This collaboration draws upon a wealth of expertise from organizational partners across Australia.

Youth+ Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) Youth+ is a well-established organisation responsible for a national suite of youth educational programs, including 16 schools (as of 2015), under the umbrella of Edmund Rice Education Australia. Youth+ currently caters for a diverse population of approximately 1500 Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth. The young people who attend Youth+ services have typically experienced one or more significant and complex educational, social, developmental, psychological, health, legal or familial situations which demand unique responses. Youth+ considers quantification of the economic and social benefits of educational intervention as critical to the longevity of service providers working in this area as well as politically significant in relation to recognising the growing need of a largely under-served section of the youth population.

Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (VDEECD) The Youth Partnerships Secretariat within DEECD leads a whole of Victorian Government initiative to design and test new ways for services to work together more collaboratively to provide the necessary holistic support for vulnerable young people aged 10-18 years so that they may successfully engage in learning. The Secretariat is keen to explore issues around disadvantage, productivity, engagement, achievement and well being, and is particularly interested in supporting local communities to better meet the needs of at-risk and disengaged young people. Recent significant reports produced by the DEECD which align with this project include: Pathways to re-engagement through Flexible Learning Options (DEECD, 2010); Re-engaging our kids: A framework for education provision to children and young people at risk of disengaging or disengaged from school (KPMG, 2009).

Northern Territory Department of Education (NTDoE) The NTDoE has been investing in re-engagement programs and facilities in the NT (such as the Malak Reengagement Centre, the Alice Springs Flexible Learning Centre and Alice Outcomes) with the aim of providing transitional educational and wellbeing pathways for disenfranchised youth. The Department is interested in understanding the effects of those alternative options on outcomes (soft and hard) over the longer term, in particular their educational effects as well as impacts on economic and social productivity.

Catholic Education Office of Western Australia (CEOWA) The Catholic education system in Western Australia provides a dynamic, student-centred approach to education for more than 72,000 young people in 157 schools across the state. With a focus on the development of the whole person – intellectual, spiritual, social, physical and emotional development – Catholic education is the state‟s second largest education sector, educating some 18% of all school-aged children in Western Australia. Catholic schools in Western Australia are united as a system, with the four dioceses of Perth, Bunbury, Geraldton and Broome, all collaborating to provide quality Catholic schooling across the state. As outlined in the organisational strategic plan, CEOWA is committed to building leadership, capacity and quality learning and teaching in Catholic schools and will work to develop, promote and evaluate initiatives to improve learning and life outcomes for Aboriginal students, families and communities.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) The BSL is a non-government organisation with strong community links that has been working to reduce poverty in Australia since the 1930s. Based in Melbourne, BSL undertakes research and services focused on those people at greatest risk at key life transition stages considered critical to their future wellbeing. This collaboration fits neatly within the existing Brotherhood of St Laurence Research and Policy Centre strategic direction emphasizing inclusive growth and social inclusion. It does so by enabling the Centre to investigate the following questions: What are the real costs of providing a re-engagement program and what does this tell us about existing funding models? What are the costs of educational underachievement and youth un/under-employment? What are the costs of hardship experienced or averted? What would be the costs, and who would incur them, in the absence of such programs? It also promises to extend the Brotherhood‟s understanding of the effectiveness of re-engagement projects for youth, gleaned from a number of evaluations of Brotherhood programs, most notably, its Community VCAL program in Frankston (Myconos 2010, 2011, 2012). The collaboration enhances the Brotherhood‟s existing commitment to the National Alliance on Integrated Learning, and relations with DEEWR and DEECD, as well as with initiatives such as NEST (the ARACY led national plan for child and youth wellbeing). The project speaks directly to Gonski report recommendations calling for more research into what works in efforts to re-engage young people.

Additional Resources from the BSL:

  • BSL Resource and Policy Center – The Brotherhood’s Research and Policy Centre is Australia’s largest social policy research centre in a non-government welfare organisation. In partnership with the University of Melbourne our multidisciplinary team includes international research and policy experts bringing us the most up-to-date and innovative research on social trends and issues. From policy analysis to program design and evaluation, we produce a rigorous evidence base to inform social and economic policy leading to a more inclusive Australia.
  • Education First Youth Foyers Evaluation – To make sure that Foyers are achieving good outcomes, Hanover and the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) are proud to be undertaking a large evaluation supported by the Victorian Government. Our research is looking at how we provide services, the costs involved and whether we achieve good outcomes for students.
  • Working Longer – Through a series of interviews with mature age people who are not working, or working less than they would like, this study examines the complex ways in which people’s attachment to the labour market weakens well before ‘retirement age.’ The information gathered will help to inform more effective policies and programs related to paid work and employment services for people in these age groups.

Centacare North Queensland has been working with vulnerable people across North Queensland since 1979. Centacare provides a range of counselling, youth, life skills education, employment, disability, and homeless support programs (the Reconnect Program for youth homelessness). The organisation operates across ten sites in North Queensland and the Gulf Country with outreach to a further eight towns in the region. Centacare has a strong inclusive community focus especially with the Aboriginal communities in North Queensland.