“Every new wave is a new start.”

Deb and Glenn

Deb Morcom of Launceston has volunteered with Anglicare’s Taz Kids program for nearly seven years and has made an outstanding contribution to the program over this period.

Taz Kids is a program funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. A highlight of the program is the camp program for children and young people in the school holidays. The camps give children who have a parent or guardian impacted by mental health issues a chance to meet others in similar circumstances, have some fun and build their resilience.

“Deb has attended over a dozen camps with Taz Kids, including being present on our five-day teen leadership camps,” says Program Coordinator Glenn O’Neill (pictured above with Deb.)

“She’s also contributed to retreats for our Taz Kids workers, been a part of family days and even helped out with admin. support for our Northern Taz Kids worker. She makes a real difference to the lives of the young people she works with.”

Snapshot asked Deb what volunteering means to her.


Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 62 and a retired nurse. I worked for 35 years in intensive care, accident and emergency and paediatrics at the Launceston General Hospital. I have two sons and a daughter, and four grandchildren.


Why did you choose Taz Kids?

Youth mental health is such an important area. These young people are our next generation. It’s the best program—it gives them confidence and gets rid of stigma.

Every time I attend a camp it really humbles me. It brings me back to earth. It’s good for my mental health, too. I’m just so grateful that these young people can get the support, care and respect they need through Taz Kids.


What are the personal qualities that you bring to your role?

I’ve ridden the rollercoaster of mental ill health with some of my close family members, so I can totally relate to these young people. I don’t judge them. They tell me things and expect a reaction, but they don’t get one – I’m unshockable! They quickly realise that I’m here to listen.


What aspect of camp has the strongest impact on you?

They remind me that many of these young people are also carers. I’ve never forgotten one amazing young man who was 13 when he began caring for his mother. He’s now 18 and her full-time carer and it’s so obvious that they love each other very much. We under-estimate and stereotype these young carers. They need our time and support and most of all, our respect.

Seeing what a difference just three days can make to a young person. On day one, they are usually very nervous. By the end they are so different, so engaged.

I remember one boy who was nine years old when he came to his first camp. He hadn’t settled in and we were thinking that he might need to leave early. We took him down to the beach and I said to him: “Take a look at the waves, mate. Tell it to the waves going out. The waves will pick it up and take it out to sea. Every new wave is a new start.” He settled down and we spent a lot of time together for the rest of the camp. Two years later I saw him again and I hardly recognised him—and he told me almost word for word what I’d said to him that day on the beach.


What’s your message to anyone thinking about volunteering with Taz Kids?

You’ll never regret it.  There’s always something to reflect on, and you will reap the rewards.

I love working with new younger “vollies”. And the campers love it when there are people who can do all the physical activities with them. It makes for a good balance.


Thinking about volunteering?

Volunteer adults play a vital role in ensuring the camps are an enjoyable, enriching and safe experience for children. You will need to have a current police check and Working with Vulnerable People registration; complete the online ‘Safeguarding Children’ training and undergo a medical assessment. The application process also requires two referees, and inductions into both Anglicare and the Taz Kids program.

The next round of Taz Kids camps will be held over three days in the North West and South just prior to Christmas. Camps will be held during each school holiday throughout 2021.

If you would like more information on volunteering with Anglicare, call us on 1800 242 232.

For more information on Taz Kids, no matter where you live, click here.

Enquire onlineContact us

Please fill in this form and a representative of Anglicare will reply to your message within two working days. Be sure to provide your complete contact details so we can respond to you.

Click the button below to visit our contact page

Contact us

Or, phone us on

1800 243 232