Our vision is that all children and their families succeed in life. We aim to achieve this vision by providing impartial professional people with expertise in building relationships and coordinating resources that enable the school to be the central place for learning and support services.
Our Place does not directly deliver or fund services or programs. We seek to influence existing services to work better together and with communities.
Ingredients of ‘The Glue’
There are four key components that enables Our Place’s role:
PEOPLE: Building community relationships and engagement
Our Place’s greatest asset is our people. Our Partnership Managers and Community Facilitators are impartial professionals that have expertise in building relationships between site partners and engaging with communities.
Within each community, there is a complex system of organisations providing education and family support services. It takes skilled and dedicated people to connect these organisations and families to provide successful outcomes for the community. Our Place’s role in building community relationships and engagement includes:
- Leading partnerships with education providers, local government and service providers.
- Engaging community by providing activities and opportunities for connection and building skills.
- Supporting service coordination based on the needs of the community.
PLACE: Providing advice on space and infrastructure
When schools in communities experiencing disadvantage are set up as a hub for the community, they have the potential to create meaningful change.
In partnership with the Victorian Government and local governments, Our Place provides advice on infrastructure that enables schools to be the central place for learning and support services. Our Place’s role is to advocate for:
- Integrating schools and early learning centres on a single site.
- Building a single-shared entrance to welcome the community.
- Providing appropriate spaces for services to be delivered at the local school.
- Providing appropriate spaces for the community to connect and feel welcome in the school environment.
PURPOSE: Forming collaborative governance
Collective purpose is powerful. Our Place recognises that creating the conditions for collaborative governance at a state and local level leads to positive change for communities.
Our Place leads site partners to work together to set and monitor strategic priorities for their communities. A whole of government approach to the governance drives greater integration of services at each site. Our Place’s role in forming collaborative governance has led to:
- Working in a formal partnership with the Victorian Government, including cross-department governance to support improved integration of services.
- Supporting local Site Partnership Groups to co-design and implement priorities for their community and provide authority for new ways of working.
- A unique Philanthropic Alliance that supports shared ways of working with our funding partners.
KNOWLEDGE: Guiding evidence-informed decisions
The Our Place approach employs a set of evidence-based strategies to support the education, health and development of children and families. It’s our role to share this knowledge with partners and guide decisions for their community.
As these evidence-based strategies are implemented in local communities, Our Place works in collaboration with partners to collect, analyse and evaluate data to understand the impact of our work to inform decision-making. This collaborative approach provides a continuous feedback loop and builds the capacity of partners to use the data and learnings to review and improve work on the ground. Our Place’s role in working with partners to guide data-informed decisions includes:
- Consulting the community and collecting data to understand its needs.
- Sharing our expertise on the evidence-based Elements underpinning the Our Place approach.
- Working with government to access relevant data to support decision making.
- Analysing data to inform planning of priorities for the community.
- Sharing analysis with partners and building their capability to use the data.
- Evaluating the impact on the community of actions that have been taken.