121 - 179 Greigs Rd, Truganina VIC 3029


Q. When and where do the learning support programs operate?

A. Our learning support programs operate during the school term only. Details as follows;The Homework Club (for primary students) runs in St Albans each Monday and Wednesday from 3:30-5pm at the Errington Community Centre, 1-3 Princess St. This location is approximately 2 minutes walk from the St Albans train station, in between the safeway carpark and the Errington Football Oval. Access to the hall is from the oval side.
The Homework Club also takes place at Sunshine Harvester Primary School, 132 Hertford Rd, Sunshine from 2:30-4:30pm.
The Tutoring Program (aimed at secondary/tertiary students) takes place every Tuesday from 3:30-5:30pm at the Errington Community Centre (address above) and every Saturday morning from 10:30am-12:30pm at the Catholic Regional College library, corner of Theodore and Winifred Sts, St Albans (see below).
All venues are wheelchair accessible.

Q. What does the tutor role entail?

Q. Do I receive any training as part of my induction?

A. Training is offered through the Centre for Multicultural Youth's Learning Beyond the Bell (LBB) program. The training focuses on the refugee experience and how it affects student learning; developing skills in literacy and homework support; and creating a collection of resources, strategies, and plans to use in learning support sessions. All participants receive a comprehensive training manual at no cost, as well as a certificate upon completion.

Q. Do I need a Working with Children (WWC) Check to become a volunteer?

A. Yes, you do. The Working with Children (WWC) Check is a scheme set up by the Victorian Government’s Department of Justice to help protect children from physical and sexual harm. It aims to prevent those who pose a risk to children from working or volunteering with them.All individuals who wish to become volunteers in ERCRS programs must apply for a WWC check before they attend their first tutoring session, unless they have a valid Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) registration or are under 18 years old. When you submit your WWC check application free of charge at your local Post Office, you will receive a receipt, which you will need to bring along to your first session. Those who apply for WWC must also pass this check in order to continue volunteering with children. Successful applicants will receive a card within 7 weeks.When filling out the WWC form, please enter our organisation details as found here, and select the ‘coaching and tuition’ option when asked to choose your area of involvement. If you need further information about this process please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Q. How often must I attend if I do get involved?

A. All volunteers are expected to commit to attending one session per week for the duration of a school term (7-11 weeks depending on the time of year). Let's say you pick the Homework Club on Wednesday afternoons; then you are expected to attend each Wednesday session during your nominated school term. Obviously, any one-off absences due to illness, weddings and the like are perfectly fine.The reason for our strict attendance policy is that our students respond remarkably well when they have a consistent tutor and ongoing learning support, not to mention a friend to hang out with. After the term is completed volunteers also have the option to continue on for another term of tutoring.

Q. I'm a bit rusty in some areas, what happens if I don't know the answers to my student's questions?

A. It's normal for tutors to get stuck every now and then with a tricky bit of homework or feel fuzzy in areas they mastered long ago. The important thing to remember is that the students (or us for that matter) don't expect you to be Albert Einstein, and as we all sit in the same space together it's not uncommon for tutors to move around where they are needed, and ask questions of other tutors and members of staff. As a tutor, you are more to us than just an answers depository! The relationship you build with your student, and the honesty and lightheartedness that it brings, is just as important and valuable as knowing the 'right' answers

Q. Do I need to be studying teaching (education) or have experience as a teacher or tutor to apply?

A. Definitely not! Although it does help. To apply for a volunteer tutor position with ERCRS the first thing is you need to know your way around the basics of the English language. If you're fluent in English and have patience and good interpersonal skills, then you're prepared enough for tutoring primary students in the Homework Club. Obviously to work with secondary or tertiary students in the Tutoring Program you will need to be one step ahead of your student either through your own study or life experience. We do our best to make sure you are paired up with a student that need support in subject areas that you feel comfortable tutoring in.

Q. Why do the students in the program need this support?

A. Our students deserve a lot of credit. They are doing their schooling in English, which is often their second or third language. It should be no surprise then that they require a little extra support with their studies. Many of our students are also of a refugee background, and may have had intermittent or little formal education for a period of time as they were growing up. This can lead to gaps in their foundational literacy and numeracy skills. On top of that, a huge challenge facing resettled refugee young people in Australia is the system that places them into the Australian education system based on their age (12 year olds go straight into year 7, 16 year olds straight into year 10 etc.) after a minimal amount of intensive English language schooling.

Q. What do the students get out of it?

A. Our students respond remarkably well to one-on-one learning support when partnered with an English speaking adult. The safe and encouraging environment provided at the community centre also has positive effects on the children’s/young people's learning, and is sometimes all that is required to boost their opportunities with respect to further education.There are benefits and improvements not only in the literacy and numeracy levels of students, but in their level of self-esteem, confidence, engagement with school life, and their general attitude towards school, family and the wider community.

Q. Can I volunteer as part of a placement?

A. Yes. We regularly have university students or other placement students (Duke of Edinburgh scholarships etc.) volunteering with us. The program coordinator will be happy to sign off on placement hours, as long as the volunteer can commit to at least one school term of consistent attendance.

Q. Who is Edmund Rice?

A. Edmund Rice was a man who lived in Ireland between the years 1762 and 1844. He was prosperous in the business world until his wife Mary suddenly died quite young, when he felt the calling strongly to work with some of Ireland's most disadvantaged young people. He sold his assets to build a school and dedicated his life to providing street children with the essentials of food, clothing and a good education. Edmund Rice went on to found the order of the Christian Brothers who went all over the world opening schools and working with societies most disadvantaged members. For more a more detailed answer please see our About page.