School and Beyond Program
Communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires are still recovering, and more than eight years on, young people affected by the fires have emerged as some of the most vulnerable and at-risk in our communities.
Recognising this, the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund has allocated $550,000 for a program, developed by FRRR, called School and Beyond.
The program is particularly aimed at keeping students in school or engaged in vocational education training and ultimately employment. It has been designed to ensure those in greatest need receive support, but with the minimum amount of bureaucracy.
Funding will be provided to services rather than directly to individuals, ensuring support can be directed to those most in need as identified by those working closely with them and in a timely way.
Previous funding rounds
The following organisations are now program partners and will be working with young people in their communities:
- Berry Street Victoria, servicing the Baw Baw and La Trobe shires and touching on Murrindindi
- CIRE Inc., Yarra Ranges Region
- EACH, Yarra Ranges Region
- Eaglehawk Secondary College, Bendigo area
- Ellimatta Inc, Kinglake Ranges in Murrindindi Shire
- Healesville Living and Learning Centre, Murrindindi Shire
- Kurnai College, La Trobe Shire
- NESAY, Indigo, Alpine and Wangaratta Regions
- Whittlesea Secondary College, Whittlesea area in collaboration with Whittlesea Community House and City of Whittlesea Youth Services
- Yarram Secondary College, Wellington Shire
- Yea High School, northern Murrindindi Shire
A number of these program partners, who are working to help keep young people engaged at school or transition to employment, have received funding from the program to implement their initiatives.
The focus is on helping the youth in / from a 2009 fire affected area. This means young people aged between 12 and 24 years who were resident in a 2009 bushfire impacted community at the time of the disaster. Below is a list of the types of organisations that are eligible to register for funds. Their core business should be working with youth in / from the fire affected areas. Note, partner organisations require an ABN or Incorporation Certificate.
- Schools and Secondary Colleges in fire affected areas or supporting youth who have come from fire affected areas
- Adult Community & Further Education (ACFE) providers, including Neighbourhood Houses and Learning Centres
- Community health organisations
- Community welfare service organisations.
The aim of the program is to benefit young people by:
- Improving employment pathways for youths from bushfire affected regions
- Relieving financial barriers to participation
- Providing alternative avenues for youths to engage in education and training
- Encouraging youth to take up more meaningful roles in their communities
- Increasing in school attendance
- Increasing self-reported self-esteem and confidence
- Improving sense of purpose and self-worth
- Enrolment in and completion of vocational training programs
- Engagement with local community activities such as leadership and mentoring programs.
In addition, the program aims to achieve the following health and community outcomes:
- Improving the capacity of the services working with youth to assist in the development of appropriate responses to identified needs among fire-affected young people
- Reducing the prevalence and impact of problems associated with youths disengaging in educational and vocational activities in bushfire affected regions.
Funds can be accessed for:
- Items required to participate in education such as books, uniforms, travel costs (where this is the primary barrier to participation)
- Funding for tutors to support students
- Course or program fees (where not subsidised)
- A program or activity which aims to engage a group of young people in education, training, or employment pathways and which builds their vocational and personal skills, such as a Barista training course or job interview skills.
FRRR encourages other groups in fire-affected areas that work with young people to register with the program or contact their local partner in their area, as there is still funding available to support affected youth. By registering, these organisations will be able to provide ongoing support to these people, without the financial and psychological barriers to participation. Please review the eligibility, program objectives, what can be funded and details of how to become a program partner.
We welcome further expressions of interest from eligible organisations in areas that are not currently serviced to register as a School and Beyond Program Partner to provide approved education and training support for young people directly affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires.
Groups will be required to demonstrate their commitment to young people in the affected areas. Preference will be given to organisations that operate locally, but groups that are not based in the region but provide services to affected young people, including those who have moved out of the fire-affected areas, are encouraged to register.
Approved community organisations will be able to request funds to support students in need. Requests for funds will be considered monthly.
If you have any queries or wish to discuss your project first, please contact the Program Manager by email or freecall 1800 170 020.