Home Tutor Program

I came to Canberra from Indonesia where I was a researcher, 14 years ago and started volunteering in the evenings with the Home Tutor Program (HTP). One of the reason I liked working overseas was being part of a multicultural community so when I came to Canberra, I was really wanting to find ways to meet people from other cultural backgrounds. And also to give back to the community as well. The HTP seemed a nice way to do it.

I had my first client with HTP for twelve years. She was actually very fluent in English, but she needed help with using the appropriate tone in her writing, particularly in work emails. She also wanted help with understanding newspaper headlines, which are often a play on words.

If the relationship with your client works, the whole thing works. My first student became a friend. One great thing about the Home Tutor Program is that they try to match you with someone who lives close by, so my student lived in the next suburb from me. The Program thereby helps to connect the local community and that’s why I have continued working with HTP.

You also feel that you’ve done something meaningful for someone else, that they feel they couldn’t have done on their own. So for example I have assisted in writing a job applications and resumes with both the HTP and the Job Prep program.  Then you feel a part of them getting the job or whatever it is they’re trying to achieve. And now I’m working on the HTP with somebody who wants help in learning to read English, so now it’s meaningful for me to see that she can recognize words.

- Mary Milne
   Volunteer in the Home Tutor Program

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