Connect With Your Community / Education

Mentoring event proves good for the soul

Pictured: Jessica Albers, Claire Wellbeloved, Kay Corda and Pilbara Mentor - Leanne Ruston

The Pilbara Mentors, an initiative of the Roy Hill Community Foundation delivered by EdConnect Australia, recently held an introduction event at Cemetery Beach Park in Port Hedland. The public were invited to drop by for a chat with EdConnect Pilbara Liaison Officer, Kay Corda to learn how they can mentor students through the 'Pilbara Mentors Program'. Visitors savoured the delicious Thai food cooked by one of the Pilbara Mentors, Mudmee Vigar. And it being the usually warm Hedland afternoon, the ice cream offered was a big hit too.

Kay Corda comments on the success of the event.

“It was a day well spent with good people, delicious food and wonderful possibilities. It was heartening to see so much interest in the program and the desire to do something for the youth of our community. That’s what makes Hedland such an awesome place! Everyone here is happy to pitch in and do their bit.” she explained.

The Pilbara Mentors program 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. The program is delivered by EdConnect Australia, in partnership with the Roy Hill Community Foundation, a charity made up of 14 companies who all contribute funding and participate in the programs.

“It was lovely to catch up with some of our past and current mentors and mentees who dropped by to support and chat to anyone who was curious about the program and share their positive experiences. EdConnect Australia is proud to have a committed presence in the Pilbara region. Thanks to the Roy Hill Community Foundation’s support, it’s possible to have these life-changing mentoring programs here in Hedland.” Kay Corda continued.

Left: Tim Turner, Pilbara Mentor - Mudmee Vigar and Kay Corda
Right: Kay Corda and Pilbara Mentor - Adrian Wells with family

Leanne Ruston, has been a Pilbara Mentor for the past 4 years. Leanne adds "It was a pleasure to attend the Pilbara Mentos recruitment drive on Saturday to reconnect with others mentors and meet new potential mentors. As a long time mentor for the program in Hedland I cannot express strongly enough the need for our young people to have someone to talk to and connect with. Due to the increased wait times for other services and the added pressures of COVID on top of peer relationships, schoolwork load, investigation of self-etc. it is important for our students to have a mentor that will just listen without judgement and spend one on one time with them. Please consider becoming a Pilbara Mentor as not only does it benefit our students, it benefits the mentor by providing connection, modelling to students to give back to their communities and it’s generally good plain old fun." Leanne Ruston

Pictured: Jessica Albers, Janine Cox and Kay Corda

Mudmee Vigar, current mentor with Hedland High School

Mentoring with the Pilbara Mentors program allows me to continue to supporting my community through the next generation of Hedlanders. The program is a good opportunity to provide direction to the younger generation. I have been sharing my cooking experience with my mentee. It’s very rewarding for me as it covers the two things I’m most passionate about - cooking and supporting my community.

EdConnect Australia are calling for new volunteers to commence in the 2022 school year, for more information about the EdConnect volunteering opportunities see www.edconnectaustralia.org.au, contact edconnect@edconnect.org.au or call 1800 668 550.

Pictured: Kay Corda, Jayne Huckle and Ambre Eyre