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Ganbina Primary School participants with cultural artefacts, Ganbina Photography

Equity, Education and Employment

For young Aboriginal people from the age of five to 25 years, helping them start work and stay strong is how Ganbina’s long term program Jobs4U2 delivers sustained results. The program tackles generational disadvantage through education, leadership and community. By having this continuity of care and connection for the region’s young people throughout these important years, school attendance, Year 12 completion, tertiary education and employment rates are significantly higher than state and national averages.

Program: Education
Project: Jobs4U2
Location: Goulburn Valley, Victoria

Ganbina’s Jobs4U2 is a strengths-based program to support young Aboriginal people in the Goulburn Valley region of Victoria to achieve their potential. With intensive, early and regular engagement, children starting school are provided with practical and cultural support for them and their families.

Initial support in the early years is through Ganbina’s education scholarships to help meet school costs including uniforms, fees, books and excursions. By creating a sense of belonging in school in these early years, Ganbina sustains this connection to ensure that the transition to secondary schooling and completion of Year 12 is encouraged.

The link with older students is helped through Ganbina’s Youth Leadership Program. Students have exposure to opportunities and events that help them broaden their perspectives, strengthen their capabilities, confidence and capacity. It is the resilience and understanding shaped by these experiences that is helping maintain their focus on and beyond school.

For Jobs4U2 participant Lillie Walker “it helped me navigate what my future could possibly look like and showed me that there’s different opportunities and possibilities out there”. Keith Gray, former principal of Wanganui Secondary College has seen firsthand the benefits of the program and the generational change Ganbina is making: “these kids would have normally dropped out of school, but they don’t”.

The length of support for young people is a vital element of the program’s success. For Ganbina graduate Lachlan Harlow, without the occasional practical support of Ganbina and having someone trusted, safe and willing to help, he said “I don’t know if I would have got through uni”.

The Phillips Foundation recognises the importance of sustained and continuous care particularly for young Aboriginal people tackling long term and significant disadvantage. Partnering with Ganbina to provide support for their educational scholarships and Youth Leadership Program has helped 472 students over the last six years start strong.

Ganbina Youth Leadership Program year 11 trip to Cairns, Ganbina Photography
Ganbina Careers Night 2023, Ganbina Photography

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