Teach For Australia’s story starts in Victoria – the first placement state for our Leadership Development Program. There is a wide variety of locations and placement areas across the state, and a similarly wide range of challenges for its students and schools.
Source: Our Impact (2020)
The educational gap between schools in Victoria has been widening over the past decade.
Research from the Centre For Policy Development (CPD) in 2019 found that schools which are ranked as educationally advantaged have either maintained or increased their academic profile, whereas schools that are experiencing disadvantage have seen declining academic levels.
Where you live, and how far you live from a major city, can affect your education in Victoria.
Only 1 in 3 rural schools are able to offer advanced mathematics in Victoria, compared to 2 in 3 public metropolitan schools according to the Committee for Economic Development in Australia (CEDA) (2018).
And although the state is not large compared to other Australian states, the CPD also found that distance matters: the farther you live from a major city, the less likely you are to achieve a VCE score over 40.
The variety of different locations and placement areas across Victoria means that there is truly something for everyone – from the world’s most liveable city to Victoria’s fastest growing town; from the tourist hotspots of the Great Ocean Road to the wine regions of North-Eastern Victoria; and from the beautiful Grampians mountain ranges to the rolling hills of Gippsland.
The Melbourne metro area, which is larger than you might think, sees Associates placed in schools from Melton in the west to Narre Warren in the South East and Frankston in the south. Associates working in metro Melbourne get to support students in a wide range of settings, with many multi-cultural schools with a high proportion of students who are recent migrants.
Associates love the fantastic nightlife, restaurants and national sporting events Melbourne has to offer – there’s always something to see and do. Many leverage the close proximity to the city to engage their students in excursions, work experience and tertiary experiences.
The Melbourne metropolitan area is inclusive of our partner schools in suburbs such as Melton, Emerald, or Dromana.
Our placement schools in regional and remote Victoria range from being a few hours’ drive from Melbourne all the way through to others which are up to five hours’ drive (or a plane ride!) away.
Associates in these communities appreciate how deeply they can integrate into the community.
There are many benefits to community life in remote Victoria and our associates are able to contribute to the wider community that they are a part of. Many join local sporting groups, community theatre, and recreation groups.
Students benefit greatly from the experiences and knowledge that associates bring to the school community. These placements can be challenging due to distance but the impact that you can have is significant.
We try where possible to partner with schools within an hour drive of one another, which means many Associates are able to live and study together. This has created a buzzing Associate and Alumni community in Victoria.
“This place is a paradise! Stunning scenery, a great school, perfect proximity to the city (train connection) and the Great Ocean Road at my doorstep!
The people are so warm and friendly. We are fortunate to live on an incredible coastline, the restaurants are great and there always seems to be an event on every weekend.
The best places to go to are Port Fairy, Cape Bridgewater, the Otways Treewalk, Port Campbell, Childers Cove and the 12 Apostles.” – James Holden (Cohort 2015) was placed at Warrnambool College on the south-western coast of Victoria