15 June 2020

Mr T wins EdConnect Peel Volunteer of the Year


Alan ThorntonFormer Falcon resident, Alan Thornton, has been posthumously recognised for his outstanding work with young people by being awarded EdConnect’s Peel Volunteer of the Year Award.

Mr Thornton, who passed away in April not long after learning he had been nominated for the award, had volunteered at Falcon Primary School for seven years.

Falcon Primary School staff nominated Mr Thornton, who was fondly known as Mr T, for his dedication, patience and care for the students he worked with. They described his mentoring sessions as the highlight of the student’s school week.

The award was announced last week at the EdConnect 2020 Volunteering Awards Ceremony. The event was held online this year, allowing volunteers, supporters and funders from across Australia to participate.

EdConnect Peel liaison officer Karen Barden described Mr T a true gentleman.

“Alan developed multiple methods to engage his mentees,” Karen said. “He took his briefcase with him to every session, which showed his students how seriously he took their time together and he played fun games with them as a way to get to know them.”

In a video played at the award ceremony, students shared the important role Mr T played in their young lives, how they would remember him for his happy “Bonjour mon ami!” greeting, and how it he would be greatly missed.

EdConnect is able to deliver its Connecting Generations for School Success Program volunteer program to schools in the Kwinana-Rockingham, Mandurah-Pinjarra and Harvey-Waroona areas through funding from the Alcoa Foundation. Alcoa and EdConnect have been working together since 2016 in order to establish and grow volunteer assistance in local schools.

Last year, around 150 EdConnect volunteers from the Kwinana, Peel and Upper South West region provided close to 250 hours of support each week helping nearly 1,500 students with mentoring or learning support.

For more information about the EdConnect volunteering opportunities see www.edconnectaustralia.org.au or contact edconnect@edconnect.org.au.