Project REAL

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In the last quarter of 2015, Banksia Gardens Community Services started working on a new initiative called Project REAL (Re-engagement in Education and Learning), aimed to address exclusion from primary schools experienced by students aged 9-12 years whose behaviours have been found extremely challenging, mostly as a result of previous experiences of trauma, abuse or neglect.

For a few years our staff had witnessed how dozens of children from the local area had been regularly missing as a result of suspensions and expulsions, and following several conversations with the Department of Education and Training, The Gateway School, (under the auspice of Roxburgh College) and with a group of local principals, Banksia Gardens was asked to put together a project proposal.

The project will, over the next five years, establish an alliance between local organisations including Banksia Gardens Community Services, The Gateway School, Outer Urban Projects, Dianella Health, the Department of Education and Training and eleven local primary schools, with the ultimate goal of re-engaging these students in their education and building the capacity of all partner schools to appropriately respond to the needs of these students. The project will also receive support from Berry Street Childhood Institute (training and professional development) and of the Brotherhood of St Laurence (evaluation).

During the period, our organisation approached several philanthropic organisations and submitted a number of funding applications to secure the funding necessary for such an ambitious initiative. At the time of writing we have secured funding from Gandel Philanthropy, William Buckland Foundation, R E Ross Trust, Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and Perpetual.

Meet the Project REAL team

Vyv  Luke Igor Tash

Project Real commenced on 7 February 2017, we currently have seven young people enrolled. The capacity building of the eleven schools is fundamental to the success of this project. By the end of 2017, we will have trained over 150 educators in the Berry Street Trauma Informed Education Model.

For further information please contact 9309 8531 Vyvyan vyvyan.s@banksiagardens.org.au or Luke luke.x@banksiagardens.org.au

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