Kurnai Hub Project


The Hub is a partnership between The Smith Family, Kurnai College and Federation University Australia as part of the Gippsland Education Precinct Inc. The project was initiated by the Gippsland Education Precinct.

The project is supported by Higher Education, Participation and Partnerships (HEPPP) funding from the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE), through Monash University, and commenced in July 2011

The Hub is a five year pilot project that seeks to improve student outcomes, aspiration and engagement by harnessing community resources and building strong partnerships with parents and community organisations.


How does the Hub work?

Focussing on Kurnai College, the Hub has four aims:

  • Supporting student wellbeing and engagement – young people who feel safe, supported and engaged are more likely to stay at school
  • Improving foundation (literacy and numeracy) skills – students who do well at school stay at school and broaden their tertiary education and career options
  • Increasing knowledge about and confidence in, future pathways – to pursue tertiary education, students need to understand careers, connect this to study options and understand what steps to take
  • Encouraging and supporting parental engagement with learning – parents’ attitudes to education are key to children’s achievement and aspiration

Kurnai Education Hub Pilot Model - Outcomes, Objectives, Themes and Strategies

GEP Project Objectives

Who is involved?

Members of the Gippsland Education Precinct Inc and many other community partners, work together on a variety of activities to achieve the project aims.  The Smith Family, a national charity with extensive experience in school-community partnerships, is lead agency for the Hub.

The Hub is coordinated by two partnership coordinators, employed by The Smith Family and based at the Kurnai College. The coordinators will work closely with school staff and the leadership team to identify opportunities for partnerships with local organisations, businesses and tertiary education providers, and to strengthen parental engagement.

How is it progressing?

The Research and Design Phase was completed in October 2012 with the development of an Implementation Plan outlining activities aligned with the four project aims for the next three to five years.

The Research and Design Phase involved:

  • A literature search of evidence-based best-practice in school-community partnerships
  • Consultation with Kurnai and the broader community about the needs and resources available within the Morwell/Churchill community

Since July 2011, TSF has conducted a thorough research and consultation process, involving the secondary college leadership team, leading teachers, school staff, parents and students. Over 60 organisations in the Latrobe Valley were consulted about the barriers facing young people and their families, and the ways in which those organisations can become involved in the project.  Through this process, a clear understanding of the needs of the community has been generated and a strong relationship with the school has been established

  • Development of a model and plan for implementation at the three campuses of Kurnai College.

The Implementation Phase commenced in October 2012.  Information about the increasing range of exciting activities involving Kurnai College students, their teachers and parents and their community is available in the following Factsheets and Newsletters: