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It has been another huge year for the team here at the BGKLLEN. We’ve worked with some incredible schools, educators and organisations and presented to over 770 people to promote our mission to deliver equal education and employment outcomes for all young people. Here are some of the highlights of our year: New Work Order in the VCAL - Teacher ToolkitWe started off the year with a BANG - Launching the New Work Order VCAL Teacher Toolkit alongside Victorian Deputy Premier & Minister for Education James Merlino, and Jan Owen OAM from the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA).The toolkit is a 12-month partnership between FYA and BGKLLEN and was created through a co-design process with 5 local schools. Students can be seen evaluating the VCAL Toolkit activities below:[caption id="attachment_17709" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Students evaluating the VCAL Toolkit activities.[/caption]The response to the toolkit has been phenomenal, and it has been downloaded over 590...

At Risk Forum 2018The BGKLLEN, along with our partners Bayside City Council, Glen Eira City Council, Kingston City Council and Holmesglen Vocational College again held the increasingly popular At Risk Forum recently.  We were amazed that the Forum was fully booked out within 4 days of registration opening!It is always so exciting to see everyone engaging with each other, starting at registration, continuing over morning tea and again at lunchtime.   The room ‘buzzes’ with conversation when those breaks are taken!Our attendees are always appreciative of the day and we receive valuable feedback from the evaluation forms.  Some of the comments we received are:Well run event, Excellent presenters Another great forum, looking forward to 2019 Even better than last year if that is possible!!! Topics and presenters were excellent!! One of the best training events, excellent content and speakers An informative and well run forum on great topics All presenters...

I was lucky enough to be invited to speak at the Doing School Differently Conference on the Gold Coast last month. I wasn’t just lucky to be escaping the Melbourne winter, I was in for a real treat as an attendee as well.The DSD Conference is held every second year and brings together Flexible Learning Options (FLO) to share practices, research and programs to better advance these settings as best practice education settings.BGKLLEN has been a long-time supporter of FLO and its place in a healthy education system. As identified in the Successful Journey Report undertaken by FLV in 2017, these settings hold student wellbeing as the number one driver of their engagement and achievement. This means that students who need reliable relationships, trauma informed practice or even just a feed can get what they need in these settings. This is vital for their health, wellbeing and their learning. The conference...

Sometimes when working with our young people it isn’t always easy to have the information to know where we can refer them when they need just that little bit of extra support. We are very lucky in the Bayside, Glen Eira and Kingston region to have a wide number of supports available for young people. However, it isn’t always easy to know or find out what they are so the BGKLLEN decided to put them all together on a Service Map. This is a fantastic ‘one stop’ resource which provides information and, more importantly, contact details for services which include Education Supports, Training and Career Advice Opportunities, Health and Wellbeing Supports and Job Supports. The BGKLLEN has produced this Service Map in 2016 and 2017 it has always been one of the most popular resources to be downloaded. The 2018 Service Map is now available for download under the resource section of this website....

We were extremely fortunate to have Drew Corby, Strategy Lead from Purposeful - Ethical Consultants present at our 2018 Annual General Meeting. Drew has a background in front-line leadership and is an expert in helping organisations create the types of lasting cultural changes that are necessary to attract and keep young workers. One of the biggest issues that many organisations struggle with is how to engage these "millennials" (those born between the 1980’s and early 2000’s). Millenials have a bad reputation and are often labelled as being lazy and lacking workplace loyalty. This simply isn’t true. Millenials are definitely not lazy, with more than 73% of Millenials working more than 40 hours per week (ManPower Group -Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision). They are also not disloyal but have different goals than previous generations. Where baby boomers may prioritise stability, Millenials are more likely to use work as a way to:Find new friendships and develop...

Last Tuesday, BGKLLEN’s own Laura won Kingston City Council’s Young Citizen of the Year Award. Kathy and Brendan nominated Laura for her work and advocacy on youth unemployment and for positively representing young people to Government. She has really grown the BGKLLEN SWL program in the year that she has been coordinating it and last year started a  campaign in the Leader Newspaper linking long-term unemployed young people with employers. She has also been holding down the position of deputy chair of Victorian Youth Congress. All BGKLLEN staff attended the evening and Laura handled herself really well and gave a great speech acknowledging the other finalists and mentioning how the future is in good hands. Laura is an incredibly self-motivated staff member here at the BGKLLEN and a joy to have on board. We're incredibly proud of her, and the fantastic contribution she makes not only to our organisations but to our local community...

Last Friday (Feb 23), the BGKLLEN stood alongside the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), the Minister for Education & Emergency Services and the Victorian Applied Learning Association and proudly launched the New Work Order Toolkit.Designed to support educators in facilitating immersive, meaningful learning experiences that build students’ skills and capacity beyond the classroom, the toolkit is mapped to the VCAL curriculum and can be customised to fit varied contexts and timeframes. Split into five learning modules, the 27 individual lessons are based on insights and recommendations from FYA’s New Work Order report series.Minister Merlino noted during his launch speech that “VCAL is something extremely special and unique to the state”. VCAL students are already diving deeper into career conversations and so the toolkit was aimed at supporting these students. “This toolkit is a very impressive document which gives you (teachers) advice on how you can help your students reach their...

“Equal education & employment outcomes for all young people” is a great vision. It took us some wordsmithing, slashing and simplifying to get it so sleek. It wasn’t easy. Our next task though, will be even more difficult but incredibly important. We are going to try and make our vision happen. We started by talking to our Committee of Management and asking their points of view and even made a video which you can watch at the bottom of the page. We also had a deep look inside the organisation to see what opportunities there were for us to become even more inclusive within our programs and supports for young people. We have added Diversity and Inclusion into our structures and have a designated staff member now guiding us and partners to be more effective in inclusive practice and engaging diverse young people. We learned a lot last year from...

It has been another busy and exciting year for the team here at the BGKLLEN. Some of our highlights have included:Working with the Foundation for Young Australians to create the 'New Work Order in the VCAL Teacher Toolkit'. This helps teachers equip young people for the jobs of tomorrow.  Writing the 'Hands Up! Student Volunteer Program Workbook'  which prepares young people with varying degrees of intellectual disabilities and learning differences for volunteering. Running the At Risk Forum in September, which focused on four big issues affecting local young people; Family Violence, Gender Diversity, Anxiety and School Refusal.  Creating videos that explain the benefits of the Structured Workplace Learning Program for Students and Employers as well as the diverse and far-reaching work that the LLENs do.   Designing the anti-anxiety card with Headspace Elsternwick, which helps young people cope with stress and anxiety.   All of this wouldn't have been possible without the trust and support of our local community. Thank you to everyone who has supported or partnered with us this year. Your help goes...

If you don't know FYA (Foundation for Young Australians) then stop reading this and google them or go here first: https://www.fya.org.au/. I first came across them 5 years ago when we were looking for a leadership program for some young up-and-coming Koorie people in Ballarat. Sheree and I walked into their office (an old nightclub) and proceeded to learn about "change making" while Alissa and Benson from FYA (and Tarni, Sheree's daughter) started drawing on the glass walls in texta. We learnt so much but were both impressed and a little out of our comfort zone!All up, we ended up running 3 Change it Up programs where over 100 young people from our area created ideas and pitched for funding to start a campaign, enterprise or group that would positively impact their peers. We even got to host Unleashed - a statewide event for all FYA Change Makers.Last year, we...