Pauline Godkin has always been drawn to a people-centered career. She spent much of her life volunteering for causes close to her heart, then realised she had a talent for coordinating and supporting others. Today, as Volunteer Workforce Business Partner, she manages a team of over 300 people – and her numbers keep on growing.
A seasoned volunteer
Pauline Godkin oversees EACH’s volunteers nationally, managing recruitment, onboarding, recognition and retention. And at the heart of everything she does is a commitment to ensuring every single volunteer feels appreciated.
“The youngest person in our Volunteer Team is only 16, and the oldest is 84 years old. Our cohort of volunteers represent a melting pot of cultures, identities and lived experiences. In the last nine years, I’ve learned so much about humans and life itself.”
In performing her role, Pauline draws on her own experience as a Volunteer. She looks back fondly on her journey to the Great Wall of China with the Cancer Council, and her time volunteering with people with hearing loss – although shares with a laugh that the only AUSLAN she remembers is ‘hello,’ ‘goodbye,’ ‘thankyou’ and ‘I need to go to the toilet’. With years of front-line volunteer experience under her belt, Pauline is well-placed to support her staff as they encounter every-day hurdles, as well as big-picture challenges.
Making dreams reality
Pauline is no stranger to a challenge. At 15, aspiring to become a Social Worker, she held down three casual jobs to support herself through high school. After being told she was “too much of a softie” to cope with the pressures of the job, she pursued a career in optics, and later worked in the corporate sector – but she never lost sight of her original dream.
Pauline was working in administration in the emergency department of a local hospital when a friend that worked at EACH encouraged her to apply for a vacancy. Her desire to contribute to a place where others shared her values motivated her to make the switch. She landed a job with EACH in 2012 and hasn’t looked back since.
Permission to care
When reflecting on her time with EACH, there is one stand-out moment that Pauline says solidified her commitment to the organisation. She describes a blisteringly hot day working at site when a mother entered with her son and required help – it was clear that mum was not well and seemed drug or alcohol affected. Whilst getting assistance for mum it was the young boy that deeply moved Pauline.
“The little tacker barely reacted to his mother’s behaviour – it was clearly normal for him. That broke my heart. I sat him down and gave him an icy pole. We played some computer games and had a chat while mum was attended to. There are other workplaces where they’d expect you to stay behind your desk. EACH gave me permission to care for that little boy. I knew at that moment that this is what I wanted to do.”
It’s clear that Pauline has a strong sense of justice and compassion. Being a part of EACH allows her to practice her values every day – and she’s not alone. While her coworkers are a diverse group, they have a shared understanding of care.
“EACH has service principles that we apply to our clients – but in practice, we apply them to our workforce as well. We respect diversity and we care for our teams. We live with compassion and empathy. The culture in our organisation isn’t just talk – we live it every day.”
Pauline’s unyielding commitment inspires her colleagues, volunteers and clients. Thank you, Pauline – we feel privileged to have you as part of our team.
Are you excited about the possibility of a career with heart? Visit our careers page for opportunities at EACH.