VoRTCS Updates Regarding COVID19

18 March 2020

Dear tutors,

On this page you will find any updates that VoRTCS has regarding the constantly evolving situation surrounding COVID19 and our program operations.

Vinnies is focused on protecting the health and safety of our volunteers and tutoring families. 

In light of the current issues surrounding COVID-19, we would like to highlight the measures which we are taking to prioritise the well-being and safety of our volunteers and the families we support. 

In line with government advice regarding social distancing, VoRTCS will be shutting down all services and tutoring sessions until further notice, effective immediately.  

Please refer to the recent communication which was emailed to you. As mentioned, we would like to ask all teams to please contact their tutoring families as soon as possible to let them know that sessions will be placed on hold until further notice. Letters will also be posted to families to advise them of this and provide additional support options.  

To ensure that our tutoring families are still being supported during these uncertain and challenging times, teams can still provide assistance to their tutoring families remotely, through email and/or over the phone. Please set your phone number to private when contacting your tutoring family, instructions on how to do this are below.

How to Set Your Phone Number on Private (on Android and iOS Devices):

Android Device

  1. From the dashboard screen, tap Settings
  2. Tap on Account
  3. Then tap on Privacy
  4. Next, tap on Phone Numbers
  5. Select Private to set your phone number to private and tap OK

iOS Device

  1. From the dashboard screen, tap Settings
  2. Tap on Phone
  3. Tap on Show My Caller ID
  4. Then Toggle Off to set your number to private

VoRTCS is here for you and our tutoring families and if you would like to know more, please email info.vortcs@svdpqld.org.au,  continue to check our VoRTCS website or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoRTCS/ for updates.  

As this is a constantly evolving situation, we will be monitoring the situation closely surrounding COVID-19 and we will be advising you of any changes with regards to VoRTCS operations in the future. Vinnies would like to express our appreciation for your ongoing support and we wish you all the utmost health and safety during this time.  

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 – http://refugeetutoring.org/resources/digital-resource-library/. 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: Sandy.Hang@svdpqld.org.au. 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 jenharl62@hotmail.com (please also Cc info.vortcs@svdpqld.org.au)

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 info.vortcs@svdpqld.org.au 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 info.vortcs@svdpqld.org.au 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.