This is Deepa Subbian. Deepa completed her Masters in Computer Applications at India’s Bharathiar University, graduating in 2009. She then worked for Cognizant Technology Solutions in the SAP Domain.
She married Ramesh in 2012. Just two years later they discovered he had a liver disease which required a transplant. Deepa's blood type happened to match her husband's so in 2015 she donated more than half her liver to him, a risky procedure that was successful. They moved to Australia together in 2016 and started over again. Deepa says, "We took lots of risks in our lives".
In Australia, Ramesh found some casual work, often night shifts, before carving out a career in the lighting industry.
Deepa struggled to find work in her field, so she started volunteering with St Kilda Mums in 2018. The photo above is of her mending a bassinet liner in the kitchen at Vale Street (where the charity’s first warehouses were located). She joined the IT team of skilled volunteers and was a member of the original team who worked out how to connect Raisely with Salesforce via Zapier.
Deepa had been warned that she might have trouble conceiving after her surgery but in 2019 she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Deepa describes this as "the greatest thing that ever happened in our lives".
The happy mum kept volunteering with Jessica throughout 2020, during the worst of the pandemic, helping several charities, including Baby Give Back, The Nappy Collective and Brainwave Australia. She now volunteers at Blaze Your Trail and is the volunteer Project Leader for Prison Network - supporting a team of volunteers to implement the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) and migrate legacy data.
Deepa describes the Salesforce Buddy Program, which she started after her daughter was born, as one of the projects closest to her heart. In recognition of her contribution to this, she flew to Sydney in 2021 to participate in the Unite conference where she presented alongside Nicole Aebi-Moyo from Salesfix.
She has also helped Olivia's Place update their web forms with recaptcha and their flows to accommodate community fundraising activity.
Deepa now works two days a week as a Salesforce Admin for Blaze Your Trail at Cancer Network Australia and one day a week at Bulk Group, but we estimate she dedicates another 10 to 20 hours each week to volunteering.
Why? In Deepa's own words "It helps me to learn new topics, and the hands-on experience helps me face interviews with confidence".
So next time you are hiring, think of Deepa and people like her - the migrant mum, the community builder, the collaborator, the lifelong learner, and the talent waiting to be discovered.