Yass mum Cecilia Pavlovic pulls off an elegant juggling act; with part-time work, three little girls and another bub on the way, she still finds time to volunteer in the community.
“I feel very compelled to do what I can in the community.
“If one has the capability and capacity to do something I feel it’s important to do what we can,” Cecilia said.
A motto she lives by is the best way to find one’s self is to lose one’s self in the service of others.
As an extension of her work through the Yass Community Health, the local health worker and counsellor is involved with committees and aboriginal advisory boards.
Cecilia is a very proud Wiradjuri woman and said her work with the aboriginal community was helping her as much the people she works with.
“I find working with other aboriginal people I learn more about myself and I learn more about my culture.
“This community is so diverse and so resilient and I learn something new every day… I think we really see the character of a person in adversity.
“In terms of my aboriginality, that was something that I didn’t grow up with.”
She said up until a couple of decades ago there was a stigma around being indigenous and people would hide the fact they were aboriginal.
“My grandmother told everyone we were Spanish,” Cecilia said.
Although now, thanks to a very encouraging aunt, the Wagga-born woman embraces her family heritage.
Cecilia said one of the proudest points in her life was when she stood beside other aboriginal people to receive her diploma of counselling earlier this year.
Although the counsellor said she would like to do more volunteer work, her first priority is as a mother and wife.
Cecilia and husband Steven will be celebrating 10 years marriage this year.
“He’s my best friend and one of the hardest working people I know. An inspiration to me every day… He’s busy keeping the home fires burning while I’m out running around,” she laughed.
And Cecilia said he was feeling pretty outnumbered in the female-dominated household.
Daughters Nyah, nine, Aliyah, eight, and Evangeline, five, will be welcoming another brother or sister in early July.
Cecilia said just as her mother and other women in her family inspired her, she would like to set a good example for her children.
“My mum was a single mum and a really hard working nurse in a country town. That really instilled a strong work ethic in me and also a very strong sense of self determination and self reliance,” Cecilia said.
Her mother, on the advice of a high school music teacher, encouraged Cecilia to follow a spark of talent in singing which led to a career in music.
Cecilia hasn’t been singing as much as she used to due to other commitments but she said it is something she will always do, something she does to relax.
The classically trained singer is often asked to lend her voice to local events such as Australia Day or Anzac Day. She is also welcomed into people’s families on emotionally charged days such as funerals and weddings, an honour that is warmly recognised by Cecilia.
“For me I just love being part of a community and I’m happy to be a part of so many pockets of the community,” she said.
Cecilia said the family were very settled in Yass and over the next couple of years she said they would be nestling in even further.
The plan for the near future is to get to know baby number four, continue a new-found love of painting and study social work by distance.