EdConnect Australia had an unprecedented turnout from the community for their Annual Awards Evening on Thursday the 2nd of May 2019 held at The Rise in Maylands WA. The evening focused on awarding and recognising the influential work their volunteers contributed to local students, schools and the surrounding community. The event was attended by volunteers, school members, community leaders and stakeholders, corporate partners and the EdConnect board to support EdConnect’s continued drive to service disadvantaged students across Australia.

Award Recipients

Mentor of the Year – David Fox

EdConnect’s Mentor of the Year was awarded to David Fox who has been with EdConnect since 2017. David mentors five students across three schools in the Perth Metro area, including Landsdale Primary School, Ashdale Primary School and Ellenbrook Secondary College. He is passionate about helping children with ADHD and finds creative and fun ways of helping them improve their concentration.

Leonie Mattock, Principal of Landsdale Primary, says, “David is knowledgeable about strategies and routines that best support children with ADHD and is proactive in researching information to help him support his students.” He added that David’s rapport with the students is so strong that they’ve all signed up to be mentored by him for the upcoming school year.

EdConnect honoured David Fox’s generous contribution to the program. Northeast Metro Liaison Officer, Karen Vincent nominated David due to his empathetic approach and dedication to helping students who experience challenges at school. “David is creative and flexible with the activities he does with the students – from playing soccer and cooking to helping with reading and computer based programs  – he does it all,” says Ms. Vincent.

Video by Jet-Rik Bernal – Intern at EdConnect

Learning Support Volunteer of the Year – Pam Delaney

EdConnect’s Learning Support Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Pam Delaney who has been volunteering with EdConnect for over fifteen years. Pam works with students from all grade levels at Embleton Primary School and regularly attends assemblies, sporting events and school meetings.

Mal Baldwin, teacher at Embleton Primary, says that she truly appreciates the time that Pam has shared with her class as well as in the school as a whole. Baldwin says, “Pam has been a voice of encouragement when students have struggled and a cheer squad for when they have achieved success.”

EdConnect Liaison Officer, Karen Vincent says that Pam Delaney’s involvement with the school is in such demand that Pam volunteers four days a week. “The feedback from the school about Pam is that she is an integral part of the school community – through her dedication and support to the students,” says Vincent.

Video by Jet-Rik Bernal – Intern at EdConnect

School Coordinator of the Year – Beverley Pabedinskas

EdConnect awarded The School Coordinator of the Year to Beverley Pabedinskas for her work with Yale Primary School. Beverley has recently retired after being the chaplain at the school for nineteen years and the school coordinator for the EdConnect program for 15 years.

Both the EdConnect Liaison Officer, Julie Mullett, and a member of the school teaching staff nominated Beverley for the award due the extra care she provides to all people associated with the school community. “She goes the extra mile to make sure everyone is cared for – she’ll visit staff members who have been sick and goes out of her way to help new teachers,”

“Beverly’s role is to look after the social and emotional welfare of the students and staff and she does it without even thinking about it – it is natural for her,” says Glen Read, Principal of Yale Primary School.

Video by Jet-Rik Bernal – Intern at EdConnect

Alcoa Peel Volunteer of the Year – Ron Stone

EdConnect, in partnership with Alcoa through the Alcoa Foundation, awarded Ron Stone with the inaugural Peel Volunteer of the Year award for 2018. Ron, previously employed with Alcoa of Australia for over forty years, was surprised to receive the award. Ron started mentoring a secondary student at Coodanup College in 2018 and quickly created a strong connection to his mentee.

Judy Mclean, School Coordinator for Coodanup College nominated Ron to receive the award. “Ron is very sensitive to his student’s home life and has been a consistent and reliable role model for him,” says Mclean. “Ron’s work is important especially when some of our students don’t have the best home life. He has made a huge difference which has improved his mentee’s well-being and attendance at school.”

EdConnect Liaison Officer, Karen Barden, was recently assisted by Ron at an information session to interested volunteers where he spoke to the group about the benefits of mentoring high school students. “It can be daunting to mentor high school students as some volunteers feel out of touch with the age group, but Ron shared his experiences with the group which put their minds at ease,” says Barden. “He has gone above and beyond to help and promote our organisation.”

Video by Jet-Rik Bernal – Intern at EdConnect

Roy Hill Community Foundation Pilbara Mentor of the Year – Karen Munro

Pilbara Mentors program held an Inaugural Awards Night hosted by The Roy Hill Community Foundation to recognise and celebrate the volunteers in South Hedland on December 11, 2018. The Pilbara Mentors program is delivered by EdConnect Australia in partnership with the RHCF. The program operates in three Hedland schools and has grown significantly in 2018.

The highlight of the evening was seeing one of the dedicated Pilbara Mentors, Karen Munro, receive the very first Volunteer of the Year award which was presented by EdConnnect Chair, Norma Jeffery. Norma congratulated and thanked Karen for her efforts, and also commented that all of the volunteers are winners, as are the students that they have supported throughout the year.

Karen said, “I am surprised and honoured by the award.” She was particularly thankful to her employer Goodline, who have supported her to be a Pilbara Mentor since the program commenced in 2016.

Video by Megan Brouwer – Liaison Officer at EdConnect


Thank you for your support and attendance!!