We believe that opening up local schools for the whole community is one of the best ways to turn around communities experiencing entrenched disadvantage.
We aim to create schools that have the skills, resources and partnerships they need to make a real difference in the lives of children and their families.
We know that the early years set the foundations for lifelong learning, health and wellbeing – so our schools have early learning, playgroups, child health and parenting support on site.
We know that education is a key ingredient in children’s success – so we support principals to create teaching and learning environments that ensure each child receives they support they need to achieve and thrive.
We know that parent education and employment is what changes intergenerational disadvantage – so we provide a range of opportunities for families to engage in formal and informal learning, and link them into employment pathways.
We know that families in the communities we work in are often experiencing challenging life circumstances – so we make it easier to access effective support services.
We know that participation in sport, volunteering and community activities creates belonging and pride for children and families – so we create opportunities to be involved, join a team, volunteer and contribute.
We know that Collaboration and partnerships are the key to successful place-based initiatives – so we provide a team of skilled people, shared space and agile governance, the most important resources for effective implementation.
We build a single entry into our early learning, school, adult learning and community spaces because we believe in seamless integration. We invest in people whose primary responsibility is relationship-building because we believe that change only happens with trust. We make a decade-long commitment because we know transformation takes time. And we generate the evidence needed for policy and system change.
The Our Place principles guide how we work with families, schools and communities.
Schools should be at the heart of community
Work ‘with’, don’t do ‘to’
Relationships and trust are preconditions for impact
People need opportunities to experience pride, self-worth and success
Good decisions are informed by data and evidence
Quality, evidence-based services are the only ones that make a lasting difference
Flexibility, innovation and long-term commitment allow a relentless pursuit of impact
Sharing knowledge is necessary for big-picture change
HOW WE WORK
We have a proven model for achieving impact – a model grounded in evidence from around the world and our own experience in Australia. But at the heart of this model is:
A commitment to responding to the specific needs, priorities, aspirations and interests of communities; and
A belief in data-informed innovation and the relentless pursuit of impact.
We work collaboratively with the schools we partner with. Together with our partners, we develop a shared vision, enable and facilitate implementation, build data collection and analysis capacity, and help broker relationships with state and local government, philanthropy, community organisations and researchers.