Beyond the Bell is a community-led initiative committed to ensuring all young people in the Great South Coast are supported and inspired to achieve their full potential.

We believe that education is the key to unlocking life opportunities. Those who complete Year 12 or equivalent (VCAL or Certificate III) are more likely to be healthier, wealthier and happier.

Young people in the Great South Coast are less likely to achieve Year 12 than their metropolitan counterparts. Beyond the Bell’s goal is for the percentage of young people completing year 12 or equivalent in South West Victoria will be the same or higher than the Victorian average by 2030.

To achieve our goal, Beyond the Bell engages with all sectors in our regional and local communities. Community and partners, with Beyond The Bell backbone support, work diligently to offer innovative solutions that support our young people on the ground. Bespoke program facilitation ensures that local solutions are offered for local problems. Regionally led initiatives advocate for large scale systems change. 

Beyond the Bell was founded in 2012 and plays a significant role across the region in leading and partnering to enable children and young people to have every choice and every chance to be connected to education and engaged in their learning.


Beyond the Bell supports children and young people to be engaged with education from birth to young adulthood. We view educational attainment as a continuum from 0-19 and innovate at every stage to give our young people the best life opportunities.

Beyond the Bell supports children and young people to thrive by:

Supporting Social and Emotional Wellbeing so that children and young people are resilient and well connected.

Increasing access to services and pathways to Support Disadvantaged Young People to engage in education.

Promoting education so that children, young people and families are Engaged in Learning and aspire to meaningful careers and jobs, preferably in the South West region.

Creating Collaborative Practice between thought leaders and change makers in the Great South Coast to interrogate data, undertake research and tackle the wicked problems facing our young people.


Beyond the Bell uses a Collective Impact approach to drive place based, community wide change so that our children and young people can thrive. Collective Impact is a framework that encourages collaboration across government, business, philanthropy, non-profit organisations and community members. It is based on the recognition that no single person, organisation, sector or government can tackle or solve the increasingly complex social problems we face as a society. 

Beyond the Bell works to bring the many stakeholders in the Great South Coast who are involved in the delivery of programs, services and education to improve outcomes for our children and young people together. Coordinating our efforts and developing a mutually reinforcing plan of action means that together we can enable our children and young people to thrive in education.



Beyond the Bell is guided by our Theory of Change.


The four priority areas guide the work of the Beyond the Bell collective.

The three overarching themes of culture access and families along with our values and principles centre our work.

To actively work with communities to enable children and young people in South West Victoria to engage in education and successfully transition through key stages of their learning.

All children and young people are connected to education and engaged in their learning.

1. Culture:

the beliefs and attitudes that determine how the families, parents and others in the Great South Coast region behave, interact, and access services and how agencies and organisations work together, support each other.

2. Access:

has a dramatic impact on educational attainment.  Access to services due to distance and cost and lack of transport; access to higher education and role models; and access to opportunities to experience cultural activities to name a few.

3. Families:

Family structure and background is known to affect educational engagement and attainment, including parent education levels, occupations, household income, size and attitudes towards education.  Many of the Beyond the Bell interventions and activities are based on family centred practices.

The following priority areas are also interconnected and draw on the above themes.

Our goal: Children and young people are resilient and well connected.

There is a substantial body of evidence which shows that initiatives to build the Social and Emotional Wellbeing, Social and Emotional Learning, and School Connectedness of school students enhances learning outcomes and builds protective health factors. 

Our Social and Emotional Wellbeing work:

Live4Life in Glenelg and Southern Grampians –A youth mental health initiative upskilling young people and the community about teen mental health first aid. 

Our goal: Vulnerable children and young people are able to access services and pathways when and where needed. 

A student’s family background plays a large role in determining his or her educational pathway. At all stages of learning and development, there remains a strong and persistent link between a young person’s socio-economic status, culture and educational outcomes. 

Our Disadvantaged Young People work:

Stepping Stones to School in Glenelg, Casterton and expanding into Southern Grampians – improving kinder to school transitions for vulnerable families. 

Donate for the Kids in Warrnambool gathering school specific donations to aid vulnerable families. 

School Food in Warrnambool eliminating student fatigue and food insecurity by preparing and distributing toasted sandwiches to schools. 

Our Goal: Children, young people and their families are engaged in education and training and aspire to meaningful careers and jobs. 

There is evidence that positive parental engagement in learning and education improves academic achievement and educational attainment. Evidence also suggests that school engagement and attendance is linked to better educational outcomes. Research suggests that clear visible and attainable pathways to attractive training and employment options assists with educational attainment. 

Our Engagement with Learning work

The Little Book Boxes initiative in Glenelg – increasing access to books and promoting reading in the community. 

Growing Greater Readers in Southern Grampians increasing access to books via outdoor book boxes and promotion of reading. Little Book Bugs in Warrnambool – increasing access to books in the community via book boxes.

Engagement in Learning Project – Glenelg – an initiative exploring the barriers for children and young people engaging in school and learning.

Our Goal: High performing Beyond the Bell governance, systems and partnerships

Effective light weight governance ensures the future success of Beyond the Bell, with the support of strong leadership and region wide commitment. Strategic partnerships with all government sectors, philanthropic organisations, community organisations, businesses and citizens are also critical for long term sustainability and viability.  

Our Collaborative Practice work

Collaborative Table regional group of thought leaders leading regional change .

Our Board light governance of the initiative.

Our Community – working within the collective impact framework.



A voluntary Board of up to 9 members has responsibility for the governance of Beyond the Bell, helping to provide strategic oversight for the imitative and ensure legislative compliance.

btb structure

Francis Broekman


michael gray

Michael Gray

Deputy Chair

edith farrell

Edith Farrell

jeannine creely

Jeannine Creely

Ailiche Goddard-Clegg

alistair mccosh

Alistair McCosh

Georgia Quill


The Collaborative Table is a voluntary group of community leaders who develop regional collaborative strategies, review data and identify leverage point to enable young people in the Great South Coast to thrive.

View our Collaborative Table Purpose Document

Elisia Nichol

Iain Jackson

Janette Lowe

Jesse Beavis

Leon Carey

Davina Forth

Edith Farrell

Karen Walsh

Rachel Wilks

Emily Falla


Beyond the Bell has a number of initiatives and active working groups across the region. For key contacts in your region email info@btb.org.au


A regional backbone team develop partnerships, support evaluation, implement regional projects and support the work of the Board, Collaborative Table and Local Action Groups.

Davina Forth

Executive Officer


Rachel Wilks

Project Coordinator


Rob Gunstone

Communications Officer

Cassandra Prigg

Cassandra Prigg

Project Officer


Beyond the Bell developed an evaluation framework in 2017 and refined the work in 2019 to create the Shared Evaluation Framework. 

Our shared evaluation framework uses mixed-methods for monitoring and evaluation to regularly appraise progress. Key areas of focus are:

  • Changes in systems, environments, and determinants of educational attainment, including short and medium term indicators;
  • The success and impact of collaboration undertaken within and between regions, including opportunities for leverage;
  • The processes used as a part of the project, for example those demonstrated through planning documents such as project logics.