Give the VoRTCS Gift This Christmas Season

‘Tis the Season…

Yes, it’s that wonderful time of year once again when we get together and catch up with friends and family. This Christmas season, please keep VoRTCS in mind. VoRTCS is in need of new volunteer tutors to work with the many refugee families that have recently arrived in Brisbane, and the BEST way for new tutors to hear about the program is from existing tutors like you!

As we approach the New Year, and people are thinking about New Year’s resolutions, why not let your friends and family know about VoRTCS. If you know someone that would make a great new volunteer tutor, please tell them about the program. If they are interested in finding out more about the wonderful work we do, please direct them to the VoRTCS website or ask them to contact As we all know, becoming a VoRTCS volunteer tutor is not just a great way to give back to the community, it’s also very rewarding for the tutors themselves, and there’s no better time to get involved!

This Christmas, telling a friend or family member about how to become a VoRTCS volunteer tutor could just be the best gift you will give!

Thank you, we appreciate you!

VoRTCS and St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland would like to thank you for the wonderful year that’s been and all of your hard work and dedication in supporting our amazing refugee families, we couldn’t do it without you – we are very excited to step in to 2018 together!

The gift of love. The gift of peace. The gift of happiness. The gift of VoRTCS. May all these be yours at Christmas. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

NEW VoRTCS Digital Resource Library – Create and Share!

Introducing an exciting new resource for VoRTCS Tutors! 

Today VoRTCS launched the Digital Resource Library, which you can access on the VoRTCS website via – The Digital Resource Library is a collection of small PDF documents that can be used in your tutoring sessions. The resources support learning, reading, and writing English at a variety of learning stages. There is also a ‘Fun Stuff’ section with resources that can be used for games at the end of a tutoring session. All the resources have been created specifically for VoRTCS tutors, by VoRTCS tutors. Check out the collection we’ve started! We’re sure you’ll find something you can use in your tutoring sessions. You might even find something that will inspire the planning of a session!

Contribute Your Own Resources!

At the moment the Digital Resource Library is quite small, but over time it will grow into a larger, more useful tool for tutors. The Digital Resource Library is a way for tutors who have created their own resources, to share their creations with all the other VoRTCS tutors. Do you have a resource you’ve created which you’d like to share with the rest of VoRTCS? If you do, please email it to Sandy at: We’d love to see it, and potentially add it to the Digital Resource Library!!

Please note: we are able to accept original creations only and if your resource is added to the library, you will be asked to sign a Talent Release Form which enables your wonderful creation to be shared around.

VoRTCS is super excited to see our Digital Resource Library grow 🙂


Are you interested in being a VoRTCS Tutor Trainer?
Jenny, our Training Team Leader, is seeking nominations from anyone interested in training our new intake of tutors at our VoRTCS Family Tutor Training & Information sessions which are held monthly in 2017 and 2018.
Why should you be a part of the VoRTCS Training Team?
  • You get to collaborate with a group of lovely, experienced tutors
  • You get to share your knowledge with potential new tutors
  • You gain experience in presenting
  • This will be great experience to list when you are seeking employment, volunteer positions etc.
What would your involvement be as a Tutor Trainer?
  • The commitment is only to present as part of a team 3-4 Saturdays a year!
  • You will not need prior experience as training on the VoRTCS presentations will be given to you before you commence.
To be eligible, you should:
  • Have a minimum of 6 months experience in tutoring a VoRTCS family
  • Have the ability to work well in a team
  • Have clear communication skills and a passion in presenting
If this sounds like you, we would love to have you on the Training Team!
For more information and to apply, please contact Jenny via email at (please also Cc

FREE Financial Literacy Information Session for VoRTCS Families!

We have another amazing opportunity for your tutoring family members! VoRTCS is looking at partnering with a charity, I am a Boat Person & Westpac Bank to provide a free financial literacy session for our VoRTCS refugees.
What will VoRTCS family members learn?

The topics which will be covered in the Financial Literacy information session are:
  • The banking system in Australia
  • Bank accounts (including credit cards)
  • Working in Australia
  • Superannuation
  • Tax
  • Renting
  • Budgeting
This completely free session will be an extremely valuable source of financial education and awareness for our VoRTCS families. The session is expected to run for approximately 2 hours (duration is dependent on the engagement of participants) and we are hoping to run the session sometime in August. The date and location for this session is yet to be confirmed pending interest. If there is plenty of interest, we may be able to run several sessions (for e.g. one session in a central location, one in Northern area, one in Southern area). There are no requirements to be a Westpac customer nor any other banking customer and participants will not be sold any products.

So what do VoRTCS family members need?
  • A general command of English so they can understand the presenter/s (the presenter/s will be speaking in simple/plain English in a clear pace)
If someone in your tutoring family meets the above criteria and is interested in this great opportunity, please send the following information to by Friday, 21 July 2017:
  • Full name
  • Current address
  • Mobile phone number
  • Email address (if they have one)
Please call Sandy, VoRTCS Program Coordinator, if you have any questions on (07) 3010 1069.

Great Opportunity! Affordable VoRTCS Refugee Driving Lessons!

We have an exciting opportunity to offer some of our interested VoRTCS refugees subsidised driving lessons. VoRTCS will partner with a culturally sensitive and caring Driving School and the NRMA Brisbane Broncos to offer affordable driving lessons and support to attain their license.
Many refugee adults struggle in everyday tasks such as taking their children to school, purchasing groceries, getting to different locations via public transport, and experience social isolation due to their residence in outer Brisbane suburbs. The cost of driving lessons and license is often unaffordable for many families.
This wonderful opportunity will allow a number of our VoRTCS family members the chance to work towards getting their driver’s license at a much more affordable price. VoRTCS family members who take up this opportunity will:
  • Attain basic knowledge of driving skills and driving manoeuvres
  • Increase their understanding of road rules and driving regulations
  • Learn more about how the Provisional Driving Test is conducted
  • Experience driving with a qualified and friendly Driving Instructor in their journey towards obtaining their Driver’s License.
To be eligible, your tutoring family member/s should:
  • Be able to contribute financially towards the cost of the lesson/s – they will need to pay approximately $20 per lesson (This is very cheap! Most driving schools will charge at least triple this price)
  • Hold a current Queensland Learner’s License
  • Be in the process of saving to buy a car, have access to a car, or already own one
  • Have a general command of English (they need to be able to understand what the Driving Instructor is saying – the Instructor will of course tailor lessons to suit their English skills with slower and clear speech)
Spaces are very LIMITED!
If someone in your tutoring family meets the above criteria and is interested in this great opportunity, please send the following information to by Friday, 21 July 2017:
  • Full name
  • Current address
  • Mobile phone number
  • Email address (if they have one)
Please call Sandy, VoRTCS Program Coordinator, if you have any questions on (07) 3010 1069.

Luminous Lantern Parade

The VoRTCS/Vinnies team participated in MDA’s LUMINOUS Lantern Parade at South Bank on Friday, 9 June 2017. Attended by over 15,000 people each year, the LUMINOUS Lantern Parade is Queensland’s largest event welcoming new Queenslanders, including refugees, international students, people seeking asylum and migrants.
The parade features colourful lanterns held by representatives from government, council, community groups and the broader Brisbane community in celebration of our State’s wonderful cultural diversity.
The VoRTCS/ Vinnies team were very proud to be a part of such a wonderful event and had a fantastic evening!
This year VoRTCS/ Vinnies carried the White Rabbit – which was a hit with the kids!

Tutor Social Evening

On Thursday, 11 May a number of our wonderful tutors joined Sandy and members of the VoRTCS Committee to celebrate Volunteer Week at Mu’ooz Eritrean restaurant in West End.
I can safely say that the food and company was wonderful!! Thank you Saba and her wonderful team for making sure we didn’t leave until we had eaten as much delicious food as we could. Here is a picture from the evening.