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Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals

  • Project: Ourschool - helping state secondary schools build thriving alumni communities to benefit current students
  • Amount: $30,000
  • Year(s) Funded: 2017

Ourschool alumni service - motivating students to work harder and aim higher

Alumni are inspirational, relatable role models for students because they are proof that ‘people like me’ can succeed. Ourschool is a service that helps state schools reach out and connect with their past students to build valuable alumni networks in order to provide better opportunities for their current students and lead to systemic change.

Ourschool in action: Fountain Gate Secondary College alumni and small business owners, Lukas, an electrician, and Dannii, a personal trainer, talk to students about study and career pathways.

“It’s important for young people to see themselves in role models. For me, coming back to school is about trying to inspire new Australians to see themselves in roles that exist for everybody; to see themselves as part of this country.” Samuel Malual, a Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator at North Melbourne Football Club and a Keysborough College alum who has taken part in the program’s career pathway sessions.


  • In 2017, HMSTrust funded a capacity building grant to VASSP to roll out a two year trial of Ourschool, an alumni service for state secondary schools.
  • So successful was the pilot that in 2019, Ourschool become a standalone organisation with the sole purpose of helping public high schools build their alumni networks to benefit students and their school communities.
  • Ourschool is Australia’s only not-for-profit alumni program for state schools. It provides past students with the personal and career benefits of belonging to an alumni community. Unlike private schools, state schools lack the resources, time and expertise to harness the potential of their alumni.
  • The program encourages former students to give back through work experience placements for current students, volunteering and mentoring, and donations.
  • Alumni networks can broaden students’ opportunities, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, by opening their eyes to career possibilities, lifting aspirations and achievement.
  • Ourschool operates on a subscription basis, tailored to the needs of each school. It works with staff and volunteers to build each school’s alumni community and embed a sustainable alumni culture across the school.
  • Since launching, the program has been piloted across 19 regional and metropolitan Victorian schools:
    • 9000+ students (mainly Years 9-12) have taken part in 220+ alumni career pathways sessions, where alumni are invited back to school to speak to students about their study and career pathways since leaving school.
    • 460+ alumni volunteers took part in these sessions
    • 5,000+ alumni connected to their schools and the program
    • More than 100 student work experience placements offered by alumni
    • three student scholarships established, three fundraising school projects involving alumni
  • Another 10 schools have started an alumni program via the Ourschool workshop service
  • More than 8 alumni coordinator jobs for young alumni have been created at their old schools
  • An independent evaluation report shows the program is having a strong, positive impact on students, alumni and teachers involved.

Last updated 1 June 2020