Volunteer story by Siham Ammar

May 11, 2023

Please share a brief overview on yourself:

Siham Ammar

Volunteer of the Month, April 2023

I am a Master of Public Health student from Monash University. I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Sciences in Lebanon. During my tenure as a nurse, I was not only committed to providing direct patient care but also demonstrated a keen interest in comprehending the public health perspective, particularly the impact of determinants of health on overall health outcomes. My goal is to leverage both my nursing and public health competencies to promote the health and well-being of communities, diminish health disparities, and enhance the overall health outcome of the population.

What inspired you to become a LiverWELL volunteer?

As part of my master’s program, I had the privilege of undertaking my placement at LiverWELL. During this time, I became acquainted with their community outreach initiatives, particularly those that focus on raising awareness among culturally and linguistically diverse populations. This exposure was both inspirational and thought-provoking for me, given my nursing background and ethnic background I recognise that language and cultural barriers may lead to gaps in delivering effective communication about liver health. Stigma and discrimination can also impede the effective treatment of liver disease. Therefore, witnessing the laudable efforts undertaken by LiverWELL motivated me to undergo my placement at this esteemed organization with the aim of becoming a change agent too.

Do you have a particular interest in liver health?

With my experience as a clinician, I gained a particular perspective on liver disease by caring for patients suffering from various forms of the condition. Upon discovering LiverWELL, I recognized it as an excellent opportunity to further develop my knowledge and skills in this area from a public health perspective.

Please describe one of your favourite LiverWELL experiences or moments.

The most memorable experience will be participating with Alain and Maddie (Health Promotion Officers) in the Streetshot Youth Projects. Upon the dissemination of the project, it was intriguing to interact with young individuals and witness their active participation in liver health-related activities.

What tips do you have for new volunteers?

Volunteering offers individuals an opportunity to acquire valuable work experience while contributing to the betterment of the community. Volunteering provides opportunities to learn new skills, gain valuable experience and broaden one’s knowledge and perspectives. It also offers the chance to connect with like-minded people, form new friendships, gain professional networking and build a sense of community. So, if you’re sceptical about volunteering, don’t be! You gain a lot when you align your interests with volunteering opportunities.

What’s next for you?

I am eager to graduate with a Masters in Public Health from Monash University by June this year, and subsequently pursue opportunities within public health organizations to make a positive impact on the community’s health.

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We welcome people from all cultures, nationalities and religions. Being inclusive and providing equitable services is our commitment.

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We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands where we work - the lands of the Woi-Wurrung Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations. We express our gratitude to them for their continued care and curation of these lands and waters. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

LiverWELL observes and honours the Kulin Nation's intrinsic connection to land, sky and water, and the creator Bunjil. LiverWELL is committed to being led and informed by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on bridging health outcomes for communities and improving liver health.