Year 11 student, Sienna Kang, is serious about service and has been recently recognised for her time and dedication with a nomination for Ryde Council Young Citizen of the Year Award. Her nomination is in recognition of her volunteering work during the pandemic with the Royal Rehab Lifestyle Choir, particularly in ensuring the choir could still meet remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown, greatly lessening feelings of isolation for members during a challenging time.
“It started out as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which has a requirement for me to complete a service opportunity,” said Sienna.
“I live very close to a rehabilitation centre, and they were offering opportunities for volunteering. I thought it was only fitting that I should volunteer. Their volunteering service involves helping people living with disabilities, to try to minimise the effect of their disability. Especially living with COVID-19 restrictions and isolation, it’s been particularly difficult for people to not interact or see anyone,” she said.
“For my volunteering, I help direct their choir, and everyone in the centre is welcome. I help with singing songs and handing out instruments, to help people to feel part of a community. It’s all very old-school songs and great classics – songs from the 80s and the 90s – Spice Girls, Amy Winehouse and The Beatles. It’s really great fun and allows me to connect with a community I normally wouldn’t have connected with if it weren’t for this,” said Sienna.
“Even though this started as a requirement, I’m continuing with it this year and hopefully beyond, where I can volunteer with other services.”
Sienna thinks she’s been able to apply the skills she’s learned in service in her learning at school and her role as House Captain, explaining “experiencing service has made me really want to serve in the school community too.”
Alongside her volunteering work, Sienna is excited about completing her Viola exam, choosing to perform the Bowen Sonata in F Major #2, her favourite piece to play.
Beyond school? “I want to become a Doctor, a surgeon. I work part-time at my mum’s dentistry surgery so I have witnessed a lot of procedures already,” said Sienna.
For this service-oriented young woman, whatever she does next will be certain to have the community at its heart.