Gloria Jacob has worn many hats in her decades in the Hedland community, but her new job of Volunteering WA’s Pilbara regional community engagement coordinator brings all her skills and experience into one role.
The role involves working closely with local not-for-profits and community groups who need assistance with a project or activity, and linking them with corporate volunteer teams and individuals who have the capacity to help.
Gloria’s own community involvement in Hedland is broad and spans a long period of time. She has served on a diverse range of boards and committees, including the Pilbara Development Commission, Youth Involvement Council, East Pilbara District Health Advisory Council, Rose Nowers Early Learning Centre, Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Care for Hedland Environmental Association and more.
Gloria has also been active in local sport both on and off the field, with her dedication and hard work being recognised with life memberships awarded to her from Port Hedland Netball Association, Hedland Touch Association and Hawks Softball Club.
She has also served on the Town of Port Hedland council, including serving three years as deputy mayor, where she was able to advocate for local development and sustainability across a range of areas.
Many people will know Gloria as owner and operator of the local hardware store she has run for 30 years. She was the first woman to own and run her own hardware business in Western Australia.
Gloria says in addition to the obvious benefits to volunteering, such as meeting like-minded people in the community and forming friendships, there is also a general feeling of wellbeing that comes with knowing you are part of something meaningful.
“As a volunteer, the sense of contributing and being valued is good for your mental health,” she says.
She is keen to foster a culture of volunteering and meaningful engagement within Pilbara communities from Port Hedland to Newman. An obvious source of potential volunteers is the mining industry, where a wealth of capacity exists to help the community with workforce support, professional skills and mentoring. But she also wants to hear from anyone who needs volunteer support or can offer help.
“I want to help in engaging people in their community and to build networks,” Gloria says.
That’s something that Gloria has already been doing with great success for many years, and the Hedland community has been the beneficiary!
Gloria can be contacted on 0477 409 466 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org