When Joan Giumelli founded Literacy Network in 1987, the service covered an area from Sydney Harbour to the Hawkesbury River.
As state government funding finally ceased in 2008, the area of operation became the Northern Beaches, with the service run entirely by volunteers.
We were fortunate that the Frenchs Forest Public School was willing to let us use a classroom until the end of 2012. We now operate out of an office in Brookvale.
From the beginning Literacy Network specialised in providing literacy and numeracy tutoring, mainly on a one-to-one basis.
Working in partnership, volunteer tutors and students achieved the learner’s goals.
In addition Literacy Network aimed to increase individual knowledge and community awareness of literacy issues and maintained close liaison with relevant community organisations.
Joan Giumelli retired in March 2012 after 25 years of helping people learn to read and write. In her role as adult literacy officer in TAFE and also in Literacy Network, Joan assisted in the development of literacy and language provision at state level. She organised conferences and workshops as well as undertaking reports and surveys on literacy in the community. She was awarded an OAM in 1997 for service to education, particularly in the area of adult literacy development.
Two of the tutors whom she trained agreed to coordinate the service and to keep alive her vision of a community association for the sharing of literacy skills.