Homework a happier habit with some help

Ernst and Young’s Bryan Cooke, St Vincent de Paul Society CEO Mark Fitzpatrick and manager Rebecca Callaghan browse some homework material. Picture: David Baylis d406021
Ernst and Young’s Bryan Cooke, St Vincent de Paul Society CEO Mark Fitzpatrick and manager Rebecca Callaghan browse some homework material. Picture: David Baylis d406021

St Vincent de Paul Society manager Rebecca Callaghan, who has helped at the centre for nine years, said students valued the one-on-one time they spent with volunteers.

‘The biggest outcome I’ve seen is the self confidence in the kids to do their homework on their own but also the confidence to volunteer when they’re back at school, like reading out loud because they’ve had that practise with someone before,’ she said.

‘It’s not about leaping four or five levels ahead academically, but every time they do something it’s a little bit better than before and it’s not compared to someone else.’

The society set up the homework centre in 2003 after multinational accounting firm Ernst and Young approached them to form a partnership in which the company would fund and volunteer staff members’ time.

Ms Callaghan said partnership between the two organisations was ‘years ahead of its time’ and for many staff teaching at the centre it was an enriching experience that broadened their understanding of social injustices.

The Vinnies retail store in Belmont has moved to 199 Abernethy Road.