Page 12 - Senior Scene Melb 2021
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PAGE 12                                                                                                                 
         Sharing language and friendship

                                 through volunteering

                 hen Christine retired,  in  China  and  now  lives  with  her     “We have lessons once a week         Christine says.
                 she knew she wanted  young daughter and mother-in-law  and  Winnie also regularly sends                 During the pandemic, Christine
       Wto keep active and con- in Melbourne and runs a luggage  me messages over Facebook. We                          has also supported  Winnie to
       nected with her local community.  shop in a local shopping centre.         work  through  the  AMEP  materi-     understand  the  public  health  set-
       When  Winnie  came  to  Australia      Christine  and  Winnie  usually  als but also talk about everyday         tings for retail businesses and to
       from China, she wanted to build  meet in person, but they have con- life – going to  VicRoads, talking           communicate with shopping cen-
       her English language skills to help  nected online during the coronavi- to neighbours and understanding          tre management.
       her  to  settle  into  her  new  home  rus (COVID-19) pandemic.            the Australian education system,”      Christine has also enjoyed getting
       and run her business.                                                                                            to  know Winnie’s  family. Winnie’s
        Through     the   Adult   Migrant                                                                               mother-in-law often shares home
       English Program (AMEP), Christine                                                                                grown vegetables for Christine to
       and Winnie have formed a great                                                                                   take home.
       friendship and learned from each                                                                                  The volunteering experience has
       other.                                                                                                           been rewarding for Christine, who
        AMEP is funded by the Australian                                                                                encourages other senior Victorians
       Government Department of Home                                                                                    to consider getting involved.
       Affairs and offers free English lan-                                                                              “You can make a real difference
       guage training to eligible migrants                                                                              to  someone’s  life. You  can  be  an
       and     humanitarian      entrants.                                                                              invaluable reference point for some-
       Christine volunteers with Learning                                                                               one new to Australia. It doesn’t take
       for Employment who deliver                                                                                       a lot of time and you don’t know
       AMEP  in the western suburbs  of                                                                                 what you’re capable of until you try.
       Melbourne as well as Ballarat and                                                                                I would certainly recommend it to
       Geelong.                                                                                                         anyone,” Christine says.
        Christine works one-on-one with                                                                                  Learning  for  Employment  wel-
       students  to  build  their  language                                                                             comes new volunteers. For more
       confidence  and  learn  about  the                                                                               information, visit the Learning for
       Australian way of life. Christine’s                                                                              Employment website or call 1300
       current student Winnie was born                                                                                  253 053.

                                                                                   check eligibility at

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