Tamara’s Story

Being part of 2017’s Inaugural Resilience Luncheon prompted Dee Why RSL staff member, local community member and university student, Tamara Thompson to get involved with this year’s Luncheon in support of our veteran community.

How long have you worked at Dee Why RSL?
I started in February 2013 so just over 5 years.

What do you love about working at Dee Why RSL?
It’s such a welcoming environment with a great staff culture. I’ve loved meeting and socialising with both new and old staff members and I have met some of my closest friends through working here. The flexibility of the job has allowed me to successfully balance work, university, sport and a social life. I’m grateful for the opportunities the RSL has provided me including involvement in various functions and events such as the Resilience Lunch.

How were you involved in the Resilience Lunch last year? 
I welcomed guests to the function, sold raffle tickets and gave out prizes to lucky winners and generous donors. I was also lucky enough to listen to the speakers and watch the performers during the function.

You donated your apartment in Manly for a week as a prize at this year’s Resilience Lunch. What was your motivation behind this? 
I was inspired to donate after listening to those who spoke at last years’ function about their own experiences serving and hearing about how beneficial the Centre is to Veterans and their families. I was also amazed at the generosity of all of the attendees last year and when I was asked to work at the Resilience Lunch this year, I knew I wanted to contribute something and came up with the idea of donating a stay in my apartment.

How much money did your apartment raise for the Veterans Centre?
The one week stay was auctioned for $1,200.

You are currently studying teaching, how did this affect your decision to donate the prize? 
Many of the core values held by veterans such as; strength in adversity, courage and mateship are values that we aim to teach students in primary school. I know that the Veterans Centre also provides support for the families of current and former servicemen, including their children which I believe is very important as they are not always recognised in this context.

You are completing the Kokoda Trek this year. What is your main purpose of completing this challenging trek?
I applied to complete the trek to learn more about the Kokoda campaign and therefore increase my appreciation of those who fought for Australia, their service to the country and the countless scarifies they made which allow me to live the fortunate lifestyle I do today. I also had a strong desire to participate in the trek as I consider it to be a humbling experience which will change my perspective and approach to life and its challenges as well as providing me with a chance to gain invaluable leadership experience.

How would you suggest other local community members get involved in the Veterans Centre? 
I would suggest looking into working in the Veterans Centre as a volunteer which you can inquire about through their website. If volunteering is not an option for you, I would consider whether you have anything to donate, even something small, to the Resilience Lunch next year which we could raffle or auction off to raise money for the Centre.