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.

VoRTCS End of Year BBQ Celebration

Nearly sixty people enjoyed an active, enjoyable day beside the Brisbane River on Sunday 22nd November.

The students from Villanova College enthusiastically engaged young soccer players and proved good cooks at the BBQ, artistic beauticians in the nail-salon, “crafty” artists with masks and tissue flowers, and aeronautic engineers with kite flying!

A huge thank you must go to Villanova for all their amazing support and of course the VoRTCS families and their volunteers who came along and enjoyed the day with us.

We look forward to hosting more great days out in 2016.

Good food, great company & wonderful conversation!

This year the social dinner was held at Mu’ooz restaurant in West End. It was attended by many and turned out to be a terrific evening. Not only was the food exceptional, but the company and live performances were also pretty spectacular. Everyone had the opportunity to meet new people and share stories and experiences from their tutor families.

Some of the happy snaps from the night are now up on our Facebook page. Thank you everyone who came and we can’t wait for the End-of-Year BBQ to really wrap up a wonderful year.

Australian Catholic University visit

Earlier this month VoRTCS was invited along to the Australian Catholic University (ACU) and presented to students in their Sociology of Poverty course. We were privileged to speak about the work our volunteers are doing in the community, share our experiences in assisting refugee families with English and Social skills as well as discussing the many factors and forms in which poverty appears (including language, education, material possessions, assimilation and culture, occupation, income, work rights, homelessness, disability, mental health, age, etc.).

The compassion shown by all the students and their lecturer was inspirational as well as their determination to help change the future for the better of all. Thank you for the honour and opportunity to meet so many amazing young change-makers and sharing ideas of how we can do better not only as individuals but also as a community and nation.

A Great Day Out at the Griffith University Volunteer Experience Fair!

Enthusiastic students showing what it means to want to give back to the community

This month VoRTCS and Youth attended the Volunteer Experience Fair at Griffith University’s Nathan Campus.

It was very inspirational speaking with all the students and teachers who attend Griffith and hearing about their passion and commitment to serve the local community. Over 60 people registered their interest to join the VoRTCS and Youth programs, hoping that they can help someone in need and make a difference to their lives.

We’re very excited to have many of these students and teachers join our VoRTCS Community and complete their tutor training over the next month. It is only through the energy, compassion and generosity of our volunteers that we can continue to welcome and support many of the recently settled refugee families in Brisbane.

Kids Camp Reflection

How do you measure success at a Kids Camp?
Tired Adults!!

The Vinnies Kids Camp for 2015 was held at Coolum Beach over the weekend of July 10th-12th.

On Friday, all of the campers arrived in time for lunch. The rain didn’t hold out for the first afternoon but nothing could dampen the spirits of the 80+ excited campers (44 children attended). Once the rain lifted, a game of Gold Rush set the kids into a frenzy. (See right for photo of kids hunting for gold!)

Saturday was a day of blue skies and filled with fun activities. These included low ropes, treasure hunts, arts & crafts, field activities and planning for the famous talent show. All teams prepared a performance to show that evening. There were many laughs and bright colours, loud music and some outstanding solos. Safe to say, the campers were pretty tired when it came time to go to bed.

Sunday morning it was time to pack up the rooms. Another game of Gold Rush was a must since it was so popular on Friday. The rest of the morning was spent playing cricket, soccer, footy and Red Rover.

When it came time to leave, most campers wanted to stay. Everyone said goodbye and another successful Kids Camp was over.

Some of the comments made included; “This was the best part of my holiday”, “I have something to talk about at school tomorrow now”, “I never want to leave”, “I’m coming back next year”.

A massive ‘THANK YOU’ to all of the volunteers who made the weekend a huge success. This simply would not have been possible without you!