Pilbara Mentors Program set to grow
in 2023 and beyond


Last week, EdConnect Australia held a morning tea for interested volunteers to hear about the Pilbara Mentors program at Dome Cafe in Port Hedland.

The public were invited to come along to enjoy a free morning tea and the Pilbara Mentors Liaison Officer Ainsley Chadwick held a brief information session on how they could get involved in this rewarding volunteer opportunity mentoring students at local schools in 2023 and beyond.

Ainsley Chadwick commented on the success of the event.

“EdConnect Australia are so proud to have a committed presence in Port Hedland. The program is delivered by EdConnect Australia and is an initiative of the Roy Hill Community Foundation. This charity is made up of 15 companies who all contribute funding to the program along with many other initiatives in the local community” she explained.

Left to right: Lee Ann Matthews, Ashley Dwyer, Gazza Silcock, Peter Phipps, Ainsley Chadwick, Brian Richardson, Cr Jan Gillingham

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.

In 2022 EdConnect Australia volunteers mentored 895 students and supported 12,594 students with a Learning Support volunteer in the classroom. This was achieved by the 1,182 volunteers across Australia that gave their time in their local school in their community.

The Pilbara Mentors program is focused on supporting and enhancing the social and emotional well-being of students, giving them an opportunity to realise their potential. When a student spends time with their volunteer Mentor, they have access to a reliable, adult role-model that values education and provides encouragement.

“It’s great to be able to make awareness of this program in the community, we need more locals to get involved. It’s just 1-hour a week of your time during school hours. A mentoring relationship builds a student’s confidence, self-esteem, and resilience- in turn this creates a positive ripple effect back to the classroom. As a Pilbara Mentor you will receive so much more in return!” said Ainsley.

“The Pilbara Mentors program has been running in Port Hedland since 2016. Previously we have had 20 locals volunteer as Pilbara Mentors, but since Covid the numbers have significantly dropped. Currently we are at 7 Pilbara Mentors,” she said.

“We had Pilbara Mentor Gazza Silcock, bring along an ex-Hedland Senior High School student he had mentored in the program over a number of years, Ashley. Both shared the positive impact the mentoring relationship had on their own lives with the group. It was lovely to hear” Ainsley said.

EdConnect Australia, in partnership with the Roy Hill Community Foundation, are calling for new volunteers to join the Pilbara Mentors program, for more information see www.edconnectaustralia.org.au, contact edconnect@edconnect.org.au or call 1800 668 550.