2017 Longlist

Our Longlist for 2017 has been announced! Many thanks to all the organisations who took the time to put in an application. We know how much effort goes into grant writing.

Our Spectacular Seven are:


1. 100 Story Building

Project: Story Hubs

We will pilot Story Hubs with schools and communities in Melbourne’s west. These imaginative spaces, underpinned by values of collaboration and co-creation, support literacy, self-confidence and a sense of belonging amongst children and young people from CALD backgrounds in low SES areas.

Story Hubs build on the learning and successes of our Footscray centre, and supports communities in other parts of the west to take a lead role in promoting literacy engagement through arts-based programs.

By leveraging our existing partnerships with schools, libraries and community centres, and the action research findings of the Footscray program, Story Hubs adopts a ‘train the trainer’ model to build local community skills in program development, literacy learning, and volunteer management. Through this supporting role, we build the capacity of local communities to design programs that meet the unique needs of their children and young people, leading to enhanced program impacts and sustainability.

2. Banksia Gardens Community Services

Project: Banksia Gardens Study groups

Banksia will conduct seven after-school study group sessions (also known as Homework clubs), within four programs, each week for disadvantaged and marginalised children in Broadmeadows and at two schools in the neighbouring suburbs of Meadow Heights and Dallas.

In the Broadmeadows study group, we will hold three sessions at Banksia Gardens’ facilities for young people aged 5 – 18 enrolled in local primary and secondary schools. In collaboration with 6 diverse organisations, Banksia Gardens will promote student participation in a range of stimulating educational and wellbeing activities including:

– Individual tutoring to support their academic needs in Maths, English and Science for all year levels.
– Music classes including DJ and lessons in guitar and singing (with Musicians Making a Difference (MMAD) Outer Urban Project (OUP).
– A discovery room with engaging activities to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
– Physical activities that promote coordination and improve wellbeing such as kickboxing, Australian Rules football (NAB AFL Auskick), and ping pong. Some proposed new additions for this year would include soccer (with Melbourne Victory Football Club), Circus Arts (i.e. acrobatics, juggling, tumbling, which help balance and foster positive social interactions) (with Westside Circus) and bouldering/climbing activities.
– Creative arts that enhance imagination and innovative creations including digital technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality, live animation, 360-degree photography and coding (with Arena Theatre Company).

Two more study group sessions are focused on supporting secondary school students, especially those completing years 11 and 12 (VCE). Trained paid and volunteer tutors will assist students with homework providing individual support as needed.

In addition to all this, other study group sessions will be held at local primary schools: Bethal Primary School in Meadow Heights and Hume Valley School in Dallas. The latter caters students with mild intellectual disability, while the former primarily seeks to help students from diverse cultural backgrounds with homework and English as an Additional Language (EAL). Parents are encouraged to attend so they can practise speaking English as well and connect with others in a safe, supportive and culturally inclusive environment. A healthy snack, including fruit and cereals, is provided at every session.

3. EdConnect

Project: One Hundred Choices

One Hundred Choices will:

– Change the education experience and outcomes of 100 primary and secondary school students
– Engage 100 retirees in volunteer roles which develops intergenerational relationships which are meaningful and positive
– Empower life-long learning and a pay-it-forward attitude which reaches far and wide, the common message being that education provides choices
– Support the teachers who recognise the education experience could be different for vulnerable students with an investment of time and interest
– Inspire schools to never give up

This will be achieved through the experience and expertise of EdConnect Australia which has a unique school volunteer model.

An EdConnect Liaison Officer will be employed three days per week to work with the Shire of Melton and Wyndham Council communities to establish partnerships with schools, promote volunteer opportunities and recruit, coordinate training and provide ongoing support for the retirees who volunteer.

The General Manager and Liaison Officer will be responsible for stakeholder engagement with the education sector, local government, service clubs and volunteer networks.

A trainer will deliver the Learning Support module or Mentoring module for all volunteers prior to their commencement. A number of workshops will be offered each year to further develop the volunteer’s skills and understanding of the learning needs of the students they work with.

EdConnect collects data on a term basis and surveys an annual basis. This information formulates the Social Impact statement which is produced each year. From this data we can identify ongoing needs and changing priorities for schools and communities and plan accordingly.

The implementation process will commence with stakeholder engagement with each community and promotion to the retirees regarding volunteer opportunities. Schools will then enter a formal partnership with EdConnect and volunteers will be recruited, trained and placed. A minimum of 50 volunteers will be trained and placed within the school community in the first year. The balance in the second year.

One Hundred Choices will connect one hundred disadvantaged students with one hundred retirees who will volunteer to provide learning support or mentoring resulting in a very different education experience, and creating pathways of choice rather than the pre-determined one-way road they currently travel.

Our retired community has a wealth of knowledge, skills and life experience to share. EdConnect volunteers – professionals who have had fulfilled and rewarding careers, individuals who have faced their own adversity and thrived, in the hectic and complicated world of today they have the time and patience to invest in one young person, their education and their potential.

4. Melbourne Indigenous Transition School 

Project: Developing best practice in transitional education

MITS is achieving outstanding success in enabling remote NT and regional VIC Indigenous students to access high performing schools and gain all the benefits a secondary school education brings them. Although a young organisation, our model is proving effective, impactful and highly sought after by Indigenous families and students.

There are two aspects to this proposal.  The first is simple. In 2018, we will have twice as many students out in our Partner Schools and would like to expand our Student Transition Co-ordinator’s (STC) role from part-time to full-time. This will allow him to focus on ensuring our students continue to be successful as they leave our differentiated program and access more mainstream educational opportunities.

Our STC will continue to:

– advise our Partner Schools on their cultural and educational readiness and the structures necessary to support our Alumni
– support our Partner Schools to grow their capacity to educate and empower Indigenous students
– provide advocacy and mentoring for our Alumni as they take on the challenge of mainstream schooling
The second aspect relates to the robustness of our transition processes and the dissemination of our learnings. We would like to undertake a project that combines two threads of work at MITS this year.

Thread 1: in early 2017 MITS engaged Social Ventures Australia to undertake an “organisational health check” to ensure that we are doing all we can to achieve a step change in Indigenous educational outcomes. One of the recommendations of that work was to develop a Student Transition Framework that ensures that all information relating to an individual student, and the necessary ingredients for their continued success in Melbourne, is crystallised and communicated with Partner Schools. Additionally, the framework would articulate the steps necessary for Partner Schools to become more culturally safe, celebratory and welcoming of Indigenous students. In this way, MITS will become a thought-leader and will catalyse rapid and substantial growth in the capacity of Melbourne schools to support and enable Indigenous students.

Thread 2: To ensure that the impact of MITS is not only deep, but also wide, we must disseminate our learnings with the Melbourne and Australian education community. As an organisation, we are committed to learning: for example, Edward Tudor, Executive Director at MITS, will soon be travelling on a Churchill Fellowship to visit schools across the globe that provide outstanding transition programs for Indigenous and/or disadvantaged students.

Together, the information from these threads will be used to develop a best practice framework for student transition that can be used by schools across Australia to appropriately support students as they move into their secondary education. This will create catalytic change for Indigenous educational success, broadening our impact, providing scalability as our Alumni grows and allowing us to demonstrate thought-leadership in the Indigenous education space.

5. Raise Foundation

Project: In School Mentoring Opportunity (“Ismo”) for Special Schools

This project will enable 70 students with mild intellectual disabilities (IQ between 55 and 70) in Greater Melbourne Special Schools to receive the gift of a mentor. These students will participate in a Raise Ismo mentoring program which takes place at their school and includes weekly, one-hour mentoring sessions with experienced volunteer mentors from the community, for a minimum of twenty weeks each year.

Raise will deliver a total of 7 programs, 2 in 2018 and 5 in 2019 and will work in partnership with high school Welfare Teams to identify students in years 8 – 11 who are most likely to benefit from participating. Raise will be responsible for all aspects of the program design, delivery & evaluation including: • Recruitment and screening of 10 volunteer mentors from the community per program • Provision of accredited training to all mentors – 12 hours of TAFE accredited training per mentor plus Working with Children and National Crime Checks • On-site supervision of mentors by Raise qualified counsellors
Raise will prioritise recruiting experienced Ismo volunteers, or those with knowledge of supporting vulnerable youth, given that the large majority of these students frequently have a trauma background. Each qualified counsellor in Raise has an in-depth knowledge of supporting young people with trauma backgrounds.

Project Implementation includes:

– Volunteer Recruitment, Training & Compliance (October of previous year to February)

– School & Student recruitment (October of previous year to March)

– Mentoring Sessions (March – September)

– Graduation (September/October)

– Evaluations – pre-program & post-program

6. The Royal Society of Victoria

Project: The Professional Science Communications and Leadership Indicator

Our proposal is to identify, train and develop high-achieving, high-potential CALD and women scientists to step into a broad, visible leadership role as a public proponent of science and science literacy through engaging strategic science communications.

7. Western Chances

Project: Western Chances Scholarship Program

Western Chances will award approximately 600 scholarships in 2018. A grant from Impact100 Melbourne would directly support approximately 100 young people with a merit based, tailor made scholarship.

Young people applying for their first scholarship must meet the following eligibility criteria:

– Aged between 12 and 25 years;
– Reside within one of the six western municipalities of Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Maribyrnong, Melton, Moonee Valley or Wyndham;
– Attend a government secondary school, TAFE or university;
– Demonstrate talent and motivation;
– Demonstrate financial disadvantage.

Western Chances scholarships are tailored to meet each young person’s needs with the average scholarship being around $850. Western Chances conducts one New Scholarship round and one Renewal Scholarship round annually. We announce the opening of each round via our website, social media, email and verbally if required. Professionals working in state secondary schools and selected community service organisations in Melbourne’s west nominate talented and motivated young people for a new scholarship and apply on their behalf via our online application system. Recipients renewing their scholarship at tertiary level can submit their application provided they remain eligible for support. Following assessment of applications by Western Chances staff and an audit conducted by a team of volunteers including Western Chances board members, funds are paid to the nominating school or community service organisation on receipt of an invoice.

Celebrating young people:
Every March, Western Chances holds its annual Scholarship Award Ceremony to formally acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of our recipients. Young people receive their first scholarship certificate before an audience of over 400 guests at Deakin Edge in Federation Square. Public recognition boosts recipients’ confidence, self-esteem and motivation and inspires the young person’s friends, family/extended family and wider community to provide support to help young people achieve their educational goals. It is a moment of immense pride for the young person, their family and school nominator.

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