Storm in tea cup

15 January 2018

Camping in a storm with a dozen young girls aged 5 to 10 may not be everyone’s cup of tea but for Jeanette Hitchen it’s an ideal weekend.

Camira local and Senior Projects Co-ordinator for Ipswich miner New Hope Group, Jeanette is a serial community volunteer with ‘Girl Guide leader’ just the latest in her growing collection of volunteer titles.

"I was a Girl Guide back in the day and I wanted something for my six year old granddaughter to get involved in," Jeanette said.

"Once my granddaughter got involved with the Goodna Redbank Plains Junior Guides, the opportunity for me to be a volunteer leader was just too good to pass up.

"The Goodna Redbank branch has a fantastic group of people.

"Our last camp was the first one most of the girls had ever attended and we had a massive storm come through on the second night.

"Thankfully, because New Hope had donated $500 a few weeks earlier, we had just bought new tents, so the girls remained high and dry.

"I can’t say the same for us Girl Guide leaders though!"

Jeanette said volunteering was in her blood, a trait passed down from her parents with her mother’s nursing and education work, while her Dad had a long military career which included two tours during the Vietnam War.

"When I was growing up my parents were always keen to help others whenever they were able to do so" Jeanette said.

"I really enjoy being a part of and giving back to the community whenever I can."

Jeanette brings her volunteering spirit to New Hope Corporate Office in Brookwater, where she currently works as part of the Projects Department.

"I work with a great group of engineers and project specialists on Capital Expenditure projects," Jeanette said.

"My focus is managing project support services, which involves major contracts and procurement tendering and management, cost control, scheduling and administration.

"I enjoy study and have Diplomas in Project Management and Business and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Law.

"I’m a Certified Practising Project Manager and also a Justice of the Peace and am part way through my MBA but I’m thinking about switching to Masters in Business Law.

"To me, life-long learning is important."

Jeanette also promotes the work of local charity Rosie’s, a group that works with homeless people in the community.

"I organise blanket drives through New Hope and also do tea and biscuit drives regularly," Jeanette said.

"Currently I’m putting together a Christmas drive, looking for all sorts of items to put into packs for Rosie’s to distribute.

"I’ve also done a suit and clothing drive to provide clothes for less fortunate people to wear to job interviews.

"It’s just something I love to do. I enjoy the sense of helping others – when you help others you ultimately help yourself."