HENLEY Brook resident Michelle Dunlop will pay homage to her heritage next week when she takes part in a once-in-a-lifetime experience and carries the Queen’s Baton through Guildford.
Ms Dunlop was chosen to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay because of her significant contribution to the community as a dedicated volunteer to helping those less fortunate.
Ms Dunlop is the founder of Street Friends WA, a volunteer group that provides food, clothing and friendly conversations to Perth’s homeless every week of the year. She is also the co-founder of Grief Centre WA, which provides counselling to those who have experienced extreme grief and trauma.
She was the winner of the People’s Choice Award for the 2017 WA Volunteer of the Year awards.
Ms Dunlop will be the final baton bearer on Monday and will carry it to Stirling Square.
She said Guildford was a sentimental place for her as her grandfather – a policeman – ran the Guildford Jail and lived in the police house for many years.
“I was really overwhelmed to hear I had been chosen to carry the baton and when I heard I would be walking through Guildford it made me feel very excited and sentimental because this is the area my family lived,” she said. “My dad grew up in the police house.”
Ms Dunlop said she would carry the baton for all the volunteers who were not recognised.
“I feel humbled because I know there are so many people out there doing amazing work who are not getting this honour,” she said.
“This is for all the volunteers I work with and all the volunteers who don’t get recognised for their work.”
Ms Dunlop said she hoped taking part in the relay would inspire more people to volunteer and raise awareness of the plight of Perth’s homeless.
“The people that come to Street Friends have their whole life in a plastic bag and we want to change that,” she said.
Aveley resident Jahna Cedar will also take part in the relay for her work on breaking down stereotypes and challenging perceptions of Traditional Owners.
Luke Cotellessa from The Vines was chosen to take part in the relay for his work with Luke’s Boots for the Outback, a charity helping children in remote WA communities.
If you are interested in helping Street Friends WA, contact Michelle Dunlop on 0407 474 201.