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Greg starts a new chapter thanks to Adult Learners Week scholarship

26-year old Aboriginal man Greg Nelson from Coodanup has been awarded an Adult Learners Week 2019 Scholarship for his commitment and motivation to being an outstanding learner.

  • 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.
  • Keen to improve his reading and writing skills, Greg received one-on-one tutoring at his workplace from Read Write Now (RWN), an adult literacy program supported by North Metropolitan TAFE (NMTAFE).
  • The scholarship (one of three awarded throughout Australia) was presented by Hon. Steve Irons MP – Assistant Minister for VET and Apprenticeships during the launch of Adult Learners Week (1-8 September).

“I went for a job and I was honest with them and told them I was struggling with my reading and stuff like that and wanted to get better,” said Greg. “I was lucky enough to get the job and along the way I met (Read Write Now volunteer tutor) Eva.”ALW_Greg_w_Min_Irons.jpg

“Some of the stuff I’ve learned from her is just amazing. She’s changed my life completely not just for me but for my daughter as well. Just setting out life goals and showing her that nothing is impossible. I don’t know how to thank her, what she’s done for me is just unspeakable.”

In one of their first meetings, Greg told Eva that he “thought he was dumb”. 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.

The biggest impact of his improved reading and one of his greatest pleasures is sharing books with his young daughter. Previously he was too embarrassed and ashamed to open a book, now he and his daughter take turns reading to each other. 

According to Acting Manager for Read Write Now, Zena Ghosn, 600+ volunteer tutors have provided 1-1.5 hours per week tutoring to over 530 Western Australian adults so far this year.

“Tutors liaise with their student(s), meet with them at a suitable place, get to know their learning needs and learning styles, plan and prepare sessions and regularly report on their progress.”

“We are here to celebrate our adult learners and encourage more adult learners to take the plunge today, to ask, ‘What are you waiting for?’. In doing so, we also recognise the timely, accessible and sometimes critical support available to adult learners through programs such as Read Write Now.”


Photographs: Greg Nelson accepts his award from  Hon. Steve Irons MP – Assistant Minister for VET and Apprenticeships

About Adult Learners Week (ALW)
Adult Learners Week events and activities highlight the benefits of learning and the many adult learning options available for all Australians. It recognises achievements in adult learning and aims to encourage adults who are not currently engaged in community activities or learning to come and try something new. ALW is a UNESCO initiative supported in Australia by the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business and coordinated by Adult Learning Australia. ALW runs from 1–8 September and incorporates International Literacy Day, which is celebrated annually on September 8.

About Read Write Now (RWN)
For over 40 years, RWN has improved the literacy of adults who have left the school system and have inadequate literacy for everyday life demands. Help is available to improve reading, writing, maths, study or basic computer skills. RWN currently operates in 18 regions throughout the state, including the Perth metropolitan area and regional centres Albany, Avon, Bunbury, Collie, Esperance and Katanning. RWN is funded by the WA Department of Training and Workforce Development and receives in-kind sponsorship from NMTAFE. We also provide the program with office space, Finance, Marketing, HR and IT support.

Page last updated September 11, 2019