"I used to avoid reading and writing. We never had any books in the house. I went to the library to get help with reading and writing so I could get a job."
Alisha on the left with her adult literacy tutor Fiona on the right
"I was referred to the library for literacy help by Workskills because I needed to find work and my literacy skills weren’t very good. I first met with the Literacy Coordinator who gave me some activities to do and paired me with my tutor."
"With the help of my tutor, I am now a fully licensed driver. We did the practical driving as well as the written activities. I passed my driver’s test the first time! I was so excited. We then worked on a trial project for speech pathologist Rosalie Martin which helped me with my reading."
"I have read an average of two chapter books a year for the last four years and have already read one and a half books this year. This is more than I ever managed before. I have also done a lot of writing and now I can write something on nearly every subject I am asked to."
"I have done a short course on filling in forms (something I used to avoid at all costs). I have done some cooking and learned how to use measurements correctly. This was a challenge because it uses maths and I am not confident with maths. I have never cooked anything from scratch before, now I choose recipes and am asked to make cakes for my extended family."
"I took part in a mock interview at the UTAS for the journalism students and then I was interviewed on the radio by Ryk Goddard and the winning student from the UTAS journalism competition. I have also written (with my tutor’s help) a story about my past that appeared in the Island Tasmania magazine in 2015. I am currently working on future job choices and what I need to do to achieve these goals."
Listen to Alisha talk to ABC Radio’s Ryk Goddard about how learning to read and write has given her independence, confidence and a change of life for the better.