Our Volunteers

BAML reading 7The work of volunteers is too often overlooked. At Gawura, we value enormously the contributions made by people who give up their time to help our students. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers, past and present, for their passion, time and selfless contributions toward helping our Gawura students on a daily basis and at the same time, contributing to bridging the gap in educational outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Our Gawura Volunteer Programme  continues to grow strongly. Its success stems from the commitment and passion of all our volunteers and their ability to commit to a consistent and regular timetable. Since inception in 2007, many people have put their hands up to volunteer at Gawura, including members of the St Andrew’s Cathedral School Community; individuals who have come to us of their own will via referrals and staff who volunteer through their employers’ Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.

To show our appreciation,  each year, we hold a joint ‘Volunteers Supper’ together with volunteers from St Andrew’s Cathedral School, at St Andrew’s House. Delicious food and beverages are provided in a relaxed and fun atmosphere! This is an opportunity for our volunteers to be looked after for a change!

A special thank you to all our long standing volunteers (you know who you are!) and corporate volunteers! Our Corporate Volunteer programme commenced with the ASX in 2011. We are extremely grateful for this fantastic relationship which continues today. The support of the ASX has been pivotal in other corporates joining our volunteer programme. We now have over 50 volunteers (approximately 9-10 per day) each week coming into Gawura each morning and reading with the students (26 students!). Huge thanks goes to staff from the following organisations and to the co-ordinators within the companies who organise the teams each term:

The enthusiasm with which children  welcome visitors and explore new concepts is so enjoyable to watch. I believe this curiosity is fostered by the commitment of the Gawura staff and the dynamic learning environment that encourages shared learning, fun and mutual  respect.”  Elizabeth Stevens, a highly valued volunteer who has been with Gawura since it opened in 2007!

 “You see a huge difference with the students…through the one on one interaction you are able to notice the improvements in the students as they develop over time it’s been a positive and rewarding experience whereby through a well-structured and supported program we are able to assist upcoming scholars with their reading and comprehension. I have certainly enjoyed the interaction with the kids and the unexpected laughs we share.” David Morrow, Bank of America volunteer.

“Volunteering at Gawura is a personally rewarding experience. I enjoy the sense of giving back to the community and the children who attend Gawura are such worthy recipients.  They are so willing and enthusiastic in their reading tasks and knowing that listening to children read can provide so many educational benefits make it so worthwhile.” Sue Lumb, ASX Volunteer.

Reading time with the kids is so enjoyable. To guide a hesitant reader through new and difficult words only to hear them pronouncing those words with confidence only a page or two along is a wonderful experience. I’m very grateful to SACS for providing the opportunity to get involved and sharing the unique environment that is Gawura.” Alissa Goodin, PwC Volunteer

“It’s hard to summarise but if I try, it’s something very special to be a volunteer, involved in these student’s education – both academic and cultural as they go through Gawura. The purpose of the volunteering is to aid their literacy skills, which is something I definitely see in action, but it has provided me with a surprising opportunity to build many of my own, including mindfulness and empathy. My ongoing volunteering is continuing to be one of my most fulfilling experiences – over the years I am able to see the  students grow in confidence and ability and stature! And each week it’s a highlight, a time to immerse myself in old and new stories, which makes for a fantastic start to my day.” Jen Vo-Phuoc, Telstra Volunteer

“Every child should have the same opportunity to learn, read and write. It gives me great satisfaction knowing that the children at Gawura are given opportunities which, unfortunately, many miss out on”. Rommero Carrillo, Origin Energy

For more information on our Volunteer Programme, please contact Rosemary Miller, Marketing and Foundation Assistant (02) 9286 9500 or email rmiller@sacs.nsw.edu.au.



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