TLG Co-Founder Spotlight: Travis Elliott
Teach Learn Grow has welcomed the return of its Co-Founder, Travis Elliott, to Perth after spending 2 years in Port Hedland teaching at Baler Primary School.
Travis has re-joined the TLG Board of Directors and was recently appointed the Board Secretary. We are thrilled to receive Travis’ insight and experience into TLG and the education sector.
Growing up on a farm outside of Bunbury, WA, Travis observed the issues posed for students “attempting to receive an education of the same standard as a child growing up in inner city Perth”, and after long discussions with childhood friend Dave Sherwood (TLG Co-Founder and Chairperson), “saw a unique opportunity to expose university students to these challenges, as there can only be effective change when people fully understand the problem.”
Travis and Dave first discussed the idea of TLG in January 2011, while travelling in Europe. “We both felt that there was a real gap in rural and remote educational standards,” Travis says, and “believed there was an appetite for university students to have an experience of a lifetime and assist with tackling this problem.”
And they were not wrong.
Since its inception, TLG has visited over 40 schools across Western Australia, and 3 schools in New South Wales since June 2018, with an annual impact of over 20,000 hours of one-on-one tutoring and mentoring. Travis coordinated the inaugural Three Springs Primary School pilot program and the visit to Bremer Bay Primary School in Summer 2011.
Fond memories from these programs include “doing science activities and experiments with the students and I could see the joy that they gained from this which was simply incredible,” as well as “spending time with the people from the towns and seeing the deep gratification that they had for what we were doing for their kids, [which] was very humbling and meant a lot.”
Travis and Dave worked hard to take their initial idea, and pilot program at Three Springs Primary School, to corporates and organisations who could believe in the mission and support it through funding and exposure. Fundamental partners obtained in these early days include the Fogarty Foundation and Edith Cowan University, who remain integral to the ongoing success of TLG, our programs and overall impact.
Having already completed his Bachelor of Education (Primary) at Edith Cowan University South West, Travis was able to incorporate his knowledge and experience to recognise what they wanted to achieve, and how they would do it. Travis notes the numerous benefits that went far beyond the actual tutoring itself, such as having the chance to be a role model to students experiencing disadvantage, and allowing them to feel uniquely special and valued.
Travis expresses that while he and Dave started the organisation, it is the “work of the volunteers, sponsors and employees that has taken TLG to places that we could have never imagined.” He goes on to say “the idea that TLG has such a massive presence in WA (and now NSW) is a testament to the enthusiasm and dedication of people who have been involved since 2011 and have taken us to a whole new level. I know that I am eternally grateful and humbled by the tireless efforts of everyone involved.”
The Summer Rural Program dates are 25 - 29 November (Week 1) and 2 - 6 December (Week 2).
Apply to be a TLG Tutor here: tlg.org.au/apply