Rae (centre) has been the heart of our community group ANZA Action for five years.

Why did you take on the role?
When I first moved here, I knew that I wasn’t going to work. I wanted to meet and interact with local Singaporeans, get out of the “expat bubble”, find a purpose for my life here that wasn’t just as trailing talent, and also spend some time volunteering. This role enabled me to fulfil all of those hopes and more.

Seeing the 5000 poppy project at Kranji and bringing the Biggest Morning Tea to Singapore. However, my favourite moments are when I meet up with the elderly who the Salvation Army delivers food parcels to, or take on outings, and receive a big hug – even though we can’t speak each other’s language.

How have you seen ANZA Action grow and change?
When I first took on ANZA Action, there were a lot of people looking to volunteer but there were not many opportunities in place. Through charities reaching out to us, and ANZA reaching out to charities, we now have over a dozen different volunteering opportunities. We have started the Biggest Morning Tea, changed our ball charities, added a knitting for charity group, and run working bees. We’ve become more Singapore focused – changing the charities that ANZA supports from overseas to local organisations.

Have you met some incredible workers and volunteers?
That’s been a really special part of the whole process. From the incredible team at the Salvation Army, the hard working women who work in sometimes difficult circumstance with the Babes, the two young women who started Cycling without Age supporting the ageing population in Singapore, to the lady who started Dress for Success from nothing – they are all amazing.

How has ANZA Action improved lives in Singapore?
We hope that by the fundraising and volunteering we do, we can make the lives of some of the most disadvantaged people in Singapore better. We don’t mind getting our hands dirty – sometimes literally, so people can see that we care. Many Singaporeans will come and thank us for our service, and don’t understand why an expat would be interested in helping out locally – to which my response is always – it’s my home too while we are here.

What would you say to someone considering taking on the role?
Don’t be daunted! You make the role work for you, and take on as much or as little as you want. It’s lots of fun!

ANZA Action is the community affairs arm for ANZA, supporting charities in Singapore. We’re looking for a new coordinator to fill Rae’s position. Interested? Get in touch at info@anza.org.sg