Philanthropists Inject $50,000 Into Outback Kids' Education

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2nd December 2009, 09:30am - Views: 1510

Press release 

Dec 2, 2009

Rural Education Program injects $50,000 into outback kids’ education

More isolated families will receive support next year to educate their children, thanks

to a $50,000 philanthropic boost to a national tutor volunteer scheme.

The Rural Education Program (REP) today announced it would inject a further

$50,000 into Volunteers for Isolated Students’ Education (VISE).

The funds are specifically for travel expenses for VISE volunteers offering relief

tutoring for children on stations and in isolated areas.

REP chairman Tim Fairfax said REP was responding to an urgent need for more

trained tutors in the outback.

“Many outback families are too embarrassed to ask for VISE volunteers because they

can’t afford to pay the volunteers’ fuel expenses which in some cases can be as much

as $1500,” Mr Fairfax said.

“This will help break down that barrier and place more VISE tutors out there to help

those families who urgently need relief tutoring and additional support to educate

their children.”

VISE CEO Mike Stock said the REP boost, on top of its earlier $200,000 donation,

was vital and would enable VISE to continue with its important work.

“This will double the amount of families we’ll be able to help next year, including

those with children experiencing reading difficulties,” Mr Stock said.

Since it was established in 1989, VISE has matched thousands of tutors with families

living on stations or in isolated pockets of the country.

The tutors, who are mostly retired teachers, offer educational trouble shooting

services and/or relief tutoring usually six weeks at a time while living with families.

Last year 217 VISE tutors assisted 333 Prep to Year 12 children from 217 families

living as far afield as the Pilbara in Western Australia across the Northern Territory to

Mt Isa in Queensland and down into north western NSW.

VISE receives some funds from the NT and Queensland governments but relies

largely on donations and philanthropy.

REP was established in 2003 by the Myer, Fairfax and Calvert-Jones families to boost

opportunities for country kids whose education is compromised by isolation and

natural disaster.

Media contacts

Tim Fairfax, Chairman, Rural Education Program (REP) 0418 713946

Mike Stock, CEO, Volunteers for Isolated Students’ Education (VISE) 0412 634312   

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