Volunteer Margaret Di Nicola has learned some valuable lessons about life by listening to other people's stories.
Margaret is a volunteer at the Calvary Health Care Biography Service at Kogarah, recording the stories of people who are facing the end of their lives.
For her work, Margaret received a Certificate of Recognition and personal thanks from NSW Premier and Kogarah MP Chris Minns on December 5.
Margaret has volunteered at the Calvary Health Care Biography Service for the past three years, recording the stories of people in palliative care.
After working in adult education, she decided to volunteer at the Biography Service, talking to people and recording their stories so they can be kept by their families.
She is one of about ten people who volunteer at the Biography Service.
"I love people's biographies. I believe we can learn so much about ourselves by listening to other people's stories. It has taught me how to look at the future and helps me to make sure the decisions I make are much more meaningful," she said.
The ages of the people whose biographies she has written down range from 27 to 85.
"We prefer to have a face-to-face interview," Margaret said.
"I record it and then transcribe it and send it back for any corrections.
"It is given to the family either in a printed version or on a USB.
"I have found it fulfilling," she said.
"It is very challenging though, particularly when I speak to young people or people with children."
Margaret said there is one lesson she has brought away from her volunteering with the Biography Service.
"Forget your bucket list," she said.
"It's about the day-to-day, the week-to-week of living.
"I see people at the raw end of their lives, leaving something they know and going into something they don't know."