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Edgar combines volunteering with a busy full-time job.

21 May 2024

To celebrate Volunteer Week, Learning for Employment is shining a light on the extraordinary efforts of one of our dedicated volunteers who is making a profound impact on the lives of migrants and refugees who need to learn English.

Originally from Germany, Edgar now lives in Footscray with his family. Despite his demanding role as an IT project manager, Edgar has always had a passion for languages and cross cultural communication.

Driven by a desire to support his community, Edgar sought out opportunities to use his language skills outside of the confines of his career. After completing an online qualification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Edgar found the Volunteer Tutor Scheme and eagerly signed up. The Volunteer Tutor Scheme is a part of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and is funded by the Department of Home Affairs. Volunteers are trained and matched with migrants and refugees who need to learn English. No formal qualifications are required and full training is provided.

‘Volunteer tutoring allows me to connect with other people that I would not have otherwise met. There is so much to learn from their experiences and from the way they see Australia and the people who live here. I also enjoy getting to know other cultures and ways of living.’

One of the most rewarding aspects of Edgar’s volunteer experience has been helping his students in real life situations. One of his students is a qualified IT worker who has struggled to find his first job in Australia. From assisting with resume writing to preparing for job interviews, Edgar’s support has helped his student to gain confidence and thrive in their new environment.

Edgar shares that, ‘My work is sometimes in the way as I sometimes work long hours and also travel quite a bit. But I have found that my students and Learning for Employment are very supportive and we always find ways around it.’

As Volunteer Week approaches Edgar’s advice is to give volunteering a go. ‘When you volunteer you get a lot out of that time – motivation, stimulation and happiness!’