Our Place

The Our Place approach provides tailored education, health and wellbeing services from a single location, creating an integrated community resource that supports children and families to succeed. 

The approach was developed by the Colman Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that aims to improve social and educational opportunities for children and their families. 

The Colman Foundation established the Our Place approach at Doveton College in 2012. Based on the outcomes at Doveton, the Department is partnering with the Colman Foundation to establish ten Our Place sites in selected communities across Victoria. 

Key features of Our Place 

The Our Place approach supports these communities by providing: 

  • A single point of entry to the school and the early learning centre to promote engagement of families and support children in their transition from kindergarten to school
  • Shared spaces to offer services such as maternal and child health, playgroup, GPs, paediatricians, immunisations, parent support groups, and adult education, training, volunteering and job-seeking services
  • Access to tailored health, wellbeing and community services for families and children from one location
  • Community Facilitators working on site to assist families and children to connect to early childhood, education, allied health and wellbeing services. 

The Department builds the infrastructure at Our Place sites and the Colman Foundation provides Community Facilitators to facilitate allied health and community services, and engage families. 

Partnerships with local service providers and community groups are a key feature of the Our Place approach. These partners include: 

  • early childhood services
  • local government
  • other government Departments
  • community health services
  • adult education providers
  • community and cultural organisations. 

The Our Place Approach

Audio transcript

The Department of Education and Training has partnered with the Colman Foundation to establish the Our Place model at selected locations across Victoria.

The partnership is a ten-year commitment to support the local communities by providing a single entrance to the school and early learning centre and shared spaces to deliver education, allied health and community services.

The Victorian government delivers the infrastructure for Our Place and the Colman Foundation funds community facilitators to work on site to coordinate a range of government and community services, and engage families. 

Charlotte Kelberg, Partnership Manager, Our Place.

On site at Our Place Northern Bay we have early years services, kindergarten, school services for a P-8 school.

Ruth Hamilton, Centre Manager, Korayn Biralee Family Centre, City of Greater Geelong.

The centre also offers a range of services to the community we got Maternal Child Health, immunisations, supported playgroups, storytime, and we’re hoping to run a toy library.

Scott Diamond, College Principal, Northern Bay P to 12 College.

One of the Our Place key tenets is the idea of co-location and the ability for families to be entering the same door for an extended period of time./p>

A key feature of the Our Place approach is engaging parents and carers to connect them to education, health and wellbeing services.

Ruth: From 0 to adulthood, families can access this service and they can have their children in long daycare and kindergarten program.

Charlotte: We do adult learning, education and employment services.

Ruth:They can drop their children off at school and they themselves can work with support agencies that are around to look at how they can access employment support or further education for themselves, so it’s really this one-stop shop. 

Ben McCredden, Campus Principal, Wexford, Northern Bay P to 12 College.

It’s more than having a kinder on site, it’s having the services that are available from birth to school so we can start that link with communities and families from day 1. It certainly means I’m more aware of what is going on in our school community and the issues they are facing. When the students start in prep we have a much greater understanding of them and their families and they can really hit the ground running.

Ruth:We’ve been able to work with the school, the principal and their workers to really look at the supports the children need, what are the key areas that they are is walking into school with and without, and how do we work together to support the development of children’s resilience and social and emotional wellbeing before they step into that big wide world of schooling.

Our Place sites are located at Doveton, Officer, Robinvale, Carlton, Seymour, Corio, Morwell, Clayton South, Frankston North and Mooroopna.

Charlotte: Our Place approach is a 10 year commitment which is a long time to be working in a community which gives us an opportunity to really create impact and have sustainable outcomes in this community.

Our Place Sites

The Our Place approach is being implemented in the following communities:

Site School Early Learning Centre Opening Date
Doveton College
Doveton College Early Learning Centre

Bridgewood Primary School
Bridgewood Integrated Child and Family Centre
Robinvale College
Robinvale Preschool
Carlton Primary School
Carlton Learning Precinct ELC
Seymour College
Seymour Family and Children's Centre
Morwell Central Primary School
Goodstart Morwell Central Childcare Centre
Northern Bay P - 12 College - Wexford Campus
Korayn Birralee Family Centre
Frankston North 
Aldercourt Primary School
Aldercourt Child and Family Centre
Frankston North 
Mahogany Rise Primary School
Mahogany Rise Child and Family Centre
Mooroopna Primary School
Mooroopna Children and Families Centre
Clayton South 
Westall Primary School
Westall Kindergarten
Opening mid 2022
Morwell Park Primary School
To be confirmed
Opening Term 1, 2023