Volunteer Interview: Andrij Stachurski

Andrij in the wash bay helping to clean one of the many litter trays used at the Centre.

“What impressed me the most was the sense of community and caring for the staff at the Centre, particularly during this COVID period.”
– Andrij Stachurski

Andrij Stachurski is just one of the fantastic team of Animal Attendant Volunteers here at Ten Lives. When not helping care for the kitties, he spends his week working in IT – being fortunate enough to have an accommodating employer who allowed him to negotiate keeping his weekly shift at Ten Lives after starting full-time work this year. A self-professed ‘digital nomad’, Andrij can be found doing consulting work whenever he can find wifi and good coffee! At Ten Lives, he can be found helping out in various ways, not least of which being enjoying the benefits of the fluffy friends that the Centre has to offer.

How long have you been volunteering with Ten Lives?

This November is the one year anniversary since I began volunteering at Ten Lives. I was welcomed on my first day by Jon and Olivia as part of induction training, where I was given a tour, introduced to the friendly staff, and gained the basic knowledge required for my role.

What do you do in a typical day of volunteering here?

I had recently moved to Hobart and was looking for a way to become involved in the community and make new friends. I am a crazy cat person, so having the opportunity to scratch drooling, purring critters each week is a huge bonus.

Why did you decide to volunteer with Ten Lives?

As an ‘Animal Care Assistant’ my job, as part of the team, is to make sure everything is tidy and in order for the operation of the Centre. An afternoon shift would generally involve:
– making sure the boarders and adoptees are comfortable, including having a chat and room service,
– keeping supplies stocked and things tidy in the various wings on the Centre,
– hosing down and polishing litter trays.

Recently I’ve been involved with Joel and Freya in the Creative Department lending some of my IT skills towards enhancing the Ten Lives website.

What surprised you about volunteering with Ten Lives?

The role, team, and Centre surpassed my expectations. What impressed me the most was the sense of community and caring for the staff at the Centre, particularly during this COVID period, lead by Noel — a great manager.

You adopted your cat from Ten Lives recently, tell us about him and that process and how has he settled in with you?

The amazing team (shoutout to Alisha) brought me in to meet a handsome, well behaved rascal (similar to my characteristics), who mysteriously made his way down from Queensland before making an appearance at the Centre. His name is Shepherd and I speak with him in Ukrainian.

Despite all his adventures, he is content to quietly sit on the window sill as an indoor cat, rush to the door for belly rubs when I get home, and give an affectionate head-butt. He has kept me sane during COVID.

Andrij recently adopted Shepherd from Ten Lives and is teaching him Ukrainian.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Sailing a yacht or teaching, or both! I get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from teaching — in the past in Australia and Ukraine in voluntary capacities. This year I participated in a summer school program giving lessons to over 600 Ukrainian school children at once via Zoom.

I also love being out on the ocean and some of my greatest adventures have been whilst sailing. This includes traversing the Whitsundays in the peak of summer and not being able to swim due to it being a deadly Irukandji season.

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I love to travel and explore rather than holiday. Some of my favourite places would be Da Nang in Vietnam, Olomouc in the Czech Republic, and Kyiv in Ukraine.

If you could meet anyone alive or dead who would it be?

I think a simple answer would be an ancestor of mine! It would be just as interesting for them as it would be for me.

Finally, what advice would you give to volunteers just starting out at Ten Lives?

Lucky you! Enjoy it.

“Our volunteers help out for lots of different reasons – but one thing we all have in common is being crazy cat people. In his other life, Andrij is a very talented web designer. He wanted to take Wednesday afternoons to come and spend some time at the Centre doing something unrelated to his day job. We love having Dre in our team as an Animal Care Attendant – and the kitties love him too!”
– Jonathan Harvey, Ten Lives Volunteer Coordinator

With nearly 500 people offering their valuable time to us, Ten Lives really is a volunteer-driven organisation. It’s a diverse group and range of talents – including artists, musicians, nurses, engineers, retirees and students – who come from all corners of the world. They volunteer right across the organisation in many roles either directly at the Centre, at one of our Op Shops, or in a foster care role. We are so fortunate to enjoy this support from such an outstanding group of people. They really are the life-blood of Ten Lives!

Do you want to be a part of something truly amazing?
Visit our website for the full range of available positions here.