Our Approach

Our Place is a holistic place-based approach to supporting the education, health and development of all children and families in communities experiencing disadvantage by utilising the universal platform of a school.

The Our Place approach is built on the strong body of evidence from international research and experts, and the translation of learnings from our lighthouse site at Doveton College, which commenced operation in 2012.

The evidence indicates that education is the key to lifting the aspirations and improving the lives of children and their families. The approach seeks to overcome the barriers to educational achievement by focusing on:

  • Supporting high-quality learning environments for children – at home, in early learning settings and in schools
  • Supporting the service system to better address known biological and environmental risks, allowing for prevention and early intervention.
When schools in
communities experiencing disadvantage act as
hubs they have the potential to
create powerful change. Our Place
facilitates partnerships that
enable the school to be the central
place for learning and support
services that overcome barriers to
educational achievement.

In Australia, the benefits of economic growth are not shared as evenly as they once were, and the equity gap is widening between the wealthy and the poor. For example, in Victoria just 11 postcodes (1.6% of total) account for 13.7% of the most disadvantaged rank positions (Yule, 2015).

Our Place’s approach is based on the premise that improved access to high-quality education for all is key to addressing the equity gap.

  • Complex and entrenched disadvantage is concentrated in certain postcodes – where you are born shouldn’t determine your opportunities in life
  • Children need supportive environments to thrive, which is especially important for children facing challenges that arise from social and economic disadvantage
  • While there is a wealth of resources and services available, often these are not of adequate quality to make a difference and/or are not accessed by the people that need it the most.