Assisting youth working through big emotions


As per their Thursday routine, the literacy group students from Wentworthville Primary School gathered around in small groups. The teacher assigned different literacy activities to each of the group.

Diane, the EdConnect Learning Support Volunteer was working with the bunch assigned with the reading exercise. Diane and students knew the drill. They started reading out loud one by one each taking turns to read a page, starting with Diane. Just as they had begun, a new boy entered the classroom crying.

“He read to me through his tears and managed to complete the book. After some time, he must have spotted me in the playground, where he came up to me and said that he wasn’t crying anymore!” says a surprised Diane.

“That’s great, you’re doing really well”, said Diane encouragingly.

Diane believes that empowering students to overcome their challenges and realise their full potential is gratifying. Having supported students with multiple disabilities for almost 2 decades, she deeply understands the nuances of this role. Her service came to a halt when the COVID pandemic hit, but her spirit of serving never subsided. She joined EdConnect’s Learning Support Program last year to continue spending her time with kids. She volunteers at the local primary school in Wentworthville every Thursday for 2 hours.

When asked what is it that she loves the most about EdConnect, she cheerfully shares.

“I thoroughly enjoy my role. Assisting students in reading and writing, and observing their improvement in these skills over the term gives me immense pleasure.”

“After retiring from her full time profession of a Bank Manager, Diane refused to sit back and started another chapter of her life by giving back to the society. She is an active member of the community, including her role as an EdConnect Volunteer, wherein she is an absolute asset to the organisation”, says Rhonda Velkovski, EdConnect Australia Liaison Officer.

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 Australia’s only intergenerational volunteering charity which operates within both primary and secondary schools.

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