It was a wonderful evening of powerful stories, recognition and inspiration at the EdConnect Awards Ceremony which was held on Tuesday 30 March 2021 at The Rise in Maylands. MC Andrew Walton, who stepped in at the last minute, addressed the gathering consisting of volunteers, corporate representatives, EdConnect Board, member school representatives and EdConnect staff.

Guest speaker and YOLA creator Jenny Rachmat, moved attendees with the inspirational story of her parents’ journey to Australia and volunteers were acknowledged for their many years of service, with Peter Harris being recognised for an absolutely phenomenal twenty-five years of volunteering.

The evening was a wonderful way in which to honour the achievements of all the incredible EdConnect volunteers as well as to announce the recipients of the four major awards for the evening.

The Peel Volunteer of the Year Award was won by Rose Wu whose dedication to the students of North Mandurah Primary School and Coastal Lakes College was considered outstanding. Rose’s support of students with English as a second language being integral to their successful transition into schooling in Australia.

Lynwood Senior High School’s David Gwilym was named the EdConnect Mentor of the Year.  David began volunteering at the school in 2017 with the ambition of restoring the school’s aquaponics system and resulted in him being able to reach students who have struggled with confidence and resilience.  His genuine rapport with students was acknowledged by the school as one of the reasons for his tremendous success as a mentor.

The Learning Support Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Sue Jacobs from Hilton Primary School.  Sue has been volunteering at the school for over a decade and joined EdConnect as she felt a need to be around young people.  It is Sue’s strong relationships with the staff and students that has made all the difference.

Winner of the Desmond Heenan School Coordinator of the Year Award, Christina Stonesmith, was nominated for her excellence in running the EdConnect program at Warnbro Community High School.  When acknowledging the impact of the program she said that she had seen the most amazing changes in students who had worked with EdConnect Mentors including changes in attitude and increased attendance.

Food, drink and the inspirational company, made for a wonderful event and we look forward to doing it all again next year!