Jo Layton doesn’t do it for the accolades or awards, nor does she want the attention. She does it to simply empower the Aboriginal community.
Ms Layton has been volunteering with Djerriwarrh Health Services for three years, reaching out to Aboriginal people in Melton and Bacchus Marsh, encouraging them to connect with mainstream services, and working with service providers.
She says Aboriginal people are still suffering from trauma that was inflicted upon their elders decades ago.
“It’s our people, we’re a collective,” Ms Layton says. “Aboriginal people have always worked together for the good of other people.
“Because of our kinships and connection to country and family, we tend to stick together and help each other out in a collective way.”
Ms Layton wants to improve health outcomes for Aboriginal people and ensure Australians are educated about the country’s first people.
She says her community still suffers from everyday racism, and those barriers need to be broken down.
The Melton woman was among thousands of volunteers who were celebrated on Monday as part of National Volunteers Day.