Illness can’t keep local achiever down

Illness can’t keep local achiever down

Citizen of the year nominee Michelle Manolas with her certifi cate of recognition from the city. Photograph — Aaron Van Rongen.

A long time Thornlie resident who suffered from an irregular rapid heart rate and spent six years on medication whilst having several operations said she wanted to make a difference in the community but little did she know it would go a long way toward her recovery.

City of Gosnells Citizen of the Year nominee Michelle Manolas wants to encourage people to volunteer for their local community.

Ms Manolas went through a period of anxiety and depression in her life due to health issues.

And after 14 years working as a primary teacher, Ms Manolas had to eventually resign from her teaching career to get the medical help she needed.

However this did not stop her from believing she could do more by helping others.

An opportunity to put some of her teaching skills to good use was then given to her by a local school where she was able to help local children and staff on a weekly basis.

“This definitely put my mind into a positive state by committing to others’ needs,” she said.

“I’ve met wonderful men, women and children in my local community and with various groups of people, have been able to bring new activities and resources into the community in which I live.”

Over the last nine years Ms Manolas held executive positions at the South Thornlie Primary and Thornlie High Parent and Citizen groups to help fundraise for resources.

“I’ve run activities to assist students to walk and ride safely to school and campaigned with other parents to improve the road safety and parking issues,” she said.

“I’ve successfully written grants to obtain a bike shelter, bike rails, paths and bike safety incursions and headed a TravelSmart student group who encouraged riding to school with free breakfast incentives.”

Her mission to help herself and others didn’t end there, as she continued to get involved with different volunteering work over the years including LEGO Club and after school robotics clubs which helped her facilitate the first Lego League competition at Curtin University last year.

After years and years of volunteering Ms Manolas is feeling much better today and her volunteering passion continues.

Her nomination within the city was submitted by a local member of the community who said they admired her love for the community.

“I hope that my story encourages others to volunteer in their local community,” Ms Manolas said.