Partner profile: Dusseldorp Forum

The ten-year commitment to Our Place Robinvale aligns with Dusseldorp Forum’s vision of a just and equitable Australian society that is socially, culturally, environmentally, and economically prosperous for all young people and their families.

The funding has enabled Our Place to employ three professional staff who are skilled at building relationships and connecting families to education and support services. The Our Place staff play a critical role in the Robinvale community by connecting families to services, opportunities, and each other, as well as coordinating education and service providers to meet the needs of families.

Dusseldorp Forum was founded in 1989 by Dick Dusseldorp, the founder of property, real estate, and finance corporation Lendlease. The organisation has a strong history of working with place-based initiatives with a priority of supporting young people, which has led to a long-term relationship and partnership with Our Place. This commitment to the Robinvale community comes after the Forum supported the first Our Place site at Doveton in 2015, which proved the placed-based approach was having an impact.

Executive Officer, Teya Dusseldorp, said the Forum could see the work at Doveton College was transforming the way that schools operate, with early learning, primary and secondary together, creating a community hub, bringing services into the school, and innovating a long-standing system.

“It makes sense that the school site be at the centre, the hub of the community. Doveton College has been such an important demonstration site – to see it, feel it. If you can see it in operation, it’s easier to understand. If it’s just theory it’s very difficult to grasp.”

Teya Dusseldorp

The Forum was keen to support the scaling of Our Place’s approach from one community at Doveton to ten communities across Victoria, particularly because it could see the commitment to changing the system was really being guided by the communities themselves and how to redesign those systems.

General Manager Margot Beach said the Forum is committed to working long-term with partners, reflecting a deep understanding of the systems that impact on children and their families and what it takes to shift systems.

“Systems don’t innovate themselves; you really need to resource and make concerted efforts to both understand where the systems are not working well and what can be influenced. Providing spaces for people to have conversations and share ideas is a core element of Dusseldorp Forum’s commitment to the sector and the work.”

Margot Beach

“And what I’ve seen, over the years, that’s borne fruit in multiple ways. Our Place has learnt from our other partners and vice versa. We are part of a two-way learning loop with Our Place, and we appreciate that we were invited to be part of the learning that happens alongside the work,” Margot said.  

For more information about the Dusseldorp Forum and its partnership with Our Place can be found at