Archived News Item

Mercy Connect: Grassroots Work Awarded

Mary Lewis RSM speaking at the ceremony


Mercy Connect has won the 2019 Excellence in Grassroots Organisation Award at the Volunteering Victoria State Awards. 

Mercy Connect was launched in Melbourne in 2011 and since then it has been guided, developed and coordinated by Mary Lewis RSM. Under her careful guidance Mercy Connect has grown into a program that is supporting the refugee and asylum seeker student community in an indelible way. She has built a program that is continually supporting this community through student mentoring in over 50 Melbourne based schools and growing.


Mercy Connect Melbourne has 150 volunteers and operates in 53 Primary, Secondary Catholic and Government Schools supporting more than 595 students of a refugee background by providing literacy and numeracy support during class time. This program also runs three adult literacy programs supporting more than 150 adults from a humanitarian background.


Last week, Sr Mary Lewis attended the Volunteering Victoria State Awards. There were seven categories for awards and Mercy Connect was nominated for the 2019 Excellence in Grassroots Organisation Award. This award is given to a grassroot volunteer involved in an organisation for demonstrating a commitment to going above and beyond best practice for volunteer management.


After arriving at this event and seeing the program was up against many great organisations working in the Melbourne community, she wasn’t expecting to win. So, when Mercy Connect was announced as the winner, it was a great surprise.


After several speeches and applause for all participants and nominees, Sr Mary Lewis had the opportunity to deliver a few words giving everyone an insight into the work that Mercy Connect does.


Without the incredible work that Mary undertakes for the Mercy Connect program in Melbourne would not be the success it is today. The immense positive impact that this program has is a direct result of their unwavering commitment to the program and the community it strives to support. It is because of their hard work and unrelenting drive that this program has been able to support some of the most vulnerable members of our society and only become better with each year that passes.

Mary Lewis RSM receives the award on behalf of Mercy Connect.


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