Nicole Liakos first saw the value in volunteering when she was 12 years old.
“My mum has been volunteering for over 30 years and I still remember the day I went to her volunteer job and thinking how amazing she was along with other volunteers who gave their time so selflessly.”
Coming from a successful footballing family, Nicole has spent a lot of her life around the field and in 2017, she found a home with the West Canberra Wanderers.
Four years ago, she started out as the team manager for the U13s girls now, and now takes care of a myriad of tasks including being the team manager for the U17s girls, running the club’s social media and communications, as well as helping to organise the club’s summer competitions and assisting where she can in the canteen.
Image supplied by Mike’s Soccer Pics
“A lot of the girls call me their ‘second mum’ which I just love,” Nicole said.
“I spend so much time with them at training and on the bench that “bench banter” as we like to call it, has become my favourite part of game days.
“They are now like my extended family.”
And when someone in her extended family needed support, Nicole and the club stepped up to assist in any way they could.
“Our U17’s vice-captain was diagnosed with Leukaemia in May this year,” Nicole said.
“What we have done as a club to bring community spirit is setting up the ‘West Canberra Wanderers FC’ Team, through Lifeblood Australia.
“Each month, our amazing Wanderers community of coaches, players and parents have been donating blood and plasma through our ‘team’ which has helped save many lives including our courageous vice-captain.”
It’s initiatives like this that has the fellow West Canberra Wanderers’ volunteer and parent Lisa Cram speak so warmly of Nicole, telling Capital Football she’s a highly active and influential club volunteer.
“Nicole is extremely valuable to the volunteering team at Wanderers,” Lisa said.
“She is welcoming to new committee members, and is always looking for ways to engage new parents and players.
“She is integral to the organisation and is a fantastic volunteer, the club is very lucky to have her.”
Under the current ACT public health order, ACT residents are permitted to attend a facility to donate blood.