Volunteer Profile: Deepa Subbian

This is Deepa Subbian. Deepa completed her Master’s in Computer Applications at Bharathiar University, in India, graduating in 2009 and worked for Cognizant Technology Solutions in the SAP Domain before moving to Australia.

She married Ramesh in 2012, and just two years later they discovered that her husband 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 first found some casual work, often night shifts, before carving a career out for himself in the Lighting Industry. 

Deepa struggled to find work in her field, so she started volunteering with St Kilda Mums in 2018. This is a photo of her mending a bassinet liner sitting in the kitchen at Vale Street. 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".

Deepa describes this as "the greatest thing that ever happened in our lives".

Deepa kept volunteering with me all last year during COVID helping several other charities, including Baby Give Back, The Nappy Collective and Brainwave Australia. She now volunteers with me at Blaze Your Trail and is the volunteer Project Leader for Prison Network - supporting a team of volunteers to implement Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack and migrate legacy data.

Deepa describes the Salesforce Buddy Program which she started after her daughter was born as one of the projects very close to her heart. In recognition of her contribution to this, she is flying to Sydney soon to participate in the Unite conference where she will present along Nicole Aebi-Moyo from Salesfix.

Deepa regularly joins me online to volunteer at 6am weekdays or over the weekend and has special interest and skill in managing web forms - and can write CSS, HTML and Javascript.

Deepa is also helping Olivia's Place update all their web forms with recaptcha and is helping them to update their flows to accommodate community fundraising activity.

Deepa now works two days a week as a Salesforce Admin for Blaze Your Trailt Cancer Network Australia and one day a week at Bulk Group, but I would estimate she dedicates another 10 and sometimes 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.

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