CEO April Message 

I am so proud of what the Ardoch team achieved in 2018. Celebrating 30 years of making a difference to the educational outcomes of children in disadvantaged communities is incredible enough, but to do so by having reached more than 15,000 children and young people across 105 education partner sites is extraordinary. None of this would have been possible without the support of the more than 1700 volunteers who gave us their time and talent, or the funders and range of community and corporate partners who joined to support our work.

However, beyond the growth in numbers and reach of Ardoch’s program is the growing body of evidence of the impact of our programs and the extent to which these are valued by our school and early years partners. We are looking forward to the results of the independent evaluation of our Literacy Buddies® and Numeracy Buddies programs undertaken by NOUS Group. We are also looking forward to working with ORIMA Research this year in relation to evaluations of our Learning Through Lunch program and Ardoch’s place-based approach in Dandenong.

With Term 1 already behind us, the Ardoch team are not wasting a minute of 2019 in our quest to ensure that every child’s potential is realised through full participation in education. We were pleased to include a flyer that promoted Ardoch’s annual School Costs Guide included in the Victorian Government’s ‘Prep Bags’ given to more than 60,000 families with children starting Prep this year. Not only is this a useful resource for all families looking to minimise the impact of return-to-school expenses on household budgets but provided significant exposure for Ardoch.

This year we are delighted to be commencing a significant expansion of our Early Language and Literacy (ELL) program to early years centres in Victoria over the next three years, thanks to new support from the William Buckland Foundation. We have also secured an exciting new partnership with the RACV Foundation to provide 40 Learning Through Lunch programs this year which will engage both parent and workplace volunteers. Additoinally, subject to securing a final component of matched funding, we will be expanding our Education Volunteers program into NSW, thanks to the support of the Ian Potter and Morpheus Foundations.

As we work with more schools and early years services, demand for our programs grows and will continue to require support of our individual, corporate and philanthropic supporters. There are many great ways to get involved and we look forward to continuing to work with you in 2019.

Kylee Bates

Chief Executive Officer