Our Place

Our Place is a fully integrated education model which brings together high quality early learning, effective schooling, wrap around health and wellbeing services, adult education training and employment and engagement and enrichment activities for children and families to meet the needs and help fulfil the aspirations of community.

What’s possible when your school is a community hub?

The model was initiated by the Colman Foundation who initially made a 10 year, $5M commitment to Doveton College, VIC and worked with other philanthropy and service providers, to develop an integrated, place-based, family-focused community hub as a core part of the school.

The Our Place model places the local school at the heart of the community and brings together the best quality resources and opportunities so that these children, adults and families have what they need to thrive. While children are engaged in learning their parents can take up opportunities that lead to jobs and for the community.

Doveton College’s success had led to the Our Place model being rolled out in an additional 10 communities across Victoria in partnership with the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

Partnership, Achievements and Resources

 Dusseldorp Forum has partnered with Our Place since 2016 and in 2018 committed t0 a further 10 year partnership for the replication of elements of the Our Place Model in Robinvale, VIC.

  • $100,000 per year for 3 years committed to a partnership between Our Place and Wollongong University Early Start Research Institute to develop a suite of tools to support educators and researchers to assess and support children’s early childhood development and learning

  • $1million committed over 10 years for the replication of elements of the Our Place Model in Robinvale, VIC

Outcomes from the Our Place model at Doveton College include:

  • More children are starting school healthy and ready to succeed at school – 13% reduction in children who are developmentally vulnerable in one or more domain 2012- 2015 – 6% reduction in parent concerns about children’s oral health, behaviour, and speech or language on entry to school from 2013-2016
  • Engagement in learning and academic performance is growing year on year – 30% reduction in days absent across year levels (Prep to Year 6) – 50% in Year 5-9 students reporting feeling engaged and motivated to learn, supported to learn and listened to by their teachers and feel positive about coming to and being connected to school (2014-2016)
  • A higher proportion of students performed at or above the national minimum standard on NAPLAN Reading and Numeracy assessments in 2017 from 2013: with 95% of Year 3, 5 and 7 students performing at or above the national minimum for both Reading and Numeracy, with 100% of Year 9 students performing at or above the national minimum for Numeracy and 80% for Reading
  • Children and families are participating in the community – 75% of students from Prep to Year 8 participating in sport and recreation activities before and after school – Parent participation in programs and services doubled 2014-2016 – An average of 40 parents volunteering each week supporting in classroom activities and specialist lessons, with a further 55 per week supporting broader college activities from breakfast club to student enrichment and adult education.
  • Adults are engaging in education and training and getting jobs – 400 parents attending life skills, pre-vocational or Certificate II level training, since 2013-, with a further 130 attending Certificate III through to Diploma level courses – Almost 90 parents have been supported into paid employment since 2013

The Colman Foundation has signed a landmark agreement with the Department of Education to establish 10 Our Place sites across Victoria.

In addition to Doveton College, Our Place is now working with the following school communities: Bridgewood Primary School, Carlton Primary School, Robinvale College, Seymour College, Morwell Central Primary School, Northern Bay P-8 in Corio-Norlane and the Frankston North Education Precinct.

The Minister for Education announced the partnership at Morwell Central Primary School on 1 March 2018. Six new Our Place sites have been announced since the partnership agreement was signed, with Our Place now working with the following sites: Bridgewood, Carlton, Doveton, Frankston North, Morwell, Seymour and Robinvale.

Other Doveton families have seen someone from their own community step up and better themselves.And I did better myself, with the support of Doveton College, and in doing so my children’s lives are better.

Lexi, Doveton, VIC