Alumni Spotlight: Dianne Westall

Dianne Westall volunteered in the Cambodian program, teaching English in a PIO school in Phnom Penh in September 2013. She was born and schooled in Perth but lived in Sydney from the age of 18. She worked in the advertising industry, the recording and music industry and has also owned and operated restaurants and cafes in both Sydney and Perth. She loves travelling, and has done so since she was in her twenties, and will continue to travel as long as there are places to be seen and things to be done. She loves cooking and always had a huge participation in all her restaurants and cafes.

Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with IVHQ in Cambodia?

Kids with their unforgettable smiles.

Dianne: My reason for volunteering overseas was for two reasons. One......that I was in a position to do so having just sold my business and going into semi retirement and also had the time and the money to do so and continue on with travelling after the volunteering was completed. Second reason was that I have had 2 tragedies in my life and I wanted to give back, in whatever way I could, the kindness that was shown to me through the dark times.

Ten years from now, what’s the one thing you think you’ll remember from the trip?

Dianne: Ten years from now I would definitely remember the beautiful smiles on the children I taught English to. They had very little but they never complained, were like little sponges and were always smiling.

If you could go back and do something different, what would it be?

Dianne: When I do go back I would perhaps like to help with womens rights or something to do with the empowerment of women in countries where they have no rights.

Playing on the top floor of school.

Tell me about one person you met.

Dianne: I will not point out one person I met during my volunteering, but would say that I was so impressed with ALL of the young people that were in our Volunteer House. They were all so happy to be donating their time to tasks that were, to say the least, very daunting.

Some went into organisations where children were severely handicapped and yet there were never any complaints about the conditions they were put under or the times they spent with these children. Having talked to all of them the one thing that was common in all the conversations was that they realised how lucky they were to have been born in countries where none of these conditions existed.

Where would you most like to travel to next?

Dianne: I would perhaps like to travel somewhere in South America and will be looking at IVHQ programs in that country.