Siavash Manouchehrpour has changed both industries and continents over his career journey. But throughout his time as a Solicitor, Community Service Consultant, or National Support Centre Manager his internal compass pointed in the same direction: to support and empower others. 

With a law degree in hand, Siavash immigrated to Australia at age 25 where he devoted his time not only to his Juris Doctor postgraduate degree, but also to helping refugees as an immigration paralegal.   

“When I became a solicitor, I did a lot of pro bono asylum seeker cases, which meant I regularly visited detention centres,” Siavash says. “That’s where I got to see all the social workers helping refugees. It was more hands-on than law, more based on human relationships. So, I decided to make the shift and jump sectors.”

In researching various humanitarian organisations, Siavash said he was drawn to The Benevolent Society for its five core values of integrity, respect, collaboration, effectiveness, and optimism.

“The Benevolent Society really impressed me. It’s been providing support services to Australians for more than 200 years, so I could see the impact it had made. I remember watching one of the videos on its website about a case worker and I thought to myself, ‘This is an organisation I want to be a part of,’” he says.

In 2017 he joined us as a Community Services Consultant, and he fit right in.

“When I first started at The Benevolent Society, I wanted to learn everything I could about this sector. And there was a lot to learn! It was challenging at times, but I had great people to assist me. I was blown away by how supportive and inclusive the work culture was. Any time I had a question, there was always someone I could go to for help.” 

Within 11 months, he became a Team Leader. Then, in 2019, he was promoted again – this time, to Manager of our National Support Centre. It’s a role in which he excels to this day thanks to his intersectional knowledge, enduring curiosity, and infectious attitude. 

Supporting those who support others

Leading five teams (with a total of 50 people), Siavash works hard to support our National Support Centre staff. These solutions-focused teams are the first point of contact for all our callers and clients, connecting them with our services and programs, as well as external providers. 

“The people in our Support Centre are on the frontline,” Siavash says. “It’s an incredibly important role. They’re often helping people at their most vulnerable. It’s my responsibility to ensure our teams can work in an environment where their wellbeing is optimised. I know that the more support I give to our teams, the more support they can give to others.” 

It’s clear that Siavash has an enormous well of respect for our National Support Centre team – and they respect him in return.

“Every day, I am genuinely amazed by the outcomes my staff achieve for their clients. Their level of patience and understanding astounds me. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of work, but when I step back and see the incredible work being achieved, it’s all the reason I need to do what I do. We are truly making a difference to people’s lives.”

Since moving to Australia, Siavash has taken both change and challenge in his stride. He remains steadfast in his decision to support others and looks forward to continuing to do so with The Benevolent Society. 

“I’ve met so many knowledgeable, passionate, and kind people here. They’ve made such an impact on my life. I want to keep exploring ways I can better serve my staff and provide them with a positive environment. I hope we can all learn and grow together, and have some fun, too!”