Greg works as a driver with Nidjalla Waangan Mia (Aboriginal Health Centre) in Mandurah WA where his job is to transport patients to and from their medical appointments. He is a well-liked and well-respected member of the community. He left school early but at 26, Greg decided he wanted to do something to improve his reading and writing.
His employer contacted the Read Write Now (RWN) program coordinator in the Peel region to ask about getting some assistance for Greg. They knew he was keen to improve his skills and he had not been given the opportunity to reach what they could see as his potential.
With the support of his boss and a space provided by the centre, Greg and his volunteer literacy tutor, Eva began meeting weekly and quickly developed a good working rapport.
In one of their first meetings Greg told Eva that he “thought he was dumb”. Unfortunately, this is something RWN tutors hear way too often. Greg’s enthusiasm and commitment to his weekly lessons has shown him that this is certainly not the case and he has made steady progress. He rarely misses a weekly meeting with Eva. He is conscientious and willing to have a go at everything Eva puts in front of him. Anything he thinks he needs to work on, he takes away to do as homework. Greg loves the challenge of learning and Scrabble, Bananagrams and a second hand Collins dictionary are always on hand for games and for continued learning.
Read Write Now supplied a computer and Eva sourced a screen and keyboard through a local charity for Greg and this has opened up a whole range of new opportunities for him. His self-confidence has improved enormously, and he now loves reading – books, poetry, short stories etc. He has achieved outstanding results.
But the biggest impact of his improved reading and one of his greatest pleasures is sharing books with his young daughter. Previously he was too embarassed and ashamed to open a book, now he and his daughter take turns reading to each other. Greg has also become an advocate for RWN, encouraging his younger brother to get involved and find a tutor to help him.
Before he took up literacy classes with Eva Greg said he would never have had the confidence to apply for any further training. This month, Greg successfully completed a CPR course for work – and was very proud. His employer is also very happy with his progress.
Greg is now also reassessing his options for his future. His main aim now is to complete secondary school, so that he can use it as a springboard to further learning. He has contacted TAFE and has information on courses that he could do – possibly a Certificate in General Education for Adults (CGEA). It’s a prospect he would not have considered in the past.
Recently, Greg stood in as the coach of a local football team, and really enjoyed it. He told Eva he thought he could pursue something in that area and as they discussed it the idea of him being a teacher took hold. Greg was astounded and excited to think that a career where he can share his knowledge and help others is an option for him. Eva is immensely proud of his progress. Over 12 months, Greg’s mindset has shifted from focussing on all the things he “can’t do”, to all the things he now can. Watch this space!