What's Happening?

The March 2018 issue of the Big Issue ran a few stories on Adult Literacy - well worth a read if you can get hold of a copy (or Central office can always supply you with the articles). The cover story 'Reading Between the Lines' really brought home the struggles that so many Australians go through every day. "With a changing workplace that relies more and more on written communication, a large proportion of our population is highly vulnerable-not only to unemployment, but to shame, poor self-esteem and negative life experiences." (p.14)

All of this information is very familiar to Read Write Now and we encounter these people on a daily basis. It is through the hard work and patience of the volunteer tutors and the adult students that progress can be made and more people can live their lives to the fullest.


40th Anniversary celebrations

Saturday May 13 2017-time to celebrate an extraordinary milestone for a volunteer organisation- 40 years and 'Fabulous'. Over 200 volunteer tutors, students and guests gathered to join in the celebration and conference. RWN Manager Marcia Barclay welcomed the audience and then Greg Mitchell let loose with a very entertaining and informative keynote presentation on Emotional Intelligence. 21 workshops were offered over the day, and guests enjoyed a delicious morning tea and lunch. Thank you to everyone who came along to support and celebrate with Read Write Now on the day, we do hope that you enjoyed it.

Conference MB

Conference morning tea 1Conference keynote 3


Read Write Now to feature on National television

As you well know, it is rare for adult literacy to be in the spotlight as the shame and stigma of poor literacy result in it being covered up.

The TV program Insight, hosted by Jennie Brockie will focus on this issue in the program titled Reading Between the Lines, and the really exciting news is that a Read Write Now student is a guest on the program.

If Katrina looks familiar, you may know her from the video on the home page of the RWN website. Her story was great then, it is even better now! It is an enormous step to take to talk on national TV about having reading difficulties yet she was a wonderful ambassador for the Read Write Now program.

Katrina's tutor (Swan Coordinator) Di was also selected to be part of the audience for the filming. The photo shows Di and Katrina working together.Di & Katrina

Insight will be airing Reading Between the Lines: why do so many Australians have poor literacy? on Tuesday 23rd August at 8:30pm on SBS ONE, if you would like to tune in. You can also stream it live here: http://www.sbs.com.au/insight/article/index/id/557614/h/Live-Stream (this link will become active at the time of the show).


Did you miss the show? - watch it on SBS Demand at




Broome 'Kimberley Writers Group' launches its third book

2016 BNP kids with Mystery book (2)

This most recent book about Broome has been written by a former RWN student, Sun, who has since trained to be a tutor for the Program. Students from Broome North Primary Broome book cover 001school were responsible for the illustrations and Sun received great support from the Library and the Shire. Broome RWN Coordinator Nancy Kennedy made a successful application to the Shire of Broome that resulted in $1000 being approved towards the printing and set-up costs for the book.

The book,The Great Mystery in Waranyjarri was launched at the primary school's outdoor movie night. About 35 books were sold on the night and most of the original artwork done by the children involved. Sun was also invited to chat and promote the book on local ABC radio.
It seems there is no stopping this creative group from the North. Other books in the Writer's Group stable are Erin the Turtle and Wild Broome, both of which have brought great delight to both adults and children in the region (and Central Office).
We will keenly wait to see what local subject matter is tackled next.

2016 Mystery Book Launch 0052016 Mystery Book Launch 003


2016 Western Australian Volunteer of the Year Awards

Wednesday May 11 saw a large and rather noisy crowd gather in the Hyatt Regency ballroom for the presentation of this year's Volunteer of the Year Awards. Read Write Now nominated long-time tutor Hank Koster for the Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering Award and we were thrilled when he was announced as the winner! Hank has been with this Program since 2000 but the award encompassed an extraordinary 54 years of his volunteering in the community. He was originally a part of our Albany group, stepping forward to assist a group of Afghan refugees who were located in the area but when they became permanent residents and moved to Perth for job opportunities, Hank realised that if he was to continue his work with them he would have to move as well. 2016VolWA Hank AcceptanceIt was a tremendous acknowledgement of a really dedicated and generous man.

Also on the night, RWN Region Coordinator Greg Elliott was nominated by another provider Centacare where he also volunteers his time working with migrants. It was a great moment when Greg was announced a winner for that category, Western Australian Volunteer Award for Ethnic Communities.

2016 VolWA MB Hank2016 VolWA MB Greg
Congratulations Hank and Greg, both pictured here with Read Write Now Manager, Marcia Barclay.

I convinced myself I was dumb

In the 'Weekend Australian' newspaper (Apr 30 - May 1), Read Write Now student Charles wrote about his early experiences in school, feeling left behind and leaving without the basic foundations of literacy. In his 50s he saw the Reading Writing Hotline number on the television and was referred to Read Write Now. Matched with a tutor who has "changed my life for the better" he is now far more confident in reading and writing. The full article can be read here.


Dyslexie overview 2Books to be published in dyslexie font

The dyslexie font was created in 2008 by Dutch graphic designer Christian Boer, himself a dyslexia sufferer. The font has been available for download and now for the first time people in Australia will be able to buy books, from a range of genres, that have been specifically printed in the font making it easier for people with dyslexia to read. ABC radio 'The World Today' this week spoke with a book publisher and the National President of the Australian Dyslexia Association about this initiative. You can read the full radio transcript here.


I haven't got my glasses: the adult literacy challenge - Life Matters - ABC Radio National (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

"The PM says there's never been a more exciting time to be an Australian, with the opportunities in the new economy. But almost half the population lacks the literacy and numeracy skills to take advantage of those opportunities.

So how do people cope with a literacy/numeracy problem and what efforts are underway to boost the adult literacy rate?"

This article was broadcast on Wednesday 16/3/2016. Click here to go the Life Matters page and download the audio.

Premier's Australia Day Active Citizenship Award 2016

The City of Rockingham has presented the Active Citizenship Award for a Community Group to Rockingham Read Write Now. In a ceremony that highlighted,recognised and celebrated significant contributions to community life, Read Write Now was thrilled to hear their name announced as the winner. Tutors Pat Humphries and Jenny Carrington accepted the award on behalf of the group. Congratulations to coordinators Karin and Will, all of the tutors and their students.

2016 Rockingham award Jenny Pat

Jenny and Pat with the award acknowledging the volunteer work they do.

2016 Premier's Australia Day Active Citizenship Award
Click on the link for a look at the certificate.



ABC Radio interview
"I used to bluff my way through life..."

In December of last year, an interview with one of our students Paul and his tutor Sean was aired on ABC Great Southern radio. Click here for a transcript of the interview.



WA Volunteer Service Awards

2015 Vol25 Group 2

The Department of Local Government and Communities recently acknowledged volunteers who have provided 25 years or more of service to the one organisation. Read Write Now was thrilled to be able to nominate 6 of its tutors for this award which was presented on the 10th December by the Minister for Seniors and Volunteering, Tony Simpson MLA. At a time when many organisations struggle to enlist volunteers and keep them, Read Write Now is extremely privileged to have these tutors as part of the Program. Pictured are Jill Clarke, Jeff Needham, Wendy Hoskins, Anne Hollingsworth, Mavis Hutchison and Lyn Mitchell with RWN Manager Marcia Barclay.

Tutors theatre activity2 Tutors outside lunch3 Tutors chatting theatreTutors at morning tea2 Tutors at lunch3 Tutors at lunch2 Morning tea biscuits MB welcome

2015 Tutor Conference

Saturday July 25 it was all happening at the Central Institute of Technology in Northbridge! About 150 volunteer tutors came along to the annual Tutor Conference for a full day of learning, sharing, chatting (always a lot of chatting!) and hopefully fun. It was wonderful to see a number of tutors from our country regions who came along-one from as far as Broome!

The day's proceedings began in the lecture theatre with a warm welcome by RWN Manager Marcia Barclay who then introduced keynote speaker Greg Mitchell. His presentation "Tutor like a Champion" had the entire auditorium 'hooked' from start to finish and certainly set the scene for a very interactive day. A very noisy morning tea was then followed by the first of the 2 hour PD sessions offered.
Lunch was an opportunity for tutors to catch up with others in their region, from their training or to make new contacts. A fine day meant that tutors could access the outdoor roof garden and enjoy not only some fresh air but a great view of the city. Then it was back to work for another 2 hour session. This year we were incredibly lucky to have so many excellent presenters who offered their services either voluntarily or at a heavily discounted rate, all in awe of the work that you, the volunteers in this Program, put in each week with your student. As always, we appreciate you giving up a full day to increase your skills base and ultimately help your student. We hope it was a worthwhile experience and look forward to seeing you again next year.

Tutors theatre up







Katanning Training

The recent tutor training in Katanning welcomed 10 new tutors into the Program. It was almost 11 as one of the trainees thought she was going into labour-it was a false alarm. Our country training often has to work around the farming seasons and jobs, which has in the past included calving, shearing, harvesting and drenching but a baby, well that would have been a first! This wonderful group has recently moved into new premises. After more than 20 years of operating out of a small office at the old railway station the group has taken up residence in new premises in the 'much-needed' Language Learning Centre. The centre, in a transformed room of the public library, has a classroom set up, resources and three computers, all with internet access. Pictured here are the new tutors, Coordinator Margaret Renk (third from left) and Program manager Marcia Barclay (fifth from left) who conducted the training.

2015 Katanning training