Support for Busselton’s Unsung Heroes: Meet Volunteer Coordinator Hannah Brown


As Volunteer Coordinator for Busselton Community Safe Space, Hannah Brown is making the world a better place – one volunteer at a time.

Hannah has been coordinating volunteers for the past 18-months with regional organisation Busselton Community Safe Space, a free drop-in space for suicide prevention, emotional distress and general wellbeing. Despite already having a busy schedule with two young boys under the age of five, Hannah volunteers over 12 hours per week to the organisation to ensure the organisation’s volunteers are supported.

All volunteers at Busselton Community Safe Space have a lived experience of suicide, which allows them to better understand the experiences of their guests.

“Each day is different,” says Hannah, “I love meeting with new volunteers, supporting them through this new journey in their life and watching them benefit from their involvement in community… Working closely with incredible members of the community who inspire me every day is definitely the highlight for me.”

Hannah has become an unofficial counsellor at Busselton Community Safe Space, taking the time to listen to volunteers’ concerns and providing emotional support when needed. She takes a personalised approach when speaking with volunteers, helping them make a difference in the lives of those facing adversity.

“Given the nature of what we do here at Busselton Community Safe Space it's imperative that we have a safe space for our volunteers. We all have a lived experience of suicide so our volunteers need someone they can connect with to debrief, cry, chat, have a cuppa in silence, too. What inspires me to do that is the volunteers themselves and my hope for a future where that isn't the exception, but the norm in all workplaces, if not by someone on staff, then outsourced. Because mental health is everything, and the stigma surrounding it needs to shift,” says Hannah.

In her 18-months at the organisation, Hannah has already made strides in their volunteer management.

She introduced volunteer drop-in days so volunteers could have their own safe space, which she describes as a time for connection between volunteers as well as self-care. “It's been lovely to watch the volunteers join together in a community of safety within a shared lived experience. It's like nothing else to witness. It really is such a pleasure to be in this position.”

Hannah has also been a leader in inclusive volunteer management strategies. Recognising the importance of diversity and inclusion in volunteer recruitment and induction processes, Hannah has taken steps to ensure individuals from all backgrounds and experiences feel welcome. She has implemented targeted outreach efforts to engage marginalised communities, resulting in a more diverse volunteer pool.

For Hannah, inclusion is crucial for volunteer management best practice. “Our world is filled with a wonderful spectrum of people, every single one of which has value and unique perspectives to share, for all our benefits. If we aren't inclusive, we as a community, miss out on those individuals and all they have to offer.”

Hannah is an excellent example of the many volunteer managers across Western Australia who go above and beyond to serve the community and support their volunteers.

Busselton residents wishing to become volunteers can find opportunities via the Volunteering WA website or can reach out to the Busselton Volunteer and Community Resource Centre, who are volunteering experts within the community.

Volunteering WA wishes to thank Hannah for her dedication to volunteering.