Valued SHINE volunteer, Dennis van Someren spoke to Richard Fidler on ABC Conversations in an hour-long interview about his personal story and why he volunteers for SHINE for Kids.
Dennis’ happy family life was destroyed in the 1960s, when he was just 12 years old. His popular and respected father, an accountant, was charged with corporate fraud, and eventually jailed. The outcome for Dennis’ parents and siblings was dire. The family lost not only their material wealth and status, but also many friends.
As a teenager, Dennis was forced to grow up quickly, and find a way to endure the schoolyard bullies and the instability that surrounded him.
After leading a successful working life, Dennis was looking to do volunteer work in his retirement. He happened across a perfect fit when he heard Kirsty Vallance’s interview on Conversations 10 years ago – Shine for Kids, which assists some of the 60,000 Australian children who have a parent in prison.
Since 2009, Dennis has been a Children’s Supported Transport Service Volunteer, accompanying children on visits to their incarcerated parents.
You can stream or listen to the podcast of the interview here
Hear Richard’s conversation first broadcast in 2008 with Kirsty De Vallance about her life and SHINE for Kids