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Giving back brings rewards for Dementia Australia volunteers

Dementia Australia 2 mins read

Volunteering for Dementia Australia gives Kerry McMahon and Tracey Fernley-Pearson the opportunity to use their experiences to support others who are impacted by dementia.


During National Volunteer Week (20-26 May), Dementia Australia is celebrating the more than 1400 volunteers who are currently engaged in making significant contribution to the not-for-profit organisation’s support of people impacted by dementia.


Kerry McMahon has volunteered with Dementia Australia for 15 years as a way to honour her father, who lived with younger onset dementia.


“The reason I volunteer comes back to my Dad,” Ms McMahon said.


“I get a lot of satisfaction out of supporting carers of people living with dementia because I know what my mother went through – it means a lot to me.”


Fellow volunteer Tracey Fernley-Pearson who cares for her father who lives with Alzheimer’s disease, said volunteering was just one of the ways she helped to raise awareness of dementia.


She recently volunteered at Dementia Australia’s Memory Walk & Jog fundraising events across Sydney and shared what she loved about the experience.


“The warm fuzzy feeling I got from volunteering at Memory Walk & Jog – I can’t explain how lovely it was,” Ms Fernley-Pearson said.


“It was like one big family as everyone had a common goal. I realised that I could turn the sadness I felt constantly of Dad being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s into a positive.


Dementia Australia Executive Director Services, Advocacy & Research Kaele Stokes said volunteers are an integral and valued part of the organisation, many of whom had been personally affected by dementia.


“Their generosity and compassion are immeasurable, and we deeply appreciate their dedication,” Ms Stokes said.


For more information, please visit Dementia Australia at:


Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated more than 421,000 Australians living with dementia, and the more than 1.6 million people involved in their care. We advocate for positive change and support vital research. We are here to support people impacted by dementia, and to enable them to live as well as possible. No matter how you are impacted by dementia or who you are, we are here for you.

For support, please contact the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500. An interpreter service is available. The National Dementia Helpline is funded by the Australian Government. People looking for information can also visit


Media contacts: Evie Smith, Media and Communications Advisor, 0426 513 927,

When talking or writing about dementia please refer to Dementia-Friendly Language Guidelines.

Note to Editors: We request, where possible, details for the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 appear alongside news stories about dementia, as these stories often prompt questions or concerns:


If this story has prompted any questions or concerns, please call the National Dementia Helpline 1800 100 500 (24 hours, 7 days a week) or visit

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