7 Aura locals making a difference: Luisa Schutt, volunteer President of the P&C at Nirimba State Primary School.

2 min
03 October 2023

With Stockland Aura celebrating its 7th birthday this year, we caught up with Luisa to find out more about her volunteer role supporting the local school community and what she loves about living and working in Aura after growing up in Fiji and living in the Australian outback.

What is your volunteer role with Nirimba State Primary School P&C?
My volunteer role at Nirimba Primary State School is as the President of the P&C. We support the school and community by hosting fundraiser events, receive assistance from the businesses around us to help subsidise activities, run community events and excursions as well as buy equipment for the students that attend the school. We also work alongside community groups that help in supporting families and children in need.
This year we ran our inaugural Winter Festival for the whole of the Aura community with sponsorship from these businesses including Stockland.

How long have you been volunteering your time at Nirimba State Primary School P&C?
I have been volunteering my time to support the school prior to it opening in 2022. We first started having meetings at the local school in Baringa to help provide input on a range of school matters such as uniforms, school timings, activities, tuckshop and more.

Why did you decide to volunteer and what do you love most about the role?
The primary reason that I decided to volunteer is because it's something I love and enjoy doing. Working within the school environment enables me to keep up with the activities and learning that my children are involved in, so I can assist them and others the best I can. I love being in the current role I'm in and not because of any accolades. The role has its challenges and as a result I have gained new skills had the opportunity to meet and speak with families, staff and others in the broader school community. Together we strive and continue to work alongside the school to so that our school and wider community is place where everyone feels they can be the best they can, that they belong and they can grow to become who they want to be in life.

What would you say to others to encourage them to volunteer?
First,I would greet them with my Fijian hospitality over a cup of our amazing coffee at the Nirimba State Primary P&C’s Kookaburra cafe. I would advise people that you don't need any specific skills except wanting to be part of a friendly team that assists in the wellbeing of our school community. I would make them aware that we are happy to support volunteers in applying for their Blue Card, which is of no cost to the individual. We also welcome and are flexible in supporting families with young children who feel they aren't able to volunteer. We appreciate all our volunteers and are always grateful as many hands make light work!

When you’re not volunteering, what do you like to do in your spare time and what are your passions?
I love spending time with my family especially at our amazing Caloundra and Aura community events. I enjoy being in the water, or just reading at the beach and sometimes playing a friendly game of touch footy, volleyball and other games I played as a child in Fiji. My passions are volunteering, cooking, dancing and being immersed in different cultures, enjoying their cuisine, and listening to their stories. Most of all, being a mum and teaching my kids that kindness and empathy goes a long way.

If you could have 7 extra hours in a day, how would you spend them?
My family joke and say it would probably be volunteering. And yes, that definitely would be one of the things I would do. I would also learn a new skill, catch up with a friend over a meal or a cup of coffee, spend time with each of my family members doing an activity of their choice, work on improving self-development and most of all have allocated quiet time for prayer and mindfulness.

What does “community” mean to you and why is it important to give back.
Community means family to me. It is where we find support for ourselves and others. No matter where we live, we are surrounded by others whether it be our neighbours, school or church. People come from all walks of life and have their opinions and its challenges. But at the end of the day believe that everyone has a place that they want to feel they belong. Growing up in Fiji and then living in the Australian outback community near Uluru, it is something I'm familiar with. It is important to give back as I've witnessed the positive changes, hope and support it gives to everyone. And if community didn't exist we wouldn't have hospitals, schools and churches to name a few. These services are in place to support and develop positive outcomes so that we as whole can exist.

What do you love most about the Aura community?
Having a place to call home, where my children can walk and ride to school with their friends. With many parks and infrastructure still to be developed, it is an exciting place to be. But most of all the community support groups and the people who make it possible.

Choose 7 words to describe life in Aura.
" Heart is what makes the Aura community "

- Heart to serve.
- Heart to want to be present and continue the work of others before us.
- Heart to be part of a positive and ever growing team wanting to learn.
- Heart to connect people together to make life better.
- Heart to not expect anything, without strings attached but to give unconditionally.