Chaffey Learning Exchange

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Partnership to develop a mechanism and system to support tertiary students from rural areas to access University and other post-secondary courses while remaining close to home, family, friends and employment in the early years of study.

The CLX model would be designed to access and support online tertiary study for students from rural areas including school leavers, mature age and business and community members aspiring to further skill development and improved employment outcomes.

The Chaffey Learning Exchange concept was developed in the Riverland in 2007 to assist post-secondary study via emerging online systems. The project failed to raise sufficient funds to proceed in a period where technology was less advanced.
The project was reignited in 2013 during consultations to support the Riverland Strategic Implementation Plan developed by School and Beyond Inc. Research undertaken to establish attrition levels of rural students at University supported the need to develop new ways for country students to remain at home in the early years of University study. Supported online study was recognized as a mechanism by which rural students could maintain economic and social support during the introductory years.


Murraylands Youth Mentoring Alliance


Formalisation of a Partnership between regional providers of services to young people and organisations with a specific interest in mentoring of young people has followed the series of workshops held in Murray Bridge and Berri in May 2012 at which Kathleen Vella, Executive Officer, Australian Youth Mentoring Network introduced the Australian Benchmarks for youth mentoring and established a collaborative strategy for the two regions. The Partnerships will oversee and implement mentoring programs at the highest levels across the Murraylands and Riverland regions.

The partnership was formalised in July 2012 with Terms of Reference completed and clear intentions stated the support Australian Youth Mentoring Benchmarks and develop a pool of people who would be available for regional youth mentoring programs at the highest levels and standards.


Murraylands Education Precinct


Expansion of the existing Partnership is progressing to include Deakin University, Charles Darwin University and Flinders University. Work is also being undertaken to support the Business Case which is begin prepared by Ernst and Young with a view to application to the Australian Government Education Infrastructure Fund for site development including highest quality online course delivery. High level discussions with regional high schools are developing strategies to connect curriculum content and approach with potential tertiary courses provided at the MEP.

Partnership work has also extended through the Department of Education and Childhood Development Regional Office, Murray and Mallee to survey regional high schools across the broadest catchment including:- Birdwood, Strathalbyn, Heathfield High School, Mt Barker High School, Murray Bridge High School, East Murray, Lameroo, Karoonda, Conalpyn and Meningie Area Schools and High Schools and High Schools in the Riverland including Renmark, Waikerie, Loxton and Glossop – to establish a potential client base for the MEP, numbers of potential students and areas of study interest. Executive Officer/Partnership Broker Murraylands is facilitating extension of the partnership to include representatives of the education sector.


Murraylands Youth Info Online


Partnership to support development of a broad based information website which will enable young people from the Murraylands to access information about a range of topics including:- employment, sport, events, health, study and What’s on in the Murraylands?

The partnership was an initiative of the Murraylands Youth Sector Network (MYSN) facilitated by School and Beyond Inc. Partnership Broker. The model which informed initial discussions was the Murraylands Careers Expo site which could be expanded to include more information. In June 2012 the decision was taken to develop a new website which would cover a wide range of issues and include links to:-
o   Career Advice
o   Jobs Search Issues – Who, What, Where, When, How to?
o   Post-secondary education options – Skills for All; UNI; TAFE
o   Health and Services Directory including mental, physical and sexual health
o   Events
o   Info-links
Development of the site was enabled by a grant of $5000 from the Office of Youth. Biz Boost website designers from Tailem Bend were contracted to develop the site in consultation with the (MYSN) members, School and Beyond and young people.


Murraylands Careers Expo 2012


In response to the DEEWR requirements that School and Beyond Inc. could not continue to manage the Murraylands Careers Expo a new Partnership was brokered between the existing Murraylands Careers Expo Management Committee and Regional Development Australia Murraylands & Riverland. The RDA undertook to host and administer the Murraylands Careers Expo which was successfully held on May 11th 2012. A review of that event indicated that 1000 students had attended.

The Committee agreed that this should become a substantial community and education sector event which would have the support of the RDA. A planning meeting will consider the model for the future as Murraylands Careers Expo Mark 3 to ensure strong community and business support for the sustainable delivery of this important event.

New partnership successfully delivered the Murraylands Careers Expo Mark 2 on May 11th 2012 with attendance of over 100 students. At the post event evaluation meeting the Management Committee agreed to continue and develop the Careers Expo as a community based annual event. Planning for Murraylands Career Expo Mark 3 will begin in September 2012 for the 2013 event. New partners and extra funding will be sought for the ongoing expansion of an annual showcase education and training event.


Murraylands Youth Homelessness

Partnership to address the negative impact of youth homelessness on the ability to attend school, attain Year 12 and proceed to further education and employment. Partnership developed in response to increasing evidence that young people subjected to domestic violence and alcohol related issues at home sought refuge with friends, other family members or in the worst instances ‘slept rough’ in public places.

These young people were categorised as ‘homeless’. Emergency accommodation for ‘homeless’ young people was  unavailable in the region. Young people taken to emergency accommodation in the city lost contact with school, family and friends and were likely to disengage further.

A survey of young people who were ‘disengaged’ from school undertaken by Youth Connections, Murray Bridge, indicated that the ability to remain at school and maintain studies was adversely effected by homelessness.
A partnership was formed to ascertain:-
·        number of homelessness young people in the region
·        impact of homelessness upon schooling and study
·        strategies to find alternative accommodation
·        emergency housing available in other regions
·        potential accommodation within the region


The Station Youth Centre Management Partnership

In response to issues relating to staffing of The Station Youth Centre during business hours following increasing numbers of disengaged young Aboriginal boys attending The Station during school hours a special meeting of Youth Services organisations and members of the Murraylands Youth Sector Network was held in February 2013.

Partnership developed to support the Rural City of Murray Bridge Open Door Policy and provide professional supervisory services each week day afternoon.

Issues addressed included:-

  • legal requirements of notification that students were at The Station
  • attendance officer response that resources were insufficient to assist
  • commitment of youth services to maintain the RCMB Open Door Policy
  • realisation that volunteer supervision was required
  • Aboriginal youth workers engaged to assist students and families
  • decision to establish a voluntary management partnership with RCMB
  • provision of  a team of professional volunteers to supervise the site
  • Terms of Agreement with roster, rules of management and code of conduct developed and agreed



Murraylands Careers Coach in Schools


A Partnership between Murray Bridge High School, SA Works and Workskil brokered by School and Beyond Inc. has delivered a successful program in which a professional careers coach assisted a selected group of Year 10 students at MBHS to access online careers advice and support and develop Personal Learning Plans. This Partnership was successfully extended to Mannum Community College in Terms 1 & 2 2012.

Each school approached the careers coach opportunity from a different perspective. The Murray Bridge High School program focused on a group of students who were on the margins of disengagement. It was considered that this group would provide a more effective measure of success rather than a high performance group who were likely to take advantage of all aspects of the training. While some students were not able to maintain attendance during the course of the program, overall the response was very positive with students appreciating the opportunity to work with a professional coach from outside the teaching staff.

The Mannum Community College made the Careers Coach available to the entire Year 10 class with a high level of engagement and therefore a high level of success. A more traditional approach to formulation of a booklet over the course of the program was followed.

Evidence gained from both of these contrasting models indicated that students response very favourably to working with a professional coach rather than the teaching staff. Plans are underway to extend this Partnership to Area Schools in the Mallee and to continue at the MBHS in 2013.


Doorways2Contructon - Lower Murray Trades Centre

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This Partnership between Murray Bridge High School, Rural City of Murray Bridge, DECS Industry Skills, CITB Indigenous Workforce Development, Lower Murray Training Centre, Trades School for the Future was brokered by former School and Beyond Executive Officer/Partnership Broker Sharon Secker, continued by Naomi Gleeson as interim Partnership Broker and completed by EO/PB Ann Herraman in 2011. Although Burke Urban were involved in the development stage they were unable to provide practical support when their construction activities were interrupted.

The Partnership successfully supported the training of Aboriginal students into the construction industry. The Partnership was designed to continue under the auspices of Murray Bridge High School in 2012.

Partnership developed to assist young indigenous students in Year 10 at the Murray Bridge High School to expand their skills, their work experience and build career pathways for the future. Partnership successfully completed with important information gathered to assist future continuation of the project into 2012.


Country Students University Retention


Recent discussions with Loxton, Waikerie and Murray Bridge High School indicated that country students experience difficulties sustaining University education in the city and were likely to return to home to take up lesser paid jobs rather that remain in the city.

A support project is being developed to establish partnerships between families of regional and urban high schools during secondary school years with a view to providing long term support networks and relationships which would support positive study experiences and completion of University studies and positive experiences of city life as tertiary students.

Discussions are underway with Flinders University and Rotary as potential partners. Urban High Schools with a natural link with country schools have been identified with a view to engaging them in this supportive strategy. An additional benefit would involve exchange between city and country schools to give city-based students an experience in the country life.

Discussions with other rural partnerships brokers indicate that this is a regional phenomenon which will lead itself to a regional partnership collaborations.