OUR WORK

REGIONAL GSC

Youth Conversations

Youth Conversations is an opportunity for young people in the Great South Coast to voice what matters to them about education, training, employment and community. Trained young people are co- facilitating workshops to capture the aspirations, barriers and change young people want to see through conversations with up to 1000 young people across the region. 

The consultations are being held in various locations across the Great South Coast (which includes the municipalities of Corangamite, Colac Otway, Glenelg, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Warrnambool) until April 2020. 

Young people can also fill out an online survey to share their voice; click the button below.

Youth Conversations Survey

This project will assist in the development of activities or actions that will support young people make a successful transition from secondary school to further education and training.  It may also be used to lobby for system or policy change to ease educational attainment, and the transition to further education or provide additional supports.

The project will also provide information for parents, families and young people to enable them to make informed decisions about education and further pathways, aspirations and opportunities in the Great South Coast region.

Positive Transitions to School

The Positive Transitions to School project will commence in 2020. The project aims to reduce barriers to school readiness for all children in the Great South Coast, thereby improving school engagement and attainment.

This project will work directly with vulnerable families and model the success of Glenelg’s Stepping Stones to School pilot to increase interagency collaboration, improve relationships with families and improve access to early intervention where needed. The project also includes a campaign to disseminate key messages to inform parents / carers on factors affecting school readiness and how to help their children and seek support if concerned.

The Positive Transitions to Schoolproject’s goals are:

  1. To increase the knowledge, skills and networks of early childhood and primary school providers to respond to a child’s transition needs in the Southern Grampians, Corangamite and Moyne local government areas by the end of 2022.
  2. To increase the number of vulnerable families accessing specialist support for children transitioning from kinder to primary school
  3. To increase the understanding of families and community of the elements of school readiness in each of the AECD domains
OUR LAGs

The Casterton community are passionate about improving the lives of their children and have formed the Hands Up Casterton approach, which is a whole of community response that considers all the factors that influence local children in reaching their full potential. The areas of focus include: education, social and emotional wellbeing, healthy eating, physical activity, social connection and access to services. 

Current work in Casterton includes:


Early Years Literacy events

A number of events are held to raise awareness on the impact and importance of the early years in regards to literacy. Partners include Paint the Town REaD Casterton, Casterton Education Stakeholders Group and Claire Jennings from OzChild. 


Stepping Stones to School

The ground-breaking Stepping Stones to School program enhances relationships, processes, and workforce capacity in order to improve the kinder to school transition experiences of families and children. 

> Download the Stepping Stones to School pamphlet

> Download the Stepping Stones to school evaluation report

Colac Otway Local Action Group along with partners Communities that Care, Barwon Adolescent Task Force, Colac Otway Shire, Colac Area Health, the Alcohol and Drug Foundation and the Department of Justice and Regulation have joined together under the banner Schools and Communities Together (SACT). This collective work towards a common vision: ‘for all children, young people and their families to be safe, feel secure and have access to lifelong learning through an inclusive Colac Otway community’. 

The formation of SACT in 2017 succeeded in aligning a number of discrete entities in the Colac Otway area that were already working towards a similar vision. The consequence of this commitment to work collectively via SACT is increased advocacy, stronger partnerships and broader program reach. 

Current work in Colac Otway includes:


Continuum of Need project

The Continuum of Need framework is a tool to support schools and service providers to achieve a coordinated interagency response for students. Using this tool leads to initiating a school-led Team Around the Learner response. The approach emphasises skill building and empowerment rather than symptom management and a learner’s context rather than indicators. The project is implemented in Colac Otway and Corangamite.


The Regional Transitions Program

The Regional Transitions Program is a Barwon Adolescent Take Force (BATForce) Program supported by School Focus Youth Service (SFYS) and implemented in part by the Schools And Communities Together (SACT) Action Group. It has three tiers that offer sessions for families, students and schools to support students transitioning from primary school into secondary school. A key worker was employed within Colac Area Health to deliver tiers 2 & 3. This program has now been completed, successfully assisting students in Year 6 from various primary schools in the Colac Otway region to transition into secondary education.


The Outdoor Effect in Colac Otway

The Outdoor Effect is an innovative Bush Adventure Therapy (BAT) program that’s laying the groundwork for Nature Based Therapy practices within the region. This program addresses the high levels of adverse childhood experiences that affect our children’s social and emotional wellbeing, health and behavioural outcomes later in adult life. Nine Colac Area Health staff completed a four-day training program in June 2019. An informal Community of Practice, known as the ‘BAT team’, engaged with students and the community. 


Walk and Talk in Colac Otway

Designed by youth for youth, this program compliments the Outdoor Effect initiative by facilitating discreet counselling services in bush settings. Students are supported one-on-one and participate in co-designed group activities such as mountain biking and rock climbing. Partners include Beyond the Bell, ABC Heywire, Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, Geelong Adventure Specialists, Colac Area Health and Communities That Care Colac.


AIME Mentoring Program in Colac Otway

The AIME mentoring program was delivered over six program days and helped students develop their skills, knowledge of pathways post Year 12, whilst also building confidence and cultural connection. Fifteen Indigenous students from local secondary schools were selected to take part. The program was so popular we have run it again next year. Partners include Beyond the Bell, local secondary schools, the AIME program, Colac Area Health and Colac Communities that Care.


The Climate Schools Program in Colac Otway

The Climate Schools program is an innovative and engaging digital program that empowers students to gain knowledge about their health and wellbeing. The program aims to change and reinvigorate the school climate around alcohol and other drug education. Two schools in the Colac Otway region are piloting the program.

The Corangamite Local Action Group are focussed on Early Years Literacy, Disadvantaged Young People and Engagement with Learning. 

Current work in Corangamite includes:


Continuum of Need project

The Continuum of Need framework is a tool to support schools and service providers to achieve a coordinated interagency response for students. Using this tool leads to initiating a school-led Team Around the Learner response. The approach emphasises skill building and empowerment rather than symptom management and a learner’s context rather than indicators. The project is implemented in Corangamite and Colac Otway. 


Corangamite Trade Training Cluster

Pathways to employment have been strengthened by administrative assistance given to the Corangamite Trade Training Centre. The program provides improved vocational education and training opportunities to students in the shire. 66 students were involved in CTTC. A student tour involving 6 schools was held in August 2018 and a Community Transport Forum was held in February 2019. Innovative solutions were identified for further consideration.  


The Open Book, Let’s Read and Reading Champions Programs

These three programs work in conjunction to promote literacy in Corangamite. The Open Book program increases access to free books; so far 3000 books in 30 book boxes have been placed in key community spaces and services in the shire. The Reading Champions program increases exposure to reading during community events; Reading Champions are everyday community members with a passion for reading. 

44 Maternal and Child Health nurses and Children’s Services coordinators have been trained in the Let’s Read program, which promotes reading during 0-5 years of age. When children receive immunisations at 8 months, 2 years and 3.5 years they also receive a Let’s Read pack appropriate for their age. A Let’s Read box is located at every Early Years Service in the shire.

Glenelg Local Action Group focus on the areas of disadvantaged Young People, Social & Emotional Wellbeing and Early Years Literacy. 

Current work in Glenelg includes:


Stepping Stones to School

The ground-breaking Stepping Stones to School program enhances relationships, processes, and workforce capacity in order to improve the kinder to school transition experiences of families and children.

 

> Download the Stepping Stones to School pamphlet
> Download the Stepping Stones to school evaluation report


Live4Life

Live4Life aims to ensure that young people, teachers, parents and the wider community are better informed about mental health and are proactive in identifying the signs and symptoms of an emerging mental health issue before a crisis occurs. Since its 2017 inception, 496 year 8 students and 485 year 10 & 11 students have been trained in Teen Mental Health First Aid. This equates to more than two thirds of all secondary-aged young people in Glenelg. 40 year 9 & 10 students from 5 schools participated in the Youth Crew. 175 adults have also been trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid. 

 


Little Book Boxes

Funded by United Way Glenelg, the Little Book Boxes program has given children across the Shire access to free books. The program’s goal is to increase the rate of early childhood exposure to reading and consequently reduce the high rate of local children who are entering formalised education with low literacy skills. VCAL students at South West TAFE Portland campus manage the allocation of book boxes and ensure they are adequately stocked, educating further cohorts of the community on the importance of early literacy.

The Moyne Local Action Group focus on social and emotional wellbeing, 

Current work in Moyne includes:


Can Mentoring Program in Moyne

Through a partnership with I CAN South West and the Moyne Local Action Group, five schools from across the Moyne Shire are increasing their support of students with autism. Through the program, schools identify ongoing school-based interventions and topping up strategies in the Social and Emotional Wellbeing area. 


Rural School Communities of Practice Projects in Moyne

A network to support schools has been developed to increase knowledge of trauma, informed interventions, sharing of learnings and challenges in student behaviour/wellbeing issues. The network is aligned with Department of Education policy and requirements on wellbeing and inclusion in school communities. Partners in this project include Moyne schools, wellbeing staff, Department of Education, School Focus Youth Services.

The Sothern Grampians Local Action Group focus on priority areas Early Years Literacy, Social and Emotional Wellbeing and Disadvantaged Young People. 

Current work in Southern Grampians includes:


Stepping Stones to School

The ground-breaking Stepping Stones to School program enhances relationships, processes, and workforce capacity in order to improve the kinder to school transition experiences of families and children. 

> Download the Stepping Stones to School pamphlet
> Download the Stepping Stones to school evaluation report


Live4Life

Live4Life aims to ensure that young people, teachers, parents and the wider community are better informed about mental health and are proactive in identifying the signs and symptoms of an emerging mental health issue before a crisis occurs. The Live4Life program will be operational in Southern Grampians in 2020. The partners in this project include Beyond the Bell, Glenelg and Southern Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network, Southern Grampians Shire Council, Western District Health Service, School Focus Youth Service, Youth Affairs Council Victoria, Youth Live4Life Inc and Wellways.

 


Growing Greater Readers

The concerning low rates of early years literacy and social and emotional wellbeing in the shire are being addressed by the Growing Greater Readers Program. The Southern Grampians Local Action Group aim to increase the rate of early childhood exposure to reading in the Greater Hamilton region and reduce the high rate of local children who are entering formalised education with low literacy skills and low or now exposure to books or reading. 

Outdoor Book Boxes have been installed in every outlying community of the shire – 9 in total. Additionally, the LAG has continued to deliver Reading Champions, promote reading related theme days and share the key message that ‘Reading is for Everyone’.

 


Literacy Challenge Project

A working team supported by Beyond the Bell started work on the inaugural Beyond the Bell Literacy Festival (later changed to Challenge) throughout 2018. A program logic was developed and funding was lodged with the RE Ross Trust. The Literacy Challenge was delivered in July and August 2019. Partners included the Southern Grampians Shire Council Greater Hamilton Library, Woolly West Fest, Southern Grampians Local Action Group and the Glenelg and Southern Grampians LLEN. 

> Download the One Day We Will Box Jump The Moon book

The Warrnambool Local Action Group focus on priority areas Early Years Literacy, Engagement with Learning and Disadvantaged Young People. 

Current work in Warrnambool includes:


Little Book Bugs

Children are encouraged to read by giving them access to free books. Book boxes have been installed in 10 key locations around Warrnambool, with the tagline ‘borrow me, read me, return me for someone else to enjoy me.’  Going forward the program will partner with the L2P program in the delivery and monitoring of the sites. 


Donate for the Kids

Donate for the Kids supports vulnerable students to access basic resources and materials they may not have. The Young parents VCAL class at SWTAFE are leading this project. Each month one school develops a list of five items for donation specific to their needs. A Donate for the Kids donations bin is placed in local partner organisations each month and staff and community members are asked to donate. Further to this, in partnership with Foodshare, the Donate for the Kids Christmas drive delivers fun and educational gifts during the festive season to families in need. 


School Food

1000s of sandwiches have been provided to students in need through the School Food program. The VCAL Young Parenting program at SWTAFE prepares and freeze sandwiches once a month. Sandwiches are delivered and supplied by wellbeing teachers in all primary secondary schools where there is need. The aim of the program is to eliminate student fatigue and food insecurity. 


Every Day Counts

The Warrnambool Local Action Group has worked both directly with schools and more broadly in the community to educate that ‘Every Day Counts’ in regards to schooling. The Every Day Counts campaign encourages families to rethink unnecessary school absences. School absences add up; if a student is away for 5 days each term they will miss more than a year of school between Foundation and Year 12. A social media campaign featuring video content reached 4227 people; items were also disseminated via school newsletter.