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Banksia Gardens Community Services

Transforming lives, strengthening communities, reducing disadvantage.

  • Project: Northern Centre for Excellence in School Engagement
  • Amount: $600,000 over three years
  • Year(s) Funded: 2023
Photo 4 Banksia Gardens – their NCESE conference 2023

Banksia Gardens Community Services (BGCS) is a vibrant community service organisation that has been working in the heart of Broadmeadows for over 40 years.

The organisation works to eradicate poverty and disadvantage by delivering programs in early childhood, education and training, gender equity, young people, environmental sustainability, and community participation. With support from Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, the organisation is expanding the Northern Centre for Excellence in School Engagement program, a place-based initiative established to tackle early school  disengagement with 15 partner schools.

We have observed a very clear trend of earlier and more persistent disengagement over the last decade or so, something which has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Collective partnerships such as Northern Centre for Excellence in School Engagement are essential because early disengagement is an entrenched and complex problem fueled by structural disadvantage. A single school or organisation has very limited capacity to address it in isolation. The development of this program has enabled our schools to boost their morale thanks to a strong collective purpose that has allowed them to embark on a common journey and draw support from each other along the way.


Program Snapshot

The Northern Centre for Excellence in School Engagement aims to:

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    Build the collective capacity of partner agencies to support their most vulnerable and disadvantaged students through professional development, coaching and mentoring.

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    Boost the impact of inclusive education approaches in schools through innovation, local service integration and family engagement and support practices.

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    Enhance the collective evidence base on school engagement factors and strategies ‘that work’ (for example, trauma-informed
    teacher training) for the most disengaged students.

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    Continue delivering the CARE (Cultivating Awareness and Resilience in Educators) program to support teachers and educators to build collective resilience and prevent burnout and vicarious trauma.