Con has been involved with Variety for nearly 20 years. He’s one of our most active volunteers in Sydney, covering a very diverse range of roles. From gala events to sausage sizzles, kids Xmas parties to selling raffle tickets, we know we can always count on Con’s participation and enthusiasm.
In 2020 Con was honoured with the Variety International Presidential Citation, the only Australian to be honoured this year. Variety International presents Presidential Citations once per year and they are designed for “unsung heroes” who do a lot for Variety around the world but don’t necessarily sit on boards or committees.
Con started his involvement with Variety on the organising committee for an event called Hot To Trot at Harold Park Paceway, which no longer exists. When he retired nearly 9 years ago, Con decided he wanted to spend more of his available time helping out Variety with various fundraising activities. “I came to realise there was a tremendous need out there and I wanted to play a small role in trying to make life easier for the children and families we look after”.
Con migrated from the Netherlands in 1968 and has lived in Australia ever since, first in Melbourne and then in Sydney. “I am a migrant and this country has been very good to me. Although it sounds like a cliché, I had a compelling desire to give something back to my community. I thoroughly enjoy the company of the Variety staff and volunteering family and am always looking forward to the next event”.
A highlight for Con every year is the Variety Kids Xmas Party “It is just about the best day of the year for me. I get so much pleasure from seeing all the smiling faces on this day and the joy we can give to the families at this time of the year. There is such an incredible amount of love and goodwill under the one roof”.
Con would definitely recommend volunteering for Variety. “Give it a try for a while and I would be very surprised if you don’t get hooked. You will get a great deal of satisfaction from knowing your contribution will go towards a great cause. The added bonus is that you become a member of the Variety family and become friends with a bunch of lovely and like-minded people.”
At Variety we believe all kids deserve a fair go in life. For Con this means trying to level the playing field. “Children do not have a choice as to in what condition and what environment they are born in to. Reality is that some are not as fortunate as others and therefore society needs to make sure everyone gets a fair go. Every child deserves to get the opportunity to reach their highest possible potential in life and become meaningful contributors to society”.
If you’d like to follow Con’s advice, register your interest to volunteer for Variety. We’ll keep you posted about upcoming volunteering opportunities to help us support kids in need.
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We continue to focus on reaching all kids and supporting families and communities, regardless of how remote or regional they may be. Children who are forced to travel great distances for medical appointments, educational opportunities and sporting competitions often face particular challenges and that’s where we come in – making sure that all kids can attain their full potential, regardless of their background.
New Grant Breaks Records
In early 2021, we undertook a grants review process to ensure we were providing help where help was needed. We compared our systems to those in Variety offices across the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland and throughout Australia. After analysing the results, we used the information to revamp our Kids Support framework and launch four new grants: We Move, We Join, We Care and We Learn.