• State Member for Monbulk, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education

    As your State Member of Parliament, I am passionate about representing our local community. My office and staff are here to help you and your family. Please feel free to contact my office in Belgrave, or send through an email.

  • GETTING RID OF TWO MORE LEVEL CROSSINGS IN MELBOURNE’S EAST

    The Andrews Labor Government will build rail bridges to remove two more dangerous and congested level crossings in Melbourne’s East. Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan joined Member for Monbulk James Merlino to reveal designs for the Manchester Road, Mooroolbark and Maroondah Highway, Lilydale level crossing removals.

  • DELIVERING FOR MONBULK

    The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its promises and delivering for the people of Monbulk, with major investments in local schools, roads, health and public transport in the Victorian Budget 2019/20.

  • MORE CAR PARKS AT BELGRAVE STATION A STEP CLOSER

    Geotechnical works will take place at Belgrave Station car park from next week, as the Andrews Labor Government gets on with building more spaces for passengers to park.

  • FREE TAFE KICKS OFF IN MONBULK

    Students and job seekers from Monbulk can now take up Free TAFE training under the Andrews Labor Government’s $172 million program to make 30 priority TAFE courses and 20 pre-apprenticeship courses tuition fee free from this year.

  • State Member for Monbulk, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education

    As your State Member of Parliament, I am passionate about representing our local community. My office and staff are here to help you and your family. Please feel free to contact my office in Belgrave, or send through an email.

Media Centre

Transition Support Funding For Students With Disability

Victorian students with disability will receive extra support to transition from their final year of education into post-schooling pathways, thanks to a Victorian Government investment into their future. State Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP today announced that specialist schools will receive $750 for each final year student with disability to support their transition to post-school options in 2021. Mainstream schools will also be eligible for the payment to provide extra support for final year students with disability to transition from school. Schools can use the Post-Secondary Transition Funding Grant to allow school staff to provide transition outreach support for school leavers until the end of Term 1, 2021. This extra support will give these students opportunities to familiarise themselves with their new settings, learn new skills, and transition confidently with help from teachers and staff from their school. Schools will be provided with a suite of resources to communicate essential guidance to their school community, such as transition support guides and a parent factsheet. Transition planning for students with disability involves a holistic and collaborative approach to find the most appropriate opportunities tailored to each student. This is part of the Victorian Government’s $250 million package, which is the single biggest boost to individual learning support in the state’s history, to support more than 200,000 students across the state to stay engaged in their education. While 2020 has been a year like no other, students, schools and families have remained steadfast in finding a post-school destination for 2021, while also finishing this year with achievements. Quotes attributable to State Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP “We are investing in the future of every Victorian student to ensure they have the individual support they need to successfully transition into other opportunities outside of school next year.” “Transitioning to a new stage in life can be challenging. That’s why we are giving students with disability extra support to feel confident as they take the next step.” “This fixed payment will allow schools to free up teachers to do this vital work and assist these learners to reach their full potential.”

Transition Support Funding For Students With Disability

Victorian students with disability will receive extra support to transition from their final year of education into post-schooling pathways, thanks to a Victorian Government investment into their future. State Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP today announced that specialist schools will receive $750 for each final year student with disability to support their transition to post-school options in 2021. Mainstream schools will also be eligible for the payment to provide extra support for final year students with disability to transition from school. Schools can use the Post-Secondary Transition Funding Grant to allow school staff to provide transition outreach support for school leavers until the end of Term 1, 2021. This extra support will give these students opportunities to familiarise themselves with their new settings, learn new skills, and transition confidently with help from teachers and staff from their school. Schools will be provided with a suite of resources to communicate essential guidance to their school community, such as transition support guides and a parent factsheet. Transition planning for students with disability involves a holistic and collaborative approach to find the most appropriate opportunities tailored to each student. This is part of the Victorian Government’s $250 million package, which is the single biggest boost to individual learning support in the state’s history, to support more than 200,000 students across the state to stay engaged in their education. While 2020 has been a year like no other, students, schools and families have remained steadfast in finding a post-school destination for 2021, while also finishing this year with achievements. Quotes attributable to State Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP “We are investing in the future of every Victorian student to ensure they have the individual support they need to successfully transition into other opportunities outside of school next year.” “Transitioning to a new stage in life can be challenging. That’s why we are giving students with disability extra support to feel confident as they take the next step.” “This fixed payment will allow schools to free up teachers to do this vital work and assist these learners to reach their full potential.”

Helping Monbulk’s Sport And Active Recreation Organisations Survive And Thrive

Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP today announced 14 grants have so far been approved in the electorate under the second round of the Government’s Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package. The successful organisations are: Yarra Valley Fly Fishers, The Hoddles Creek Cricket Club, 1st Monbulk Guides, East Malvern Motorcycle Club, Ferntree Gully Butterfly Guides, Ferntree Gully Froggeys Guides, Ferntree Gully Watermelon Guides, Girl Guides Assoc of Vic Knox District, Monbulk Gumnut Guides, Monbulk Ranger Guides, Montrose Girl Guides, Sassy Ferny Creek Netball Club, South Belgrave Cricket Club and the Upwey Junior Girl Guides. These are the second round of grants from the Andrews Labor Government’s $40 million community sport survival package that will make it that little bit easier for clubs to support players and volunteers during this time. Victorians have been hit hard by the necessary restrictions, and sport and active recreation clubs and associations are no exception. The Victorian Government will continue to work with the sport and recreation sector to explore recovery options and help clubs return to play when it is safe to do so. With more than three million Victorians involved in community sport and recreation, we know that getting back on the field or court is important to Victorians – that’s why we are getting behind 12,000 clubs and associations across the state. The Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package has two streams: grants for state sporting associations, regional sports assemblies and academies and other state sport and recreational bodies; and grants of up to $2,000 for associations and leagues and up to $1,000 for individual clubs. The Government also recently announced its roadmap to COVID normal. This directive signals the first major steps in the return of community sport in Victoria. For all the latest roadmap information including an outline of the roadmap Step process visit https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-roadmaps Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP “These clubs are an integral part of our community and this support will help them pay the bills and make an eventual return to play that little bit easier.” “Ensuring community sport and active recreation organisations survive this pandemic and come back stronger than ever is critical to our economic and social recovery, and to our community’s physical and mental wellbeing.” “We know that people in Monbulk want to get out on the park and represent their local club more than ever – we’re working hard to make that happen and give local clubs the support they need.”

Helping Monbulk’s Sport And Active Recreation Organisations Survive And Thrive

Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP today announced 14 grants have so far been approved in the electorate under the second round of the Government’s Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package. The successful organisations are: Yarra Valley Fly Fishers, The Hoddles Creek Cricket Club, 1st Monbulk Guides, East Malvern Motorcycle Club, Ferntree Gully Butterfly Guides, Ferntree Gully Froggeys Guides, Ferntree Gully Watermelon Guides, Girl Guides Assoc of Vic Knox District, Monbulk Gumnut Guides, Monbulk Ranger Guides, Montrose Girl Guides, Sassy Ferny Creek Netball Club, South Belgrave Cricket Club and the Upwey Junior Girl Guides. These are the second round of grants from the Andrews Labor Government’s $40 million community sport survival package that will make it that little bit easier for clubs to support players and volunteers during this time. Victorians have been hit hard by the necessary restrictions, and sport and active recreation clubs and associations are no exception. The Victorian Government will continue to work with the sport and recreation sector to explore recovery options and help clubs return to play when it is safe to do so. With more than three million Victorians involved in community sport and recreation, we know that getting back on the field or court is important to Victorians – that’s why we are getting behind 12,000 clubs and associations across the state. The Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package has two streams: grants for state sporting associations, regional sports assemblies and academies and other state sport and recreational bodies; and grants of up to $2,000 for associations and leagues and up to $1,000 for individual clubs. The Government also recently announced its roadmap to COVID normal. This directive signals the first major steps in the return of community sport in Victoria. For all the latest roadmap information including an outline of the roadmap Step process visit https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-roadmaps Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP “These clubs are an integral part of our community and this support will help them pay the bills and make an eventual return to play that little bit easier.” “Ensuring community sport and active recreation organisations survive this pandemic and come back stronger than ever is critical to our economic and social recovery, and to our community’s physical and mental wellbeing.” “We know that people in Monbulk want to get out on the park and represent their local club more than ever – we’re working hard to make that happen and give local clubs the support they need.”

Every Student Returns To The Classroom

All remaining Victorian students will begin returning to classrooms from today, with 163,000 students in Years 8 to 10 in metropolitan Melbourne joining their classmates in the final stage of the staggered return to on-site learning. It will mean that more than a million students across the state have transitioned from flexible and remote learning back to on-site learning. Graduation ceremonies can also commence this term allowing year 6 and year 12 students and school staff to gather to celebrate their final year at their school. COVIDSafe measures must be in place and they can only be attended by students from the graduating year level and school staff but can be broadcast to families. This applies to schools in both metropolitan and regional areas. Schools will also be provided with additional expert advice as part of a program being rolled out to provide additional support as students return. The COVIDSafe Assurance Program for Schools program includes visits from trained Occupational Health and Safety professionals and infection prevention specialists who plan to visit all government and non-government schools. These visits will help schools identify and address any gaps in the implementation of health and safety strategies and ensure the right measures are in place for programs, such as mental health and wellbeing supports for staff, students and school leaders. The program will support measures already underway at schools through checklists of safety measures to review and apply the school’s COVIDSafe plan. It will ensure the display of signage for physical distancing when required, record keeping processes for on-site visitors and contractors, and promoting strategies for safety of the school community during school drop-offs and pick-ups. Primary school students, secondary students in Year 7 and studying VCE and VCAL subjects, and students attending specialist schools in metropolitan Melbourne returned on site from 12 October. Those in regional and rural Victoria started their staggered return at the start of Term 4 from 5 October. The staggered return has been based on the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer and was designed to manage the increased movement across the community. A return of Years 8 to 10 students at a later stage has provided enough time to monitor the impact of the first stage of students returning to school. As students settle in the classroom for face-to-face learning, schools will focus on supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing and identifying students who will need help catching up. The Government is also investing $250 million to deploy more than 4,100 tutors across Victorian schools in 2021 so no student is left behind in the wake of the pandemic. This package will make tutors available in every government school and support more than 200,000 students across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino  “We’ve been working to get Victorian students back to school as soon – and as safely – as possible and as a parent of three kids, I’m thrilled we have been able to do just that.”  “I’m incredibly proud of all the work our dedicated school staff and parents have done in supporting our students during their period of remote and flexible learning and getting them back into the classroom.” Download the media release

Every Student Returns To The Classroom

All remaining Victorian students will begin returning to classrooms from today, with 163,000 students in Years 8 to 10 in metropolitan Melbourne joining their classmates in the final stage of the staggered return to on-site learning. It will mean that more than a million students across the state have transitioned from flexible and remote learning back to on-site learning. Graduation ceremonies can also commence this term allowing year 6 and year 12 students and school staff to gather to celebrate their final year at their school. COVIDSafe measures must be in place and they can only be attended by students from the graduating year level and school staff but can be broadcast to families. This applies to schools in both metropolitan and regional areas. Schools will also be provided with additional expert advice as part of a program being rolled out to provide additional support as students return. The COVIDSafe Assurance Program for Schools program includes visits from trained Occupational Health and Safety professionals and infection prevention specialists who plan to visit all government and non-government schools. These visits will help schools identify and address any gaps in the implementation of health and safety strategies and ensure the right measures are in place for programs, such as mental health and wellbeing supports for staff, students and school leaders. The program will support measures already underway at schools through checklists of safety measures to review and apply the school’s COVIDSafe plan. It will ensure the display of signage for physical distancing when required, record keeping processes for on-site visitors and contractors, and promoting strategies for safety of the school community during school drop-offs and pick-ups. Primary school students, secondary students in Year 7 and studying VCE and VCAL subjects, and students attending specialist schools in metropolitan Melbourne returned on site from 12 October. Those in regional and rural Victoria started their staggered return at the start of Term 4 from 5 October. The staggered return has been based on the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer and was designed to manage the increased movement across the community. A return of Years 8 to 10 students at a later stage has provided enough time to monitor the impact of the first stage of students returning to school. As students settle in the classroom for face-to-face learning, schools will focus on supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing and identifying students who will need help catching up. The Government is also investing $250 million to deploy more than 4,100 tutors across Victorian schools in 2021 so no student is left behind in the wake of the pandemic. This package will make tutors available in every government school and support more than 200,000 students across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino  “We’ve been working to get Victorian students back to school as soon – and as safely – as possible and as a parent of three kids, I’m thrilled we have been able to do just that.”  “I’m incredibly proud of all the work our dedicated school staff and parents have done in supporting our students during their period of remote and flexible learning and getting them back into the classroom.” Download the media release

Building Better Schools Faster And Driving Economic Recovery

The Victorian Government will fast-track funding for upgrades to Catholic and Independent schools across Victoria to give students and staff the best facilities sooner, and support local jobs, businesses and Victoria’s economic recovery. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $145 million for more than 50 projects under the Non-Government Schools Capital Fund. The investment will create close to 800 jobs during construction, and follows more than $1.18 billion for new schools, upgrades and expansions of government schools announced in May. Additional funding for this second round of the Non-Government Schools Capital Fund has been brought forward to help stimulate the economy and create jobs. The successful schools will be able to start their projects within the next six months driving Victoria’s economic recovery from the pandemic, and the summer’s bushfires. The projects will help these schools meet growing enrolment demand, and includes six new schools in growth areas. More than a third of Victorian students attend Catholic or Independent schools. It’s part of the Government’s election commitment to establish a $402 million fund in partnership with the non-government school sector to upgrade and build new non-government schools across Victoria.    The Victorian Government is building the Education State with an unprecedented $7.2 billion investment that is not only creating 7,500 jobs but improving, upgrading and building schools to ensure that every community can access a great local school where students are supported to achieve their best. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We promised to upgrade and build new non-government schools – we’re keeping that promise and fast-tracking funding for projects to drive our economic recovery.” “Every child – no matter where they live or go to school – deserves the best facilities. That’s why we’re supporting government, Catholic and Independent schools with record investment to give our kids the best education.”  “These projects will help Catholic and Independent schools meet enrolment demand and give students and staff better facilities. This investment is vital to Victoria’s economic recovery and creating jobs in the Education State.”   Download the media release

Building Better Schools Faster And Driving Economic Recovery

The Victorian Government will fast-track funding for upgrades to Catholic and Independent schools across Victoria to give students and staff the best facilities sooner, and support local jobs, businesses and Victoria’s economic recovery. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $145 million for more than 50 projects under the Non-Government Schools Capital Fund. The investment will create close to 800 jobs during construction, and follows more than $1.18 billion for new schools, upgrades and expansions of government schools announced in May. Additional funding for this second round of the Non-Government Schools Capital Fund has been brought forward to help stimulate the economy and create jobs. The successful schools will be able to start their projects within the next six months driving Victoria’s economic recovery from the pandemic, and the summer’s bushfires. The projects will help these schools meet growing enrolment demand, and includes six new schools in growth areas. More than a third of Victorian students attend Catholic or Independent schools. It’s part of the Government’s election commitment to establish a $402 million fund in partnership with the non-government school sector to upgrade and build new non-government schools across Victoria.    The Victorian Government is building the Education State with an unprecedented $7.2 billion investment that is not only creating 7,500 jobs but improving, upgrading and building schools to ensure that every community can access a great local school where students are supported to achieve their best. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We promised to upgrade and build new non-government schools – we’re keeping that promise and fast-tracking funding for projects to drive our economic recovery.” “Every child – no matter where they live or go to school – deserves the best facilities. That’s why we’re supporting government, Catholic and Independent schools with record investment to give our kids the best education.”  “These projects will help Catholic and Independent schools meet enrolment demand and give students and staff better facilities. This investment is vital to Victoria’s economic recovery and creating jobs in the Education State.”   Download the media release

Physicist MP To Champion State’s STEM Education

The educational future of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is in good hands, with the appointment of a Victorian Government ambassador for STEM education. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the appointment of South East Metropolitan MP Dr Tien Kieu as the Government’s STEM Education Ambassador. Along with his role as a Member of the Legislative Council, Dr Kieu is a respected physicist and Adjunct Professor at the Swinburne University of Technology and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics. Dr Kieu’s appointment is part of the Victorian Government’s Education State reforms, which include a strong commitment to STEM education and pathways. The role will see Dr Kieu champion ways to improve STEM opportunities and outcomes for all Victorian students. With a focus on connections between schools and industries, key STEM initiatives and the investment of specialist  education facilities. STEM learning takes in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and starts in early childhood, as well as being taught in all school year levels from Prep through to VCE, VCAL and VET. It is designed to help deliver improved learnings and outcomes in the STEM fields, with a focus on preparing Victorian students for the jobs of tomorrow. The Victorian Government is making record investment into STEM disciplines including $128 million in 10 new Tech Schools across the state. The $17.8 million Secondary Mathematics and Science Initiative (SMSI) will fully fund 272 teachers to become qualified maths or science classroom teachers by the start of 2022, while $33 million has been allocated in 2019-20 to train 200 primary school teachers to become specialists in maths and science as part of the Primary Mathematics and Science Specialist (PMSS) initiative.    Quote attributable to Minster for Education James Merlino “We are delighted to welcome Dr Kieu to the role of STEM Education Ambassador and look forward to him sharing his experience and expertise to help us continue to strengthen STEM education in Victoria.” Quote attributable to the Member for South Eastern Metropolitan Tien Kieu “I am excited to continue my lifelong advocacy for science, technology, engineering and mathematics as an Ambassador for STEM. I look forward to providing advice and support to the Victorian Department of Education regarding achievement of STEM goals utilising my experience and passion for the field.”   Download the Media Release

Physicist MP To Champion State’s STEM Education

The educational future of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is in good hands, with the appointment of a Victorian Government ambassador for STEM education. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the appointment of South East Metropolitan MP Dr Tien Kieu as the Government’s STEM Education Ambassador. Along with his role as a Member of the Legislative Council, Dr Kieu is a respected physicist and Adjunct Professor at the Swinburne University of Technology and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Physics. Dr Kieu’s appointment is part of the Victorian Government’s Education State reforms, which include a strong commitment to STEM education and pathways. The role will see Dr Kieu champion ways to improve STEM opportunities and outcomes for all Victorian students. With a focus on connections between schools and industries, key STEM initiatives and the investment of specialist  education facilities. STEM learning takes in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and starts in early childhood, as well as being taught in all school year levels from Prep through to VCE, VCAL and VET. It is designed to help deliver improved learnings and outcomes in the STEM fields, with a focus on preparing Victorian students for the jobs of tomorrow. The Victorian Government is making record investment into STEM disciplines including $128 million in 10 new Tech Schools across the state. The $17.8 million Secondary Mathematics and Science Initiative (SMSI) will fully fund 272 teachers to become qualified maths or science classroom teachers by the start of 2022, while $33 million has been allocated in 2019-20 to train 200 primary school teachers to become specialists in maths and science as part of the Primary Mathematics and Science Specialist (PMSS) initiative.    Quote attributable to Minster for Education James Merlino “We are delighted to welcome Dr Kieu to the role of STEM Education Ambassador and look forward to him sharing his experience and expertise to help us continue to strengthen STEM education in Victoria.” Quote attributable to the Member for South Eastern Metropolitan Tien Kieu “I am excited to continue my lifelong advocacy for science, technology, engineering and mathematics as an Ambassador for STEM. I look forward to providing advice and support to the Victorian Department of Education regarding achievement of STEM goals utilising my experience and passion for the field.”   Download the Media Release

Construction Complete At Docklands Primary School

The brand-new school for families in the Docklands is ready to open in 2021, with construction of Docklands Primary School now complete. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that works are now finished at Docklands Primary School, ahead of students commencing in Term 1, 2021. Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt also announced that Gowrie Victoria has been appointed as the provider of the co-located Docklands Primary School Kindergarten, which will also open in Term 1, 2021 with capacity of 66 places – to deliver both sessional and integrated kindergarten programs for three and four-year-olds. This facility also delivers capacity to support the rollout of funded universal Three-Year-Old kindergarten, which will commence in 2022 in the area. Having the kindergarten on-site will allow local families to ditch the dreaded double drop-off. Every new Victorian primary school being built from 2021 will have a kindergarten on-site or next door, reducing the burden on parents and helping to build the Education State. Students at the new vertical Docklands Primary School will have access to a library, music and arts rooms, outdoor learning terraces, and a competition-grade indoor sports court for netball and basketball. The three-storey school will cater for 525 students. The Victorian Government is building the Education State with an unprecedented $7.2 billion investment that is not only creating 7,500 jobs but improving, upgrading and building schools to ensure that every community can access a great local school where students are supported to achieve their best. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is an exciting step for Docklands families, with local students set to attend a brand-new school in 2021 and receive the world-class education they deserve.” Quote attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “We’re making sure children across Victoria have access to the best facilities so they can get the most out of their time at kinder – as well as making it easier for parents by ditching the dreaded double drop off.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Nazih Elasmar “Docklands Primary School is yet another great example of the school building boom that is happening right across Victoria.” Download the media release

Construction Complete At Docklands Primary School

The brand-new school for families in the Docklands is ready to open in 2021, with construction of Docklands Primary School now complete. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that works are now finished at Docklands Primary School, ahead of students commencing in Term 1, 2021. Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt also announced that Gowrie Victoria has been appointed as the provider of the co-located Docklands Primary School Kindergarten, which will also open in Term 1, 2021 with capacity of 66 places – to deliver both sessional and integrated kindergarten programs for three and four-year-olds. This facility also delivers capacity to support the rollout of funded universal Three-Year-Old kindergarten, which will commence in 2022 in the area. Having the kindergarten on-site will allow local families to ditch the dreaded double drop-off. Every new Victorian primary school being built from 2021 will have a kindergarten on-site or next door, reducing the burden on parents and helping to build the Education State. Students at the new vertical Docklands Primary School will have access to a library, music and arts rooms, outdoor learning terraces, and a competition-grade indoor sports court for netball and basketball. The three-storey school will cater for 525 students. The Victorian Government is building the Education State with an unprecedented $7.2 billion investment that is not only creating 7,500 jobs but improving, upgrading and building schools to ensure that every community can access a great local school where students are supported to achieve their best. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This is an exciting step for Docklands families, with local students set to attend a brand-new school in 2021 and receive the world-class education they deserve.” Quote attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “We’re making sure children across Victoria have access to the best facilities so they can get the most out of their time at kinder – as well as making it easier for parents by ditching the dreaded double drop off.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Metropolitan Nazih Elasmar “Docklands Primary School is yet another great example of the school building boom that is happening right across Victoria.” Download the media release

Youth Urged To Help Rebuild Bushfire-Hit Communities

Young Victorians affected by bushfires can take part in a series of workshops and consultations as part of a Bushfire Trauma Recovery & Resilience program to rebuild their local communities. Minister for Education James Merlino today invited young people in Outer Gippsland and Ovens Murray areas affected by last summer’s bushfires to sign up for online youth advocacy workshops on 15, 20 and 22 October to help lead local bushfire recovery. The workshops will support young people to lead and engage with recovery in their community and are run in partnership with Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic). Young people are also invited to take part in a workshop on 6 November to advise on the establishment and operation of a youth-led disaster recovery network. Young people are urged to bring their fresh ideas and forward-thinking to the interactive workshops to help inform bushfire recovery projects and initiatives over the next two years, including the establishment of a youth-led disaster recovery network. The information will also be published in a final report due for release in 2021. There will be further consultations in October to December with youth, in partnership with YACVic and Bushfire Recovery Victoria, as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to fund support for communities impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires. As part of this funding, the Department of Education and Training has established a Trauma Recovery Team to provide expert advice and psychosocial support to schools to support children and young people to recover and rebuild from the impacts of the bushfires. To register, visit yacvic.org.au/get-involved/events/youth-advocacy-workshops/#TOC-3. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Bushfire recovery efforts should be community-led, responsive and flexible and build upon existing community resilience, strengths and knowledge.  Quote attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville “Engaging young people in recovery activities and decisions will bring fresh ideas and ensure that our actions meet the needs of our young people so that they are supported and able to lead within their communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “East Gippsland was badly affected by bushfire and it’s important young people have a role to play in informing how best to rebuild their communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Young Victorians will have important insights about recovery to bring to the table – it’s vital they have a way to have these ideas and concerns heard.” Download the media release  

Youth Urged To Help Rebuild Bushfire-Hit Communities

Young Victorians affected by bushfires can take part in a series of workshops and consultations as part of a Bushfire Trauma Recovery & Resilience program to rebuild their local communities. Minister for Education James Merlino today invited young people in Outer Gippsland and Ovens Murray areas affected by last summer’s bushfires to sign up for online youth advocacy workshops on 15, 20 and 22 October to help lead local bushfire recovery. The workshops will support young people to lead and engage with recovery in their community and are run in partnership with Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic). Young people are also invited to take part in a workshop on 6 November to advise on the establishment and operation of a youth-led disaster recovery network. Young people are urged to bring their fresh ideas and forward-thinking to the interactive workshops to help inform bushfire recovery projects and initiatives over the next two years, including the establishment of a youth-led disaster recovery network. The information will also be published in a final report due for release in 2021. There will be further consultations in October to December with youth, in partnership with YACVic and Bushfire Recovery Victoria, as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to fund support for communities impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires. As part of this funding, the Department of Education and Training has established a Trauma Recovery Team to provide expert advice and psychosocial support to schools to support children and young people to recover and rebuild from the impacts of the bushfires. To register, visit yacvic.org.au/get-involved/events/youth-advocacy-workshops/#TOC-3. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Bushfire recovery efforts should be community-led, responsive and flexible and build upon existing community resilience, strengths and knowledge.  Quote attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville “Engaging young people in recovery activities and decisions will bring fresh ideas and ensure that our actions meet the needs of our young people so that they are supported and able to lead within their communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Jane Garrett “East Gippsland was badly affected by bushfire and it’s important young people have a role to play in informing how best to rebuild their communities.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “Young Victorians will have important insights about recovery to bring to the table – it’s vital they have a way to have these ideas and concerns heard.” Download the media release  

Oakleigh Education Plan Published And Funding Boost

The Victorian Government has launched an education plan for South Oakleigh Secondary College and local primary schools to deliver education excellence and meet the community’s future needs. Minister for Education James Merlino today attended a virtual event to announce the publication of the Oakleigh Education Plan, which involves South Oakleigh Secondary College, Huntingdale Primary School and Oakleigh South Primary School. He was also joined by Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos and Member for Clarinda Meng Heang Tak to announce nearly $1 million to speed up planning to deliver upgrade works at South Oakleigh Secondary College. The funding is part of the Government’s ongoing response to support long-term economic recovery in Victoria. Under the four-year Oakleigh Education Plan, every child and young person will receive a consistently high-quality and seamless education with the three schools connected in a learning community to share their expertise and resources. The plan also includes a partnership with the Monash Tech School. This plan is the result of a community consultation undertaken with the schools and the wider community last year, which called for more modern facilities and more opportunities for science, technology, engineering and maths education to prepare students for a technology-rich future. The Plan’s ‘What We Heard’ community consultation report has also been released which provides an overview of responses. To view the plan please visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/educationplansoakleigh.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This education plan gives students the opportunities and pathways they need to thrive in school and life.” “We are investing billions across Victoria, building new schools, modernising classrooms and creating first class learning opportunities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos “Students, teachers and families around Oakleigh will be able to get the educational opportunities they deserve and their forward vision has been vital to the development of this education plan.” Quotes attributable to Member for Clarinda Meng Heang Tak “This is proof that the Education State is ensuring every student has access to a great local school and a quality education.” Download the media release 

Oakleigh Education Plan Published And Funding Boost

The Victorian Government has launched an education plan for South Oakleigh Secondary College and local primary schools to deliver education excellence and meet the community’s future needs. Minister for Education James Merlino today attended a virtual event to announce the publication of the Oakleigh Education Plan, which involves South Oakleigh Secondary College, Huntingdale Primary School and Oakleigh South Primary School. He was also joined by Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos and Member for Clarinda Meng Heang Tak to announce nearly $1 million to speed up planning to deliver upgrade works at South Oakleigh Secondary College. The funding is part of the Government’s ongoing response to support long-term economic recovery in Victoria. Under the four-year Oakleigh Education Plan, every child and young person will receive a consistently high-quality and seamless education with the three schools connected in a learning community to share their expertise and resources. The plan also includes a partnership with the Monash Tech School. This plan is the result of a community consultation undertaken with the schools and the wider community last year, which called for more modern facilities and more opportunities for science, technology, engineering and maths education to prepare students for a technology-rich future. The Plan’s ‘What We Heard’ community consultation report has also been released which provides an overview of responses. To view the plan please visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/educationplansoakleigh.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This education plan gives students the opportunities and pathways they need to thrive in school and life.” “We are investing billions across Victoria, building new schools, modernising classrooms and creating first class learning opportunities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos “Students, teachers and families around Oakleigh will be able to get the educational opportunities they deserve and their forward vision has been vital to the development of this education plan.” Quotes attributable to Member for Clarinda Meng Heang Tak “This is proof that the Education State is ensuring every student has access to a great local school and a quality education.” Download the media release 

 

Flemington Education Plan Launched

The Victorian Government has launched an education plan for Flemington schools to deliver education excellence over the next decade. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Essendon Danny Pearson attended a virtual event to launch the Flemington Education Plan, which involves Ascot Vale Special School, Debney Meadows Primary School, Flemington Primary School and Mount Alexander College. The plan includes $2.1 million in additional funding to speed up planning to deliver upgrade works at Ascot Vale Special School, Flemington Primary School and Mount Alexander College. The funding is part of the Government’s ongoing response to support long-term economic recovery in Victoria. The education plan sees the four schools come together to foster education excellence for students by promoting a safe and supportive environment for students, emphasising excellent teaching, quality facilities and student-focused learning through a collaborative approach. This plan will meet the needs of this growing and diverse community in Melbourne’s inner north-west, and will connect the knowledge, passion and expertise of local communities. To view the plan please visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/educationplansflemington.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This education plan ensures every student will have the opportunities and pathways they need to achieve educational excellence and thrive in a supportive community.” “We are investing in the Education State by building new schools, modernising classrooms and creating first class learning opportunities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Essendon Danny Pearson “Students, teachers and families around Flemington will be able to get the educational opportunities they deserve and their forward vision has been vital to the development of the Flemington Education Plan.” “This is about Flemington students having access to great local schools and a quality education.” Download the media release

Flemington Education Plan Launched

The Victorian Government has launched an education plan for Flemington schools to deliver education excellence over the next decade. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Essendon Danny Pearson attended a virtual event to launch the Flemington Education Plan, which involves Ascot Vale Special School, Debney Meadows Primary School, Flemington Primary School and Mount Alexander College. The plan includes $2.1 million in additional funding to speed up planning to deliver upgrade works at Ascot Vale Special School, Flemington Primary School and Mount Alexander College. The funding is part of the Government’s ongoing response to support long-term economic recovery in Victoria. The education plan sees the four schools come together to foster education excellence for students by promoting a safe and supportive environment for students, emphasising excellent teaching, quality facilities and student-focused learning through a collaborative approach. This plan will meet the needs of this growing and diverse community in Melbourne’s inner north-west, and will connect the knowledge, passion and expertise of local communities. To view the plan please visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/educationplansflemington.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This education plan ensures every student will have the opportunities and pathways they need to achieve educational excellence and thrive in a supportive community.” “We are investing in the Education State by building new schools, modernising classrooms and creating first class learning opportunities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Essendon Danny Pearson “Students, teachers and families around Flemington will be able to get the educational opportunities they deserve and their forward vision has been vital to the development of the Flemington Education Plan.” “This is about Flemington students having access to great local schools and a quality education.” Download the media release

New Careers And Pathways For Regional Students

The Victorian Government is boosting access to mentoring, role models and information about post-school options for regional and rural students through a range of new programs. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced a $2.5 million investment to help raise rural and regional students’ understanding and confidence in pursuing post-school education and training. The investment will create six programs aimed at exposing students to a range of training and career options for jobs in industries relevant to local communities and beyond – including agriculture, trades and high-tech STEM industries through activities such as visits to workplaces, TAFES, universities and research organisations like CSIRO.  A mentor network will be established to provide practical advice on job skills as well as information and guidance about what it’s like to work in an industry or profession. Students will also have opportunities to attend workshops and panel discussions led by industry experts. The organisations that will deliver the programs are Ardoch, Baw Baw Latrobe Local Learning and Employment Network, CQUniversity Australia, Gippsland East Local Learning and Employment Network, Swinburne University of Technology – KIOSC and Country Education Partnership. Programs will be adapted in line with coronavirus restrictions where required and will be rolled out in regional and rural areas including Gippsland, Ballarat, Bendigo, Horsham, Mildura, Shepparton, Wangaratta and Warrnambool. The programs are funded as part of the Victorian Government’s $82.8 million package to implement recommendations from the Expert Advisory Panel for Rural and Regional Students. These reforms are improving educational outcomes for rural and regional students by better supporting them in these areas and addressing the disparity between regional and metropolitan schools. Quotes attributable to Education Minister James Merlino “We’re closing the gap between the country and the city – giving country students access to support, information and opportunities that allow them to pursue higher education and training needed for the jobs of the future.” “These programs are just one way we’re helping regional and rural students reach their full potential and aspirations.” Download the media release

New Careers And Pathways For Regional Students

The Victorian Government is boosting access to mentoring, role models and information about post-school options for regional and rural students through a range of new programs. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced a $2.5 million investment to help raise rural and regional students’ understanding and confidence in pursuing post-school education and training. The investment will create six programs aimed at exposing students to a range of training and career options for jobs in industries relevant to local communities and beyond – including agriculture, trades and high-tech STEM industries through activities such as visits to workplaces, TAFES, universities and research organisations like CSIRO.  A mentor network will be established to provide practical advice on job skills as well as information and guidance about what it’s like to work in an industry or profession. Students will also have opportunities to attend workshops and panel discussions led by industry experts. The organisations that will deliver the programs are Ardoch, Baw Baw Latrobe Local Learning and Employment Network, CQUniversity Australia, Gippsland East Local Learning and Employment Network, Swinburne University of Technology – KIOSC and Country Education Partnership. Programs will be adapted in line with coronavirus restrictions where required and will be rolled out in regional and rural areas including Gippsland, Ballarat, Bendigo, Horsham, Mildura, Shepparton, Wangaratta and Warrnambool. The programs are funded as part of the Victorian Government’s $82.8 million package to implement recommendations from the Expert Advisory Panel for Rural and Regional Students. These reforms are improving educational outcomes for rural and regional students by better supporting them in these areas and addressing the disparity between regional and metropolitan schools. Quotes attributable to Education Minister James Merlino “We’re closing the gap between the country and the city – giving country students access to support, information and opportunities that allow them to pursue higher education and training needed for the jobs of the future.” “These programs are just one way we’re helping regional and rural students reach their full potential and aspirations.” Download the media release

Roadmap For All Students Return To The Classroom

Years 7-10 students will join their peers back in the classroom with the final stage of the return to face-to-face learning to occur this month. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that, subject to final health advice, Year 7 students in metropolitan Melbourne will resume face-to-face learning from Monday 12 October. Students in Years 8 to 10 will return from Monday 26 October. This staggered return is based on the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer and is designed to manage the increased movement across the community with the return of staff and students to school. A return of Years 8 to 10 students from October 26 will provide enough time to enable monitoring of the impact of the first stage of students returning to school. The staggered approach to getting all students in all year levels back to on-site schooling will also support a more gradual increase of community mobility across metropolitan Melbourne, while providing a full 14 days between stages to account for a full incubation period of the virus. As senior students begin their exam preparations, it will also be easier for schools to spread students out across the school - an important protection against transmission of the virus The staggered return will also allow for schools to work together with parents to support the safe return of students to on-site learning and enable schools to review the implementation of risk-mitigation measures as all students return. This will include, for example, staggered start and finish times, maintaining physical distancing at the school gate, and observing restrictions on the adults who can enter school sites. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Education and Training (DET) have strategies in place to ensure any potential outbreaks in schools can be quickly controlled. Any school attended by a student or staff member while infectious will be closed. Deep cleaning, contact tracing, and a review by DHHS staff will occur before the school is reopened. Primary school students, students studying VCE and VCAL, and students attending specialist schools will return to face-to-face learning in metropolitan Melbourne from Monday 12 October. Students in rural and regional Victoria are returning to the classroom in a staggered approach from today, their date depending on their year level and local circumstances. As students return to face-to-face learning, schools will focus on supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing and give priority to identifying students who will need help catching up. The Victorian Government recently announced a $28.5 million package of initiatives to ensure more students can receive more support, including through the Navigator Program, LOOKOUT, Mental Health Practitioners and the Mental Health in Primary Schools pilot. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We always said we wanted to see students back in the classroom as soon as we can, as safely as we can, and we have been working with our public health experts to ensure that is the case.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Thank you to parents, teachers and school communities for your patience - having students learn from home has made a significant contribution to slowing the spread of coronavirus in our community and has helped save lives.” Download the Media Release

Roadmap For All Students Return To The Classroom

Years 7-10 students will join their peers back in the classroom with the final stage of the return to face-to-face learning to occur this month. Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that, subject to final health advice, Year 7 students in metropolitan Melbourne will resume face-to-face learning from Monday 12 October. Students in Years 8 to 10 will return from Monday 26 October. This staggered return is based on the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer and is designed to manage the increased movement across the community with the return of staff and students to school. A return of Years 8 to 10 students from October 26 will provide enough time to enable monitoring of the impact of the first stage of students returning to school. The staggered approach to getting all students in all year levels back to on-site schooling will also support a more gradual increase of community mobility across metropolitan Melbourne, while providing a full 14 days between stages to account for a full incubation period of the virus. As senior students begin their exam preparations, it will also be easier for schools to spread students out across the school - an important protection against transmission of the virus The staggered return will also allow for schools to work together with parents to support the safe return of students to on-site learning and enable schools to review the implementation of risk-mitigation measures as all students return. This will include, for example, staggered start and finish times, maintaining physical distancing at the school gate, and observing restrictions on the adults who can enter school sites. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Department of Education and Training (DET) have strategies in place to ensure any potential outbreaks in schools can be quickly controlled. Any school attended by a student or staff member while infectious will be closed. Deep cleaning, contact tracing, and a review by DHHS staff will occur before the school is reopened. Primary school students, students studying VCE and VCAL, and students attending specialist schools will return to face-to-face learning in metropolitan Melbourne from Monday 12 October. Students in rural and regional Victoria are returning to the classroom in a staggered approach from today, their date depending on their year level and local circumstances. As students return to face-to-face learning, schools will focus on supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing and give priority to identifying students who will need help catching up. The Victorian Government recently announced a $28.5 million package of initiatives to ensure more students can receive more support, including through the Navigator Program, LOOKOUT, Mental Health Practitioners and the Mental Health in Primary Schools pilot. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “We always said we wanted to see students back in the classroom as soon as we can, as safely as we can, and we have been working with our public health experts to ensure that is the case.” Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Thank you to parents, teachers and school communities for your patience - having students learn from home has made a significant contribution to slowing the spread of coronavirus in our community and has helped save lives.” Download the Media Release

Helping Monbulk’s Sport and Active Recreation Organisations Survive and Thrive

Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP today announced two grants have so far been approved in the electorate under the second round of the Government’s Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package. The successful organisations are: Eastern Region Tennis and Monbulk Tennis Club. These are the second round of grants from the Andrews Labor Government’s $40 million community sport survival package that will make it that little bit easier for clubs to support players and volunteers during this time. Victorians have been hit hard by the necessary restrictions, and sport and active recreation clubs and associations are no exception. The Victorian Government will continue to work with the sport and recreation sector to explore recovery options and help clubs return to play when it is safe to do so. With more than three million Victorians involved in community sport and recreation, we know that getting back on the field or court is important to Victorians – that’s why we are getting behind 12,000 clubs and associations across the state. The Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package has two streams: grants for state sporting associations, regional sports assemblies and academies and other state sport and recreational bodies; and grants of up to $2,000 for associations and leagues and up to $1,000 for individual clubs. The Government also recently announced its roadmap to COVID normal. This directive signals the first major steps in the return of community sport in Victoria. For all the latest roadmap information including an outline of the roadmap Step process visit https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-roadmaps Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP “Eastern Region Tennis and Monbulk Tennis Club are an integral part of our community and this support will help them pay the bills and make an eventual return to play that little bit easier.” “Ensuring community sport and active recreation organisations survive this pandemic and come back stronger than ever is critical to our economic and social recovery, and to our community’s physical and mental wellbeing.” “We know that people in Monbulk want to get out on the park and represent their local club more than ever – we’re working hard to make that happen and give local clubs the support they need.”

Helping Monbulk’s Sport and Active Recreation Organisations Survive and Thrive

Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP today announced two grants have so far been approved in the electorate under the second round of the Government’s Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package. The successful organisations are: Eastern Region Tennis and Monbulk Tennis Club. These are the second round of grants from the Andrews Labor Government’s $40 million community sport survival package that will make it that little bit easier for clubs to support players and volunteers during this time. Victorians have been hit hard by the necessary restrictions, and sport and active recreation clubs and associations are no exception. The Victorian Government will continue to work with the sport and recreation sector to explore recovery options and help clubs return to play when it is safe to do so. With more than three million Victorians involved in community sport and recreation, we know that getting back on the field or court is important to Victorians – that’s why we are getting behind 12,000 clubs and associations across the state. The Community Sport Sector COVID-19 Short-term Survival Package has two streams: grants for state sporting associations, regional sports assemblies and academies and other state sport and recreational bodies; and grants of up to $2,000 for associations and leagues and up to $1,000 for individual clubs. The Government also recently announced its roadmap to COVID normal. This directive signals the first major steps in the return of community sport in Victoria. For all the latest roadmap information including an outline of the roadmap Step process visit https://www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions-roadmaps Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP “Eastern Region Tennis and Monbulk Tennis Club are an integral part of our community and this support will help them pay the bills and make an eventual return to play that little bit easier.” “Ensuring community sport and active recreation organisations survive this pandemic and come back stronger than ever is critical to our economic and social recovery, and to our community’s physical and mental wellbeing.” “We know that people in Monbulk want to get out on the park and represent their local club more than ever – we’re working hard to make that happen and give local clubs the support they need.”

Celebrating Excellence In Victorian Schools

A secondary school teacher fostering cultural inclusion on the sports field, a principal driving education in the jobs of tomorrow and a primary school leading the way in student wellbeing are among the finalists acknowledged by the Victorian Government in this year’s Victorian Education Excellence Awards. Minister for Education James Merlino today congratulated the 41 finalists announced across 14 award categories. The awards recognise inspirational teachers, principals and education support staff who improve schools and support children and young people. The 2020 finalists have delivered high quality teaching practices and the best learning conditions to equip their students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to become lifelong learners. They include: Joshua Godwin, Officer Secondary College team for his efforts in fostering cultural inclusion in physical education, including the introduction of the Aboriginal game Buroinjin into the curriculum. Jill Laughlin, Camberwell High School principal for her work in becoming a STEM school leader in one of three P-TECH (Pathways in Technology) schools in Victoria, specialising in cybersecurity. Kangaroo Flat Primary School for its innovative ‘Every face has a place’ program, which helps children to thrive emotionally as well as academically. Winners in all categories are awarded professional development grants of up to $25,000 to support their work in schools.  Victoria’s top public education prize, the Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education will also be awarded to one of the category winners. The award includes a further $20,000 grant. The Victorian Government is building the Education State where every student can access a great local school and get a great education, which involves having great teachers at the forefront of our classrooms to help young people thrive. That’s why the Victorian Education Excellence Award winners will receive grants to undertake professional development and learning, to ensure our teachers are well supported to lead great careers in the Education State. Winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on Friday, November 20.  More information about the awards and finalists is available at www.education.vic.gov.au/veea Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Victorian Education Excellence Awards honour and recognise the outstanding education professionals who go that extra mile to help young Victorians thrive at school.” “The efforts of our teachers, principals and education professionals play a crucial role in educating our young people and these awards are a fantastic way to recognise those efforts.” Download the media release  

Celebrating Excellence In Victorian Schools

A secondary school teacher fostering cultural inclusion on the sports field, a principal driving education in the jobs of tomorrow and a primary school leading the way in student wellbeing are among the finalists acknowledged by the Victorian Government in this year’s Victorian Education Excellence Awards. Minister for Education James Merlino today congratulated the 41 finalists announced across 14 award categories. The awards recognise inspirational teachers, principals and education support staff who improve schools and support children and young people. The 2020 finalists have delivered high quality teaching practices and the best learning conditions to equip their students with the knowledge, skills and dispositions to become lifelong learners. They include: Joshua Godwin, Officer Secondary College team for his efforts in fostering cultural inclusion in physical education, including the introduction of the Aboriginal game Buroinjin into the curriculum. Jill Laughlin, Camberwell High School principal for her work in becoming a STEM school leader in one of three P-TECH (Pathways in Technology) schools in Victoria, specialising in cybersecurity. Kangaroo Flat Primary School for its innovative ‘Every face has a place’ program, which helps children to thrive emotionally as well as academically. Winners in all categories are awarded professional development grants of up to $25,000 to support their work in schools.  Victoria’s top public education prize, the Lindsay Thompson Award for Excellence in Education will also be awarded to one of the category winners. The award includes a further $20,000 grant. The Victorian Government is building the Education State where every student can access a great local school and get a great education, which involves having great teachers at the forefront of our classrooms to help young people thrive. That’s why the Victorian Education Excellence Award winners will receive grants to undertake professional development and learning, to ensure our teachers are well supported to lead great careers in the Education State. Winners will be announced at a virtual awards ceremony on Friday, November 20.  More information about the awards and finalists is available at www.education.vic.gov.au/veea Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Victorian Education Excellence Awards honour and recognise the outstanding education professionals who go that extra mile to help young Victorians thrive at school.” “The efforts of our teachers, principals and education professionals play a crucial role in educating our young people and these awards are a fantastic way to recognise those efforts.” Download the media release  

Six Schools Join Forces In Yarra Valley Education Plan

More schools across the Yarra Valley and surrounds will come together to give students across the region a better education under the expansion of the Lilydale District and Yarra Valley Education Plan. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that the education plan had been expanded to include all secondary schools within the Lilydale and Yarra Valley areas. The Plan is an expansion of a 2017 partnership between Lilydale High School, Lilydale Heights College and Upper Yarra Secondary College. Healesville High School, Mooroolbark College and Yarra Hills Secondary College are the new schools to join the plan. It will see all six schools work together on the delivery of high-quality secondary education for students via the shared use of ideas and facilities, such as specialised classrooms and resources. Students will be encouraged to develop their own voice and identity as leaders, with a strong focus on job and education pathways with the community and local industry. The plan has so far seen major upgrades of buildings and facilities at Lilydale Heights College, Lilydale High School and Upper Yarra Secondary College. These infrastructure projects have modernised learning facilities at these three schools and will enable the six schools to share the new resources and educational opportunities they create. Prior to joining the plan, Healesville High School, Mooroolbark College and Yarra Hills Secondary College received funding for infrastructure projects. A Collaborative Indigenous Strategy will also be delivered as part of the plan to improve outcomes for indigenous students across the area. The Victorian Government has invested $7.2 billion to build 100 new schools and deliver more than 1,460 school upgrades, while supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The Victorian Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a quality education. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This education plan will see secondary schools in the Yarra Valley and Lilydale work together to deliver the very best education outcomes for students.” “We are investing in the future of our students by building new schools, modernising classrooms and creating first class learning opportunities.” Download the media release

Six Schools Join Forces In Yarra Valley Education Plan

More schools across the Yarra Valley and surrounds will come together to give students across the region a better education under the expansion of the Lilydale District and Yarra Valley Education Plan. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that the education plan had been expanded to include all secondary schools within the Lilydale and Yarra Valley areas. The Plan is an expansion of a 2017 partnership between Lilydale High School, Lilydale Heights College and Upper Yarra Secondary College. Healesville High School, Mooroolbark College and Yarra Hills Secondary College are the new schools to join the plan. It will see all six schools work together on the delivery of high-quality secondary education for students via the shared use of ideas and facilities, such as specialised classrooms and resources. Students will be encouraged to develop their own voice and identity as leaders, with a strong focus on job and education pathways with the community and local industry. The plan has so far seen major upgrades of buildings and facilities at Lilydale Heights College, Lilydale High School and Upper Yarra Secondary College. These infrastructure projects have modernised learning facilities at these three schools and will enable the six schools to share the new resources and educational opportunities they create. Prior to joining the plan, Healesville High School, Mooroolbark College and Yarra Hills Secondary College received funding for infrastructure projects. A Collaborative Indigenous Strategy will also be delivered as part of the plan to improve outcomes for indigenous students across the area. The Victorian Government has invested $7.2 billion to build 100 new schools and deliver more than 1,460 school upgrades, while supporting more than 7,500 construction jobs for Victorians. The Victorian Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a quality education. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This education plan will see secondary schools in the Yarra Valley and Lilydale work together to deliver the very best education outcomes for students.” “We are investing in the future of our students by building new schools, modernising classrooms and creating first class learning opportunities.” Download the media release

Thousands Of High-Ability Students To Soar In Program

More than 3,500 high-ability Victorian students at government primary and secondary schools will start an educational extension program in Term 4 to reach their full potential. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the first wave of Year 5 to Year 8 students participating in a 10-week intensive $10.1 million Victorian High-Ability Program will start in Term 4. Up to 48,000 students are expected to take part in the extension program between now and December 2022. The program will be run by Virtual School Victoria and will be followed by a masterclass with students from their local area. Schools can also nominate high-ability students to participate in a range of free and high-quality extension activities according to their abilities and interests through the new Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series. Activities in metropolitan Melbourne and regional areas will include webinars, virtual excursions, lectures and online tutorials and will be delivered during school and non-school hours. The Victorian Government has partnered with more than 20 expert education and not-for-profit organisations, universities, tech schools, teacher associations, science and mathematics specialist centres to deliver the series. Thousands of students have already taken part in activities in the series during Term 3. Every government school now has a high-ability practice leader to coordinate their school’s participation in these programs and to support their high-ability students. The Victorian High Ability Program and the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series are key initiatives of the Victorian Government’s new $60.2 million Student Excellence Program – which is equipping schools with the resources, tools and professional learning opportunities needed to support high-ability students. To find out more visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/student-excellence-program.aspx Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education James Merlino “We are providing the programs needed to extend and support our high-ability students to excel. This will help schools cater to the educational needs of our brightest sparks and allow them to continue a lifelong love of learning. “Victorian families can be confident we are providing the best opportunities to stretch and extend high-ability students.” Download the media release

Thousands Of High-Ability Students To Soar In Program

More than 3,500 high-ability Victorian students at government primary and secondary schools will start an educational extension program in Term 4 to reach their full potential. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the first wave of Year 5 to Year 8 students participating in a 10-week intensive $10.1 million Victorian High-Ability Program will start in Term 4. Up to 48,000 students are expected to take part in the extension program between now and December 2022. The program will be run by Virtual School Victoria and will be followed by a masterclass with students from their local area. Schools can also nominate high-ability students to participate in a range of free and high-quality extension activities according to their abilities and interests through the new Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series. Activities in metropolitan Melbourne and regional areas will include webinars, virtual excursions, lectures and online tutorials and will be delivered during school and non-school hours. The Victorian Government has partnered with more than 20 expert education and not-for-profit organisations, universities, tech schools, teacher associations, science and mathematics specialist centres to deliver the series. Thousands of students have already taken part in activities in the series during Term 3. Every government school now has a high-ability practice leader to coordinate their school’s participation in these programs and to support their high-ability students. The Victorian High Ability Program and the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series are key initiatives of the Victorian Government’s new $60.2 million Student Excellence Program – which is equipping schools with the resources, tools and professional learning opportunities needed to support high-ability students. To find out more visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/student-excellence-program.aspx Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education James Merlino “We are providing the programs needed to extend and support our high-ability students to excel. This will help schools cater to the educational needs of our brightest sparks and allow them to continue a lifelong love of learning. “Victorian families can be confident we are providing the best opportunities to stretch and extend high-ability students.” Download the media release

Funding To Help Bushfire Impacted Kinders

Early childhood services impacted by last summer’s devastating bushfires will benefit from initiatives to help communities recover and receive trauma support. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $500,000 to establish an Early Childhood Bushfire Recovery Grants program – a dedicated pool of relief early childhood educators and support for Beyond Blue bushfire recovery program to assist kindergartens in impacted areas. Grants up to $5,000 can be used to support educational incursions in services, buy program resources and complete projects previously led by kindergarten program volunteers. Kindergarten services in Victoria’s Alpine bushfire impacted areas of Ovens Murray and East Gippsland can apply for the grants as part of the Victorian Government’s Bushfire Recovery package. It is expected that up to 1,000 children and 50 teachers and educators will benefit from these support grants. The Government will also provide funding towards the trauma support and recovery planning services in the local areas. Working together with Beyond Blue, these supports will ensure early childhood services and staff in the bushfire affected areas feel cared for in their recovery journey. A dedicated team of relief staff will work across the 25 services delivering a funded kindergarten program in bushfire impacted areas. This initiative will allow the existing hard-working early childhood staff to take time off for their own mental wellbeing and/or to attend professional development days. This funding is part of the $22.7 million Government support package announced since January for families, children, students and teachers affected by the bushfires. This package includes $3.65 million for early childhood education sector trauma support, recovery planning and rebuilding of facilities in the bushfire affected area. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are standing with communities to rebuild and recover from last summer’s bushfires and helping funded kindergartens get back on their feet.” “Early childhood staff have gone above and beyond to support children and their families to learn while juggling the challenges of bushfires and a pandemic this year.” Download the media release

Funding To Help Bushfire Impacted Kinders

Early childhood services impacted by last summer’s devastating bushfires will benefit from initiatives to help communities recover and receive trauma support. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced $500,000 to establish an Early Childhood Bushfire Recovery Grants program – a dedicated pool of relief early childhood educators and support for Beyond Blue bushfire recovery program to assist kindergartens in impacted areas. Grants up to $5,000 can be used to support educational incursions in services, buy program resources and complete projects previously led by kindergarten program volunteers. Kindergarten services in Victoria’s Alpine bushfire impacted areas of Ovens Murray and East Gippsland can apply for the grants as part of the Victorian Government’s Bushfire Recovery package. It is expected that up to 1,000 children and 50 teachers and educators will benefit from these support grants. The Government will also provide funding towards the trauma support and recovery planning services in the local areas. Working together with Beyond Blue, these supports will ensure early childhood services and staff in the bushfire affected areas feel cared for in their recovery journey. A dedicated team of relief staff will work across the 25 services delivering a funded kindergarten program in bushfire impacted areas. This initiative will allow the existing hard-working early childhood staff to take time off for their own mental wellbeing and/or to attend professional development days. This funding is part of the $22.7 million Government support package announced since January for families, children, students and teachers affected by the bushfires. This package includes $3.65 million for early childhood education sector trauma support, recovery planning and rebuilding of facilities in the bushfire affected area. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are standing with communities to rebuild and recover from last summer’s bushfires and helping funded kindergartens get back on their feet.” “Early childhood staff have gone above and beyond to support children and their families to learn while juggling the challenges of bushfires and a pandemic this year.” Download the media release