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Visy Cares Hub and Victoria University: Making the Door of a University Open to the Community

Broadbent, Robyn (2011) Visy Cares Hub and Victoria University: Making the Door of a University Open to the Community. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 51 (1). pp. 96-118. ISSN 1443-1394

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In 1999, a group of men embarked on a remarkable project that resulted in building a two million dollar youth centre in one of Melbourne’s most disadvantaged communities. From the outset, Victoria University (VU) was a keen partner in the project. This project had key synergies with the current experiences of the University—a dual sector higher education and vocational education institution in Melbourne’s western suburbs. There were also alliances with emerging government policy, in particular policy focused on responding to the rapid social and economic transformations that were occurring where increasingly the social and employment divide was apparent in the western region of Melbourne. Education, and in particular vocational education, it was hoped was to be part of the solution. And on that basis Government policy was focused on ensuring that young people stayed in the education and training system. Young people, as a result of policy changes in 2000, were encouraged or forced to re-enter education to continue to secure any government income support. For Victoria University this meant that an increasing number of young people with complex issues came to their door. It is a situation that is again being faced by the education system in Australia with the most recent announcement by the Federal Government on the jobs and training compact (Council of Australian Governments 2009). This paper outlines a dual track journey, one of a project destined to be built and another of a University that embarked on research, reflection and action to create a very different learning environment for some of the most disadvantaged young people in Australia. In the end, the University located one of its entrances at a multi-purpose youth centre in Sunshine, with the aim of re-orientating its welcome mat to young people and engaging them in returning to study and fulfilling their own aspirations to succeed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ResPubID23755, disadvantaged communities, Victoria University, VU, dual sector, higher education, vocational education, Melbourne’s western suburbs, youth at risk, educationally disadvantaged
Subjects: Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Education
FOR Classification > 1301 Education Systems
SEO Classification > 9301 Learner and Learning
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2012 05:12
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2014 00:56
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Citations in Scopus: 0 - View on Scopus

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