Volunteers our greatest gift

Volunteer tutors are the hard-working heroes of NRL Cowboys House and are crucial to the academic success achieved by the students, according to House Education Manager Mary McInnes.

Mary took the opportunity to pay tribute to the 60-strong junior study program volunteers during the mid-year break.

“I call our tutors our greatest gift because we couldn’t do what we do here at the House without them,” she said.

“Their long-term commitment is truly commendable – around half of our volunteers have been coming at least one day a week from the beginning in 2017.

“The other half are mostly university education students who graduate and still want to be part of the program but I’m always mindful of their workload.

“The majority of our tutors come to us two afternoons a week, and lots are also involved in weekend activities and events.

“Each one makes a difference and has an enormous amount to offer our students and NRL Cowboys House and we so appreciate them.

“We are also fortunate to have a dedicated group of teachers and tutors who work with our senior students and support them through the challenges and demands of their secondary schooling.”

National Volunteer Week

Activities in May for National Volunteer Week provided a platform for volunteer recognition, and Mary had the difficult task of narrowing down nominees from a very worthy candidate base.

“While I loved the opportunity to recognise our volunteers externally, it was so hard to choose just a few,” she said.

“In the end we nominated five volunteers who have been with us since day one, and who perform extra roles in addition to the afternoon tutoring program.”

NQ Volunteer Impact Award – Ray Waters, finalist

House Volunteer Coordinator Ray Waters was nominated for his dedication over 3.5 years in managing the administration for the education study program volunteers, tutoring two afternoons a week and recruiting over one hundred tutors to the House during this time. He also travels as a supervisor with students to and from communities.

“Ray is extremely reliable and more than willing to do anything to make a difference, particularly with our more academically-challenged students,” Mary said.

“He has a passion for education and has huge aspirations for our students, and we thank Ray for his commitment.”

Volunteer recognition – Member for Herbert Phil Thompson

NRL Cowboys House also nominated four long-term tutors to be recognised during National Volunteer Week by Member for Herbert Phil Thompson:

  • David Browning
  • Nikki Smith
  • Dr Will Horsfall
  • Dr Andy Cole

In addition to tutoring twice a week over four years since the House opened, these dedicated volunteers supervise House students’ exams in school and several also travel with students to communities.

“They all have a passion for our students’ education, high expectations and a strong belief in their academic potential,” Mary said of the nominees.

“Through their years of service, they’ve developed very positive relationships with the students and our education team is stronger with their contribution.”

Are you interested in volunteering?

NRL Cowboys House welcomes expressions of interest from potential junior study volunteer tutors – email volunteer@cowboysfoundation.org.au.

If you’re interested in working with students to support their academic progress, we’d love to hear from you!

Junior study tutoring days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (4pm-5pm) during term.

A Queensland Blue Card (working with children) is required but may be arranged by NRL Cowboys House.

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