Become a volunteer tutor and change someone’s life

If you’re ready to make a difference in someone’s life then become a volunteer tutor today. Volunteers are vital in helping eligible migrants and refugees practise English language skills and learn about life in Australia. Tutors will help students gain confidence to participate and contribute in their local community through everyday life experiences such as shopping, finding housing, going to the doctor, catching public transport, communicating with schools, and completing paper work.

You will be trained and matched with newly arrived migrants and humanitarian entrants from non-English speaking backgrounds. Tuition is one-on-one, informal and can take place in a student’s home, on campus, in a public space or using a digital platform for 1 or 2 hours each week.

The Volunteer Tutor Program is a sub-program of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) which is funded by Department of Home Affairs and provides a range of courses specifically for migrants and refugees in Australia with permanent visas. Our team of dedicated teachers and volunteer tutors work very closely with students. Volunteers help students to become independent and valuable contributors to our society with access to pathways for employment, training or further education. Volunteers find it extremely rewarding and the benefits for both volunteers and students is immense.

You will be able to:

  • Meet new people from a wide range of backgrounds
  • Learn about other languages and cultures
  • Become part of a dynamic and committed volunteer team
  • Have a chance to give something back and make a difference to the people in our community
  • Gain an opportunity to develop new skills or enhance existing knowledge and experience
  • Access a variety of useful tutoring resources
  • Attend a free training via A Course in Volunteer English Language Tutoring, which includes tasks to develop cross-cultural awareness and tasks to assist students with their settlement needs,
  • Receive ongoing support from the AMEP Volunteer Tutor Program coordinator
  • Gain self-satisfaction.

You need to be able to:

  • Speak and write English well
  • Relate to people from different cultural backgrounds
  • Empathise with people facing the task of settling in a new country
  • Commit one or two hours per week for a minimum of six months
  • Access a digital device such as a PC, laptop, smartphone, or tablet
  • Have a desire to help others learn,
  • Attend 16 hours of free training and interactive workshops with a qualified TESOL teacher,
  • Register for a Working with Vulnerable People and undertake a police check ,
  • Give your services for free, as there are no reimbursements.
Meet some of our Tutors

Glen Azlin


Hi, my name is Glenn and I have been an AMEP tutor for around 10 years, and have enjoyed every moment of the experience.

I am semi-retired with an Engineering, technical and teaching background, but have also had the experience of being an adult student in China, learning the local language, history and culture. Learning a new language can be a very difficult process as it is a skill, and as with all skills, it takes time, patience, encouragement and especially practice. As a tutor, we try to encourage our students to overcome lack of self confidence, and build on their previously learned skills.

It is a real delight seeing the change that occurs with new students as they learn to communicate in a new language, start to understand the Australian way of life, and develop confidence in their own ability to be able to become a part of the local community.

Terri Allen


Hello my name is Terri. I love volunteering with the Migrant English Program. I hope that my involvement helps the teacher and the students too. I gain so much from this work.

I love meeting the students and getting to know them.  I really enjoy helping the students to understand our language and our community.

I really enjoy seeing students improve their English skills, make friends and gain confidence.

Jenny Jackeulen


My name is Jenny Jackeulen.  I have been an ESL volunteer tutor at TAFE for 11 years which I have found to be rewarding in many ways. My reason for becoming an ESL tutor solely stems from memories from my childhood, watching my parents struggle in a foreign country called Australia, without a word of English.

I am a first generation Australian, born to parents of Ukrainian heritage. I am also the 7th child out of 9 in my family. My parents and older brothers were war refugees arriving in Australia in 1949 after spending 5 years in a displaced persons camp in Germany.  They were the typical refugee migrant family of that time who travelled half way around the world to a very foreign country.  Two adults, three children and one suitcase which was packed with a couple of pots and pans and a spare set of shoes for each of the boys. After arriving in Melbourne, they spent a short period of time in the Bonegilla refugee camp near the Victorian border.

Shortly after they made their way by train to Newborough in the Latrobe Valley where my dad found a temporary place for them all to live in nearby Yallourn North.  He also found work at the State Electricity Commission (SEC).  All without a single word of English.

Back then there weren’t any English classes, or classes they were aware of.  My parents, along with a host of other migrants from a range of European countries, had to work out how to learn the language and culture of Australia on their own while all the while fending for their families.

I have very distinct memories of my mother asking us her children, to speak English at home so she could learn the language.  In return she would respond in Ukrainian as she wanted us to keep the language of our origin as well. This not only worked, but interestingly enough we would all end up speaking a mixture of both languages.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have the ability to teach our parents to write in English so they remained illiterate in the English language until death.  I remember taking advantage of this when I was in secondary school and wanted to play up. Notes would be written from school which I would have to deliver home and read to my parents.  I found I could say whatever I wanted and they would be none the wiser. I would even write notes on their behalf and make it to suit what I wanted knowing they couldn’t check what I had done.  How they managed to navigate, buying land, building a house, purchase essential items, enrol us in school, and eventually buy a car is beyond me.  But they did and I am still in awe of that to this day.

I strongly believe people arriving in Australia nowadays have even harder challenges in this fast pace world full of electronic gadgetry, and communication.  It is even more vital that new arrivals get as much assistance as possible, as quickly as possible, so they can properly settle in, contribute and thrive in this beautiful country we call Australia.

Sheena Jones


I’m new to the TAFE Gippsland program. This qualifies me to introduce you to the English as a Second Language volunteer tutor program, and to let you know that you will be made very welcome! I have found the staff erudite, caring, and communicative, exactly what a volunteer tutor needs to get started.

The staff will celebrate your gifts and connect you with the students who will benefit most from your skill set. I’ve been invited to tutor two students so far; the experience has been so rewarding. The students and I learn from and about each other because guess what? Sometimes the student is tutoring me.

The experience of teaching English as a Second Language is exciting, humbling and a great joy. I love imparting knowledge of the English language. Sometimes it’s a mind numbingly difficult language, sometimes it’s easy, often frustrating or confusing, and at times downright hilarious!

But that expression on the students faces when they ‘get it’ is brilliant. Suddenly more doors are open for them, no more waiting outside on this topic!

So, I’m inviting you, my reader into this world of possibility. See you inside!



With my own background in tertiary education, AMES asks if I would be interested in tutoring a young man who has been accepted to study at one of the Victorian universities. Delighted to is my immediate response.

I assist primarily with his written English, focusing on comprehension and assignment writing. He now has a full time position as an engineer. He, his wife and their Australian born kids are now flourishing in our local community. Over the years, we meet occasionally for coffee and cake. And, again I feel immense pleasure and satisfaction that I played a role in helping this family become part of Australia's diverse society.


No prerequisites. TAFE Gippsland will provide you with free training. You don’t need to be a teacher, speak another language or have any qualifications to become a tutor. All tutors must complete 16 hours of training. The training includes learning about the refugee experience and communicating effectively in a cross-cultural context. Assisted by useful resources you will learn strategies to assist adults to practise English language skills. On completion of the training you will be matched with a Melbourne AMEP Learner who you will tutor one on one for 1-2 hours a week.


After the free training, you will be matched with a student and you can begin tutor lessons. If you have some free time, you are welcome to apply for more than one student. It is important to commit to a regular tutoring routine. Many students have experienced much disruption to their lives and appreciate stability and predictability in their new routine in Australia.

Register your interest with us

Please fill in the following form to register your interest. One of our team members will be reaching out to you soon after.

Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).