Humanitarian and volunteer
ACTState RecipientSenior Australian of the Year2015
Opening her heart and her home to sick children, Sandra Mahlberg is the ACT coordinator for Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children (ROMAC), a volunteer organisation that helps children from developing countries afflicted with severe medical conditions. Sandra sources funding for accommodation and transport to and from Australia, draws on her wide network to seek voluntary contributions from surgeons and hospitals and coordinates the post-operative, pastoral care and selection of children who need corrective surgery for life-threatening but treatable conditions. She works tirelessly through the National ROMAC committee and with the ACT Government to bring children to Australia from countries including China, East Timor, Fiji, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands – and she does this while maintaining her full time nursing job at Calvary Hospital. Since 2006, Sandra has hosted 15 children and their guardians in her home, supporting them for up to a year at a time. Putting service before self, Sandra’s commitment to humanitarian endeavour is changing lives and is reinforcing Australia’s reputation as a caring society.