On Friday 10 May 2019, La Trobe University hosted an event for young people in out-of-home care and their support network, including carers, teachers and support workers. The event was organised in partnership with the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare and the Raising Expectations project.
The aim of the event was to encourage young people in care to think about higher education as an option for them by giving them a taste of university life and letting them know about the wide range of careers and courses on offer, as well as the various pathways they might take to get there.
Participants learned about the Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research's leading research into care leavers and higher education in Australia, which underpins La Trobe's award-winning Higher Education for Care Leavers Strategy.
Participants also heard from keynote speaker Brittany Witnish, Youth Advisor at the Commission for Children and Young People, as well as several current and past La Trobe care leaver students about their experiences of getting to university and succeeding.
Supporters learnt about various education programs run through the LOOKOUT Centre, Anglicare, the Local Learning and Employment Network, the Skills and Jobs Centre at Bendigo TAFE, and the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative, as well as some of the different pathways to La Trobe, and the various academic and non-academic supports available once enrolled.
Altogether, more than 60 people participated in the event, with insight gained into higher education, care leavers, LTU student services and support, and local education programs for disadvantaged youth. The event also received some great local media coverage:
- ABC Central Victoria, Breakfast with Fiona Parker (2019, May 9). Interview with Andrew Harvey, Associate Professor and Director of Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity, ABC Central Victoria, Bendigo 91.1 FM.
- Harvey, A. (2019, May 10). Students go from care to life on campus. Bendigo Advertiser.
- Kernebone, E. (2019, May 11). Reach for La Trobe event in Bendigo aims to bring children in care to university as part of Raising Expectations project. Bendigo Advertiser.
A similar event was hosted by the Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research at the Bendigo campus in 2016.
If you or someone you know is interested in participating in future REACH for La Trobe events, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org