BREAKING THE CYCLE: Students highlight the importance of ACEs and trauma informed practice.

A story of hope: a whole community’s response to disadvantage

Marketplace of Ideas Session 12.2
Tuesday Oct 22, 4.30pm

In this uplifting and inspiring session, students from a small disadvantaged community in Australia tell of their experiences within this community and of the interventions that uplift its students in order to help them enjoy the present, and to cultivate a belief in the future.

This session will be of particular interest to professionals and practitioners working in the fields of trauma-informed practice and adverse childhood experiences.

Two female Year 11 students from Maryborough Education Centre (MEC) are attending LEPH2019 with the support of the MEC-LEPH Award as well as a grant from a local community bank.

In 2016, Dr Melissa Jardine initiated the MEC-LEPH Award for two female students at her former school to provide a cultural and educational experience and to promote gender equality. This is the third year students (accompanied by two female educators) from MEC will attend the international conference by means of this unique program, which has proved life altering for former awardees.

The program welcomes new sponsors, Bendigo Bank (Avoca, Maryborough & St Arnaud), and its growing community contributions.

Caitlin Britten & Rose McNabb,  
Year 11 students,
Maryborough Educational Centre, Australia

Supporting Educators:
Julie Reiger & Ashlee Lierich,
Maryborough Educational Centre, Australia

Session summary

The Maryborough Education Centre began as an anticlimax; an unfinished prep to twelve and additional-needs school in the most disadvantaged shire in Victoria, Australia. Unexpectedly, it was disappointment and disadvantage that galvanized a deeply caring community of educators to shape a remarkably nurturing school.

In the prettiest post-goldrush town in Central Victoria, disadvantage is manifested in avoidable death, low birth-weight babies, mental health problems, family violence, and unemployment. The town-folk have the highest rates of smoking, harmful use of alcohol, physical inactivity and obesity; plus, asthma, type-two diabetes and cancer. Many students are affected by adverse childhood experiences.  Attendance and low self-belief remain challenges for the school, however, this story is not a tragedy.

This is a story of love that witnesses the raft of interventions that educators have put in place. This tale will include a baby-animal sanctuary, trauma-informed practice, two dogs, a Nurture Group, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and a well-being farm. It will talk of students who left town to study, returning as a new generation of educators and mentors to champion their school, determined to break the cycle of poverty.


Check out the local Community Bank Facebook page here

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