Students and staff gathered to present Joan with a book of homemade cards that students created in appreciation for her commitment to the school.

Volunteering with children is a labor of love for Joan

October 10, 2019 BY

JOAN Keating says volunteering at Wallington Primary School for the past 10 years has been a labor of love.
Students and staff recently presented Ms Keating with an award of excellence during her 80th birthday celebration at the school, along with a book of homemade cards.
Upon accepting the gifts and recognition, Ms Keating was overcome with joy around the celebration.
“It’s a labour of love,” she said.
“It’s an absolute delight to be a part of the school community as a volunteer.”
Ms Keating has been volunteering with EdConnect Australia for 10 years following a long career in teaching.
Now a widow, she said it was part of her life and that she didn’t ever think about not going in.
“It’s a huge help to be a part of something and to interact with children again,” she said.
Grade 5-6 teacher Jack Stevens has been on the receiving end of Ms Keating’s service as she supported his class during his first year of teaching.
Six years on and she still volunteers in his classroom.
“Joan has personally been a great support over the years, she is always enthusiastic and shows a real interest in my professional development in the teaching career,” Mr Stevens said.
“Joan has also been a great help with the students as she is a consistent adult who they can rely on.”
Ms Keating said she loved seeing the students’ progress through school each year, and that she regularly reminisced on the positive growth of students who she had worked with from Pre-primary to Grade 6.
A highlight for her this year was being invited to a student’s grade 6 graduation of whom she supported years ago.
EdConnect Liaison Officer Sally Edgerton said it was obvious to see the value that Wallington PS placed on Ms Keating’s character and involvement in the school.
“It is also clear to see how much volunteering means to Joan,” she said.
EdConnect Australia trains and places volunteers in local schools to support students who need additional support in the school system.
For more information visit EdConnect Australia’s website at
Joan has two words for anyone considering volunteering in schools – “Do it”.

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