School and Beyond Program
Communities affected by the 2009 Victorian bushfires are still recovering, and more than ten 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 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.
It is projected that the program will close by the end of 2019, or earlier if funds are expended.
Previous funding rounds
The following organisations are program partners and work 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, Yarra Ranges 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 contact their local partner in their area, as it is expected that funding will be expended by June 2019. These organisations will be able to provide ongoing support to young people, addressing the financial and psychological barriers to participation. Please review the eligibility, program objectives, and what can be funded before you contact the partner.
Please contact the Disaster Recovery and Resilience Coordinator by email or freecall 1800 170 020 to discuss project eligibility. If the project is eligible, the Coordinator will provide a link to the application form in FRRR's online application portal, Grants Gateway.