Jovie’s story

Jovie Decoyna (00000002)My desire to care for other people started when I was young. I am from the Philippines, so migration and going abroad is a big part of my family history. I see us all as global citizens of a global planet – something that happens on the other side of the world impacts us here.

I can’t imagine how hard it must be for people seeking asylum. I wish everyone could put themselves in those people’s shoes and empathise.

It really upsets me when some people are sceptical about people seeking asylum and they call them queue jumpers. Nobody wants to leave their country if they are safe. If you were from Syria, you would want you and your children to be somewhere safe.

I started volunteering with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in 2014. There are many ways in which people can help and make a difference, you just need to look for it. I have been given so much in my life. I see everything I have as a gift and I have to share it.

Last year I got to do a medical placement in Rwanda. I worked at a community health clinic where there was limited water and supplies. It was very hard to see the difficulties people face over there but even harder to come back and realise what we take for granted in Australia.

I certainly want to continue helping others. I couldn’t live my life not helping others in the knowledge that other people are suffering. I would like my legacy to be one of doing good things for others. I would encourage others to do the same because it’s better to do something – no matter how big or small – than to do nothing at all. Australia is so blessed with so many things so it’s important we all give back.

Jovie is a nurse at Cabrini Health Australia. Cabrini Health and Jesuit Social Services are joint founders of the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum.

For more information or to join the Alliance: or

 – Jovie, Victoria