaders for Change: Talking All Things Relationships Event hosted this week at the Realm in Ringwood, where she shared her experiences.
“The event gave me an opportunity to spread the word about this amazing program, and I hope I have been able to inspire others to join us in 2024.”
The program is delivered by FVREE (Brianna and Yolanda) and is proudly supported by organisations in the Eastern region, including Maroondah, Knox and Yarra Ranges Council. Brianna and Yolanda have experience running gender equality programs, working with young people, and offering support to all participants.
Bella’s story shows how volunteer work can be a valuable stepping stone towards building a successful career and supporting the community.
For those interested in learning more about Cire’s Volunteering program, simply click here to fill out an enquiry form. Our friendly team will reach out to you soon!
An inspiring journey to award, published in the Lilydale Star Mail on 27/11/2023.
Making a difference through volunteering, published by Cire Services on 21/12/2022