Mildura Rural City Council, Vic, for Flexible Learning Options Connect—Transcript

[Music plays and text appears on screen: Flexible Learning Options (FLO) Connect, Mildura Rural City Council, VIC. Youth Employment CATEGORY WINNER. Australian Coat of Arms appears with text: Australian Government. Logo and text appears on the bottom right of screen: National Awards 2015 for Local Government]

[Image changes to show Martin Hawson and text appears: Martin Hawson, Flexible Learning Options (FLO) Connect, Mildura Rural City Council, VIC]

Martin Hawson: We're the northern end of the state in Victoria, the furtherest[?] point away from Melbourne I guess.

[Image changes to show various images of classrooms. Logo for National Awards for Local Government appears in the bottom right hand corner with text: 2015 Category Winner]

There was a real issue with youth disengagement. We still have a low attainment rate for year 12.

[Image changes back to Martin Hawson]

It's around about 35%, where the state average is nearly 60%, so it's quite a significant issue for us.

[Image changes to show various images of young people]

So we engaged with the education sector to look at well what can we do about this issue?

[Image changes back to Martin Hawson]

We then decided to look at the youth that were totally disengaged from school, kids that haven't been attending school for over three months.

[Image changes to show a young woman sitting at a table working at a laptop]

That was the evolution of FLO Connect, which Flexible Learning Options is what FLO stands for.

[Image changes to show a woman sitting at a table with the younger woman working at a laptop]

[Image changes to show a group of young people seated at tables]

And FLO Connect is basically a school within our CBD. It sort of grew through word of mouth, through social media, but it was the medium was the students talking with each other and saying, “This is what we're looking for.”

[Image changes to show a young man speaking with an older man]

[Image changes to show a young woman sitting at a table and working at a laptop]

[Image changes back to Martin Hawson]

From a local government perspective it was really a shift for us. I mean we were a traditional use provider of youth services to our community, but we made a fundamental shift to say we need to start addressing this level of disengagement, and we shifted resources.

[Image changes to show young people taking photos with a camera]

[Image changes to show young people working]

[Image changes to show various images of people]

Local government's role was to provide that case management support, so not only—or we call them mentors—so not only do they have some sort of academic base, but they also have coaches that help them through the gaps in their life that are missing.

[Image changes to show various images of young people]

In the first year we had up to 95% of the kids remain that came to FLO Connect, continued on to be engaged in education training. We've been able to bring a lot of the sectors together to achieve something that for our community is quite remarkable.

[Image changes back to Martin Hawson]

And that's the primary purpose for putting in for the awards, is to help us promote and brand what we're doing in this unique situation.

[Text appears on screen: Flexible Learning Options (FLO) Connect, Mildura Rural City Council, VIC. Youth Employment CATEGORY WINNER. Australian Coat of Arms appears with text: Australian Government. Logo and text appears on the bottom right of screen: National Awards 2015 for Local Government]

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Last Updated: 18 June, 2015