Place-Based Work

In areas of high disadvantage, Ardoch helps schools and early years services build multiple programs that cater to the specific needs of the children. We currently work in a place-based manner in Melbourne’s western suburbs, Dandenong, Frankston and Northern Geelong, which have been identified as facing significant disadvantage in several research reports (AEDC, 2015; SEIFA Index of Disadvantage, 2011; Education in Australia, 2012).

This approach builds on Ardoch’s early work in local place-based settings that aimed to harness a wide spectrum of community support to help children in disadvantaged communities realise their potential through education by remaining at school, and leverages opportunities arising from our national programs that increase connections with corporate partners.

Ardoch has dedicated staff based in offices in each of these four regions. Our Education Partnerships Coordinators work with up to 20 kindergartens, preschools, playgroups, primary and secondary schools per region. We offer our key programs to our partners in these areas. In addition, we work to build the capacity of the schools and early years services by connecting them with the local community, government, businesses and philanthropy.

The benefits of working in a place-based manner for the children and broader school community are manifold. The specific nature of disadvantage faced by children differs from one community to another. For example, while neighbourhoods in Northern Geelong and Frankston face intergenerational poverty, Melbourne’s western suburbs and Dandenong have a high percentage of new immigrants. Accordingly, the challenges faced by the children differ.

Connecting schools to their local governments, businesses, philanthropic and community organisations also builds their social capital and knowledge base, in turn encouraging them to develop their own innovative programs for their students without Ardoch’s assistance and build their capacity to counter the challenges they face.

 “The value add to Wexford Campus and Northern Bay College of having a placed-based Ardoch staff member is immeasurable. Each time I have contacted Mark Campbell [Ardoch’s Education Partnerships Coordinator in Geelong] and requested his attendance at a meeting with college staff, partners or potential college partners, Mark has literally been around the corner and therefore always available to attend. Mark has in depth context, knowledge and localised understanding of the needs of our students, our families and our whole school community as he is on site and always a part of the events that are taking place at each campus. This ensures that he has individual campus context and ‘Big Picture’ college context. This would not be achievable if Ardoch staff were not placed-based,”
Di Matheson, Principal, Northern Bay College, Wexford P-8 Campus.

Get Involved

If you are a local business, government agency, community organisation or a philanthropic body in Dandenong interested in supporting the education of children and young people facing disadvantage, contact our Education Partnerships Coordinator for Dandenong Sassy Lewin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her on 0434 647 800.

If you are a local business, government agency, community organisation or a philanthropic body in Frankston interested in supporting the education of children and young people facing disadvantage, contact our Education Partnerships Coordinator for Frankston Angela Knox Carter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her on 03 9781 1728.

If you are a local business, government agency, community organisation or a philanthropic body in Frankston interested in supporting the education of children and young people facing disadvantage, contact our Education Partnerships Coordinator for Geelong Mark Campbell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him on 03 5244 1767.

If you are a local business, government agency, community organisation or a philanthropic body in Geelong interested in supporting the education of children and young people facing disadvantage, contact our Education Partnerships Coordinator for Melbourne’s western suburbs Nick Gabb at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call him on 0490 767 976.