Lives lived and lives ahead


On returning to Australia in 2015, after 44 years living in Asia, Deirdre Moss signed up to volunteer with Timehelp (now known as EdConnect Australia).

She says an initial enquiry via email from Malaysia had resulted in a very warm response, which encouraged her to follow up once back in Australia.

We sat down with Deirdre to hear her story and why she was drawn to volunteer later in life.

“Having volunteered and found my lifelong vocation in animal welfare in the 1980s, it made sense to return to volunteering on retirement. It was a new and unfamiliar frontier, but a desire to get involved in the local community was the driving force. I haven’t looked back,” she said.

“EdConnect was a lifesaver in terms of helping me adjust back to life in Australia. It has been a joy and a privilege to have been accepted as a Learning Support volunteer at Mt Duneed Primary School and Geelong High School’s Geelong Positive Engagement Program (GPEP).”

Working with children and youth since 2016 gave Deirdre a new sense of purpose and she says she has found the teachers through the years to be so supportive.

“Amidst the challenges of life today, for all involved, I feel grateful  to be a part of the big picture,” she said.

“EdConnect Australia and its School Liaison Coordinators have been encouraging and communicative all the way, with regular meet-ups which provide fellow volunteers opportunities to network and share experiences. During the harsh COVID lockdowns in Victoria, they kept in touch in isolating times, and connected us through zoom get togethers,” said Deirdre.

“The idea of matching up retirees (and any other individuals who have the desire to share their knowledge and strengths) with youth is a brilliant idea, both parties bringing to the table contrasting perceptions of lives lived and lives ahead. It is a mutually beneficial, win-win partnership.”

“Thank you EdConnect for giving me such a purposeful and rewarding retirement (after such a prolonged absence from my home country) which I could not have foreseen. Through the GPEP program at Geelong High in particular, I have been able to continue my passion of speaking up against animal cruelty while sharing how through volunteering, I found my life’s vocation. And especially, being able to impart to the students – you never know where volunteering can take you in life!”

EdConnect Australia trains and supports volunteers to work in local schools, providing a safety net for young people who might otherwise struggle to realise their potential – in school and life. It is a volunteering organisation which operates within both primary and secondary schools.

EdConnect Australia are currently seeking volunteers for 2024.

For more information on our volunteering program click here, email or call 1800 668 550.