Volunteer to Volunteer

Karin Vannfalt (left) and Pinky Watson

Volunteer Karin Vannfalt (left) and with fellow volunteer Pinky Watson (right)

Karin Vannfalt volunteers in the Visitor Services area of ACMI. Pinky Watson (a fellow volunteer) finds out a little more about what makes Karin tick.

Originally from Sweden, where she graduated from university with a Human Resources degree, Karin moved to Australia with her fiancé in January 2010 for further study.

Finding it challenging to study in English, it took Karin a full semester to relax and gain confidence. She eventually changed direction to study Communications and Professional Writing and became interested in work that would use her expertise and help improve her English.

PW: How long have you been volunteering at ACMI?
KV: Since March 2011.

PW: Why did you choose ACMI as the place to volunteer?
KV: At first I looked at the Arts Centre and other arts organisations. I had not really been to ACMI, but found that they had a more varied volunteer program for the things I am interested in. I would like to hone my event planning and HR skills, as well as use my public relations and arts knowledge. I am able to practice my English here, and can network with staff and the public.

What other work, paid or otherwise, do you do?
KV: I work at the Veggie Bar in Fitzroy, where I have been since my fiancé went back to Sweden. This place and its people have been very supportive. I also volunteer at the Victorian Writers Centre, and am a casual intern at a PR firm.

What skills have you gained through volunteering at ACMI?
KV: I believe my English has improved. And my writing. I have written for the volunteer newsletter. I have worked extensively at the workshops offered for school children, and most enjoy helping children be creative. I have very much enjoyed my ‘people time’ with the visitors to ACMI. The volunteer program here offers lots of chances for different activities.

PW: What do you do outside of your work/volunteer hours?
KV: I love to exercise, and I run as much as I can. I have a bad knee though, so this can be difficult. I ride my bike back and forth to ACMI and my other jobs. My brother teases me that my main interest here in Melbourne is having coffee with my friends in laneways, and people watching. There is some truth in this.

PW: What are your favourite films?
KV: I have been waiting for this question. I have four brothers, so I spent a lot of my childhood watching action films. My very favourite is Terminator 2. I also love Robin Hood (the one with Kevin Costner). I don’t call myself an expert, unlike a lot of people at ACMI, but I do enjoy all sorts of films.

PW: And in conclusion?
KV: I enjoy my time here at ACMI. My Wednesday afternoons are so interesting and I have made many friends. I have learned so much, and I even have two new mothers to look after me!  [Note:  two of Karin’s fellow volunteers are, shall we say, a little older than she…]

– By Pinky Watson, ACMI volunteer

ACMI hearts its vollies! Find out more about our volunteer program.

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