Spotlight on Joan Amos– volunteer

1. When did you start volunteering with DCS?
February, 2012

2. Why did you decide to become a volunteer and how has volunteering benefited you?
I knew someone in England who’d been a volunteer in a prison there and thought it sounded like a good thing to do.

Although I enjoyed my teaching career, it was a demanding career- especially towards the end because so much is expected of teachers these days. The best part was always working with students. The other bits were less attractive- yard duty, staff meetings, constant assessment, analysis of student performance and continual training and development.

Having the opportunity to work with students in Education at various prisons in Adelaide has been a good experience for me.  In general the students want to learn, are most respectful and value what we do.

3. Which Prison/s or Community Correctional Centres have you volunteered at?
6 years at the ARC. 2½ years at the AWP and 3 years at YLP- usually working at two different prisons in any one week.

4. What do you do in your volunteer role at the prison?
I work with students in Education- assisting the teaching staff to meet the needs of these students. I usually work with students who have special needs in learning literacy – either because their own education has been inadequate or because they have little or no English. These are the students who require more time than the staff are able to give.

5. What do you enjoy most about your role? It is a very fulfilling experience to work with someone who has previously had poor learning experiences and to see them make progress and feel good about that experience.

I also enjoy meeting with other volunteers in Education, learning new things about what we do and sharing ideas to make our work more successful. The Volunteer Unit is very good at supporting what we do and also keeping us informed and up to date with what is expected of us.

6. What else do you like to do when you're not volunteering? I do International Folk dancing once a week (performing occasionally at community events), I train with a personal trainer, I swim once a week, I play Bridge once a week and I research family history, assist with grandchildren as well as maintaining a garden and a house.