Joanne Pampanella

‘Every child to have access to education with families resourced sufficiently to send them to school’.

This passionate woman is the point of contact for disengaged youth and their families providing services to help children return to studies. She introduced a pilot program in Glenroy 12 years ago, knowing that early collaboration between children, parents and the whole school in dealing with family problems is the key to ensuring that attendance at school is sustainable. Children learn that they are not alone and have a role model who shows them respect.

Now centred at Glenroy College, Joanne is the contact point for 16 young people and their families. She deals with family problems so that a child can attend school. Learning opportunities occur not only within the classroom but for example at the Swimming Carnival which she reintroduced. Participation is not just competing but being part of the whole experience—having a barbeque, games and fun! The Athletics carnival is her next venture. Team spirit has been engendered through the successful re-introduction of Houses at the school.

Coming from a low socio-economic background herself, she experienced firsthand the hurdles to gaining an education. Joanne, determined to succeed, completed a BA in Youth Work in 1997. Her hobby is photography—she snaps happy moments, many of them now at her school!