The Our Place approach is an initiative of the Colman Education Foundation. It was developed from the learnings and outcomes in our original lighthouse site at Doveton College.
Doveton College was founded in 2012 as a Victorian government school, designed in partnership with Colman Education Foundation, to holistically meet the needs of children from birth to Year 9. The college also incorporated a number of local early childhood and family services offered by not-for-profit providers and which, lacking adequate scale and coordination, had been struggling to meet the high demand and complex needs of the area’s residents.
Outcomes from Doveton College shows a significant reduction (from 55% to 37%) in the number of children identified as developmentally vulnerable on one or more domains, as measured by the Australian Early Development Census over a five-year period. Analysis suggests children attending Doveton Early Learning Centre have achieved significantly higher performance on Preparatory School entry testing in reading than those that did not attend. These children also achieved significantly higher performance on reading and numeracy measures at Year 3 level.
Following on from the success at Doveton College, in 2017 the Colman Education Foundation and Department of Education and Training signed a landmark agreement to implement the Our Place approach at ten sites across Victoria. Doveton was joined by Bridgewood, Carlton, Frankston North, Mooroopna, Morwell, Northern Bay, Robinvale, Seymour and Westall.
Julius Colman was born in post-war Poland and came to Melbourne with his refugee family at age 4. Inspired by his own experience of the opportunities created by high quality state school education, Julius is determined to make sure those opportunities are available to children in disadvantaged communities in Victoria.
Julius is a lawyer, entrepreneur and philanthropist who is passionate about addressing the barriers children from disadvantaged communities face in achieving positive life outcomes. He has negotiated landmark partnerships with the Victorian state government for the establishment of ten Our Place sites across Victoria. In 2015, Julius was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for his work with underprivileged children.