Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.

Carringbush Adult Education

Carringbush Adult Education

carringbushAE with tag hi-res.jpg

Aims to empower Richmond and Collingwood's most high-need adult learners, with a focus on migrant-background residents at the beginning of their education and vocational pathways.

Carringbush works to educate and empower high-need adult learners in the Richmond and Collingwood areas, with a strong focus on supporting people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. They provide high-quality language, literacy and numeracy classes to people experiencing barriers to participation in traditional training and employment opportunities.

2018 Pitch

Funds raised: $30,000

Pitching at TFN Melbourne in February 2018, Carringbush Adult Education raised $30,000 to pay their volunteer manager one day a week. As the person responsible for developing and coordinating Carringbush’s volunteer programs, the flow-on effect of funding this role is huge.

The impact…

For many newly arrived migrants and refugees, learning English is anything but straightforward. Despite a commitment to learning, various barriers can stand in the way for these students including age, cultural differences, and family and domestic violence. To compound this, Government EAL (English as an Additional Language) programs are often inflexible and over-regulated, making it hard to address the individual needs and learning styles of students from different walks of life.


Carringbush Adult Education has been meeting the unique learning needs of its local community for 35+ years, providing EAL and employment mentoring for people in the housing estates of the City of Yarra. In these particular communities, 35% of residents cannot speak English fluently and unemployment rates are high, sitting at 30%. The additional impact of parental illiteracy on children’s schooling and development means that cycle of disadvantage are ripe to continue.


Since receiving TFN funding, Carringbush have been able to train 41 new volunteers, and grow its pool of active volunteers from 32 to 57 in 2018. The organisation has also been able to expand their strengthen their volunteer and referral program, servicing even more people in their local community. One of whom is a young refugee named Samra*..

“Samra* is a young refugee with a baby who previously attended the Carringbush Women’s Program but had to leave due to family violence. She is a dedicated learner but could not return to the Women’s Program due to ongoing safety issues in her community stemming from her family violence history. With funding from TFN donors, we were able to provide Samra with weekly 1:1 tutoring with a skilled volunteer, enabling her to continue her language and literacy learning outside of the classroom. The tutor has also assisted her with language and literacy skills to prepare for her Learner’s Permit. As a result, Samra continued to develop her skills and with support from volunteers, was able to enrol in Cert II in Spoken and Written English at Melbourne Polytechnic, commencing in February 2019. Samra’s 1-year-old daughter has been attending concurrent children’s literacy activities where she is supported by volunteers to develop early language and pre-literacy skills” - Rei Chin, Community Development Manager

“Trudi, my tutor, she’s a good teacher. She knows how to teach me in many different ways. She is a good person and she’s very helpful. The tutoring program is important because this is the only place I can come to learn. I think it’s also good for my daughter because she can learn with friends and have lots of fun with other children”Samra*

*Name changed.

Read their Impact Report.

Learn more about Carringbush Adult Education.

The Sanctuary Women and Children’s Refuge

The Sanctuary Women and Children’s Refuge

The Bridge

The Bridge