Frequently Asked Questions

No. For people volunteering in schools with SVPACT there is no charge for the WWVP Card. You will need to declare on the application that you intend to volunteer with SVPACT.

 You can apply to Access Canberra for this online by clicking.   Working with Vulnerable People Card

Yes. It gives you the opportunity to find out how the program works, to meet other mentors and to ask questions.  We also explain the boundaries of our program and how being a mentor is different to being a teacher’s assistant.

The course prepares you for the important role of being a professional and compassionate mentor.

We usually run these events at the start of semester 1 and Semester 2. To see the Next Mentor Orientation Seminar.  Go to Events

No. Volunteers with SVPACT meet with a student at their school and only during school terms.  You are not allowed to meet up with the child out of school or to go to their home or to watch them play sport at the weekends. For School Holiday dates on Directorate’s Website Click Here.
  • Ask the School Coordinator to add you to the database to receive the school e-Newsletter. All ACT schools send a regular email Newsletter out to parents and carers.
  • Look at the school website.  Most schools enable you to read the latest Newsletter online.
  • Send an email to the teacher of the child requesting that she keeps you informed.
  • Send a text to the teacher in the morning before you leave home. For example:  Is XX at school?  Can you please text me if XX is absent today?

In each School there should be a School Coordinator who manages the volunteers and liaises between the volunteer and the teacher.  Make a time to have a chat with them about your concerns.

Our SVPACT Mentor Coordinators and their contact details are listed below by regions .

Nola Shoring –  Email:
Mobile – 0434 537 555

Belconnen and Central Canberra
Anne Simpson – Email:
Mobile – 0402 344 042

South Canberra and Tuggeranong
Monica Pflaum – Email
Mobile – 414 510 556

You are always welcome to contact one of them to discuss your concerns.

No. You just need to be reliable, caring and prepared to make a commitment of at least one hour per week, to meet with a student at their school.  We want you to commit for at least two school terms. The impact of your efforts increases as you have more interaction with your student.

Your role is not to teach or to assist the teacher. Your role is to build a relationship with a student, so that they gain confidence and develop skills and strategies, to help them to succeed at school.

In some ACT schools our school volunteers work in a group setting, with other volunteers, to guide students to make a Meccano model of their choice. In other schools the school volunteer may be working with a student to improve their reading or their numeracy skills. Sometimes, teachers have specific tasks that they want the students to work on with their volunteer. In all cases the main focus of the activity is to build a relationship with the volunteer and to improve the student’s confidence and enjoyment at school.
All volunteers are expected to attend an initial Mentor Orientation Seminar to meet with other volunteers and to find out how this program operates. During the year other opportunities to network with other mentors and to find out more about helping students to improve their skills and self-confidence are offered. We have experts in literacy, numeracy, school psychologists and others who are willing to come and answer questions from volunteer mentors at these seminars. Click Here for the next Seminar.
Preferences will always be taken into consideration when matching mentors and students. However, it is the school that selects the student who is needing a mentor.
Yes, you can volunteer in more than 1 school as several mentors do. We strongly advise to start in one school an expand from the after you have gained experience as a Mentor.
We encourage our mentors to get together on a regular basis to share ideas and strategies and enable networking to occur. We also host training events with experts in their field. We encourage our mentors to attend these events as often as they can.
There are several steps involved.  It can take up to six weeks for the Working with Vulnerable People (WWVP) card to be provided.  We suggest that you submit your application to become a volunteer with us at the same time as you apply for the WWVP card. Once your application has been received your referees will be contacted. This process may take a few days.  Once you have your WWVP card you need to contact us so that we can start the next part of the process.
Two seminars are held each year – one at the start of semester one and the second at the start of semester two.  If you cannot attend the first seminar you must attend the second one.
No. Our program is totally volunteer based. We have no funds to support any of our volunteers.
No. However, you do need to be an effective communicator in the English language.

Most of our volunteers are retirees and we know that they enjoy travelling. Our program operates in school terms so if it is possible to take holidays during school holidays that is ideal.  However, once you have established a relationship with the student that you are mentoring it is not a problem is you let them know that you will be away for a few weeks travelling.

Please let the SVPACT Coordinator, your School Coordinator and the student that you work with, know in advance.

  • We need to ensure that young people receiving our services are safeguarded and supported.
  • Our screening processes are also in keeping with current legislation and best practice standards in our industry.
  • Working with children is an important role and not suitable for everyone. Only those with the necessary aptitude, communication skills and ability and who come to us with high quality references are eligible after we undertake WWWVP and police check.
Yes, SVPACT provides public liability and personal accident insurance cover for all volunteer mentors.