Skip to main content



Youth Conversations

The Youth Conversations research project is an ongoing longitudinal study that stands as the largest youth voice and youth-centred research endeavour in the Great South Coast. Continuing into 2024 and beyond, it provides a vital forum for young people to articulate their views on education, community, and current events. The insights gained from this project not only guide and influence local youth work but also reach government departments and academia, where they are frequently referenced, ensuring a lasting impact on the understanding and support of youth in the region.

In 2020 Youth Conversations research project involved over 700 participants aged 12-19 providing invaluable insights into youth perspectives on community connection, educational aspirations, and the challenges faced during the pandemic. The continual research of such initiatives is vital to detect new and emerging trends among the youth. This ongoing analysis ensures that responses and interventions are targeted effectively and meet the most pressing needs of young people, thereby fostering a more supportive and responsive community environment for their development and well-being.

Read the 2020 report here:


Level Up

Level Up is designed to support secondary students at risk of disengaging with education. The program works in conjunction with secondary schools and agencies to build capacity in students to continue with their education or training in order to pursue employment and career pathways.

Level Up is designed to promote connection and engagement with education and learning, in line with Beyond the Bell’s vision.

Intended Outcomes:

  1. Increase student self-efficacy in learning,
  2. Increase student motivation to attend school,
  3. Build student knowledge if career pathways, including required education and/or training,
  4. Increase student self-efficacy in employment.

Our partners in project delivery:

Brophy Family & Youth Service’s Direct Support Program, as part of the Level Up Project, has been successfully implemented in several secondary schools. It targets students at risk of disengaging from their education, focusing on improving their self-confidence, motivation, and social-emotional development. The program’s personalised approach has effectively empowered 50 participants, enhancing their sense of self-efficacy and ability to handle disengagement-related challenges.

The Glenelg Southern Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network (GSGLLEN) successfully launched Project Ready, supported by the Level Up Project. It enabled participating students to earn a Certificate II in Active Volunteering, improving confidence, teamwork, and community involvement. Participants showed significant gains in self-confidence, skills, and local network knowledge, with improved attendance rates.

The Neil Porter Legacy (NPL) engaged students in 23 career education experiences, featuring industry professionals and enabling upper secondary students to explore various careers. Participants gained access to industry resources and insights from recent industry entrants. The program involved 620 students from 7 schools and collaborated with 153 businesses. Additionally, NPL facilitated 150 female and non-binary students’ attendance at the Trades Fit Expo and organised a two-day Career Expo at Deakin University Warrnambool. NPL also held a career seminar for parents, offering guidance on post-school pathways.

The South West Jobs and Skills Centre delivered their Tailored Career Pathway program, as part of the Level Up Project, successfully enrolled 20 participants this year. It focused on guiding them towards meaningful employment pathways. Participants worked with career practitioners and used the Harrison Assessment Tool to identify their strengths and career goals. The program emphasised collaborative analysis of the assessment results, leading to the creation of personalised career plans aligned with each participant’s strengths and aspirations, providing a roadmap for their educational and career pursuits.

Standing Tall in Warrnambool, with support from the Level Up project, significantly enhanced its reach this year, mentoring 51 students. This initiative, aimed at students at risk of disengaging from Warrnambool Secondary Schools, matched them with mentors, resulting in improved attendance and social connections. Additionally, the program collaborated with the Kalay and Kakay Koorie Girls to co-design an Indigenous Engagement Program for 50 students, focusing on female empowerment and culturally relevant activities, which led to increased engagement.

Standing Tall in Hamilton(STiH) expanded its one-on-one mentoring to 8 more secondary students through the Level Up project, significantly boosting their attendance and self-efficacy. These students also showed improvements in confidence, motivation, and attitude towards education.

The Southwest Local Learning and Employment Network delivered the Creative Industries Pathways Program for individuals aged 15-25. This multifaceted initiative included public performances and collaborations with senior musicians and artists, focusing on nurturing vocational and transferable skills. It aimed to create employment pathways in the creative and music industries, reflecting a commitment to empowering young individuals with necessary skills and experiences for meaningful careers. And, Passport 2 Employment program was delivered to 15 young individuals aged 15-18 in Colac Shire and Warrnambool City. Organised by Southwest LLEN, the eight-week initiative focused on enhancing social well-being and nurturing job aspirations. It included job readiness activities such as resume writing, financial literacy, understanding the local job market, mock interviews, mentoring, and work navigation guidance.

Level Up was made possible through Federal Funding.



Stepping Stones to School (SS2S)

The Stepping Stones to School (SS2S) program, delivered in partnership with Ozchild, under Beyond the Bell’s Positive Transitions to School project, is an initiative designed to improve educational transitions for children in the Great South Coast region.

SS2S, focuses on supporting vulnerable children during their transition from kindergarten to school, across Glenelg, Southern Grampians, Moyne, and Corangamite Shires, and soon in Warrnambool. In 2023 SS2S served 67 families, including indigenous and CALD families, the program emphasises skill development and a community awareness campaign for school readiness.

The project aims to reduce barriers to school readiness for all children in the region, thereby improving school engagement and attainment. Focusing on increasing inter-agency collaboration, enhancing family relationships, and facilitating access to early intervention. Its specific goals are to enhance the knowledge, skills, and networks of early childhood and primary school providers, increase vulnerable families’ access to specialist support for transitioning children, and raise community awareness about the elements of school readiness in line with the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) domains.


Graduate Teachers’ Professional Learning Program (GTPLP)

In June 2023, Deakin University and Beyond the Bell collaborated on the Graduate Teachers’ Professional Learning Program (GTPLP) for educators in their early years of teaching in Southwest Victoria. Tailored to graduate teachers’ needs, the program aims to reduce early-career teacher attrition by providing targeted learning in four key areas: professional practice, identity, wellbeing, and networking. Delivered through the Professional Learning Education Hub, the program includes six sessions over terms 2 and 4, encouraging practice sharing and networking. Upcoming steps include workshops and developing a practice community.

The full research report can be found below.



Making a Difference; Southwest (MAD! SW)

In 2023, the Making a Difference; Southwest crew, comprised of 12 individuals from various regions, focused on teamwork to address issues impacting young people in southwest Victoria. Their aim was to enhance education, training, and employment outcomes. They developed personal skills and connected with other young changemakers, influencing community decisions.

Their training with YAC Vic empowered them to provide authentic youth perspectives to local organisations. They also engaged with the voices of Wannon to highlight emerging youth issues and solutions. Beyond the Bell values the inclusion of youth voices, which has led to more effective engagement and youth services, demonstrating the positive impact of youth involvement in collective impact.

Applications for the 2024 MAD! SW youth crew are open now! Click below to apply online.




Beyond the Bell supports Live 4 Life in Southern Grampians and Glenelg, through their Strategic Working Groups, focusing on youth mental health and well-being. The Live4Life model, tailored for rural and regional settings, emphasises mental health education and suicide prevention. In 2023, Southern Grampians saw 300 students complete Youth Mental Health First Aid training (YHMFA), supported by 24 youth crew members. Glenelg’s program involved 359 students and 43 youth crew members, reflecting strong community engagement in mental health awareness.

More information on Live4Life can be found here: