New education path for at-risk youth an Australian first

Young people living with mental health conditions who have become disengaged from high school will receive additional care and mental health support to complete their schooling under a new flagship program being rolled out at Melbourne City Mission’s (MCM) independent school, The Hester Hornbrook Academy (HHA).

LIVING LEARNING is a ground-breaking program that provides education and support for young people aged 15 to 21 who are disengaged from employment, education and training and who have a mental health condition.

The program will provide three years of education and extensive mental health support to 144 Victorian young people who face complex challenges to completing their education. The program is based at The Hester Hornbrook Academy across three campuses in the CBD, Prahran and the new HHA Sunshine campus which features state of the art facilities to accommodate up to 120 students.

The program is supported by the Victorian Government as part of its ground-breaking Partnerships Addressing Disadvantage (PADs) initiative. PADs bring together the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to address deep-seated disadvantage through a Social Impact Investment model. 

The Victorian Government has committed up to $15 million for this PAD with the final level of investment to be based on results achieved.

Further support to MCM and this initiative has been provided by five of Australia’s leading philanthropic organisations, which have collectively invested a total of $4 million in the Living Learning program. These are: Gandel Foundation, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, Paul Ramsay Foundation, Helen Macpherson Smith Trust and RE Ross Trust.

This social impact bond represents one of the earliest impact investments by Gandel Foundation.