September

JULY 4-5, 2022

NO TRAVEL NEEDED

IN PERSON EVENT

GUEST EXPERTS

BREAKOUT SESSIONS

LEARN & NETWORK

OPPORTUNITIES TO NETWORK

About the Conference

The conference is for Alternative Education staff, including teachers, administration staff, leaders, youth workers, support staff, psychologists, teachers’ aides/student support learning officers, and researchers – or those wishing to learn more about Alternative Education.

Why should you attend?

Attending the 2024 Alternative Schools Conference, "Every Child, Every Chance: Transformative Education in Action," is an essential opportunity for all professionals in the alternative education sector, including youth workers, counsellors, psychologists, educators, support staff, and leaders. Scheduled for 4th and 5th July, this conference offers a unique platform to explore innovative educational strategies and discuss the challenges and opportunities in transformative education. Participants will benefit from a range of expert-led sessions covering inclusive practices, engagement techniques, resilience building, and much more. This event not only provides invaluable networking opportunities but also equips attendees with practical tools and insights to enhance their practices, ensuring that every child has equitable access to education. Join us in this collaborative effort to reshape educational landscapes and foster a culture of inclusivity and empowerment, making a real difference in the lives of students who thrive in alternative settings.

Agenda

Agenda

time iconJuly 4, 2024 08:15

Registration / tea and coffee / trade tables

time iconJuly 4, 2024 08:45

Welcome to Country / Smoking Ceremony

time iconJuly 4, 2024 09:00

Welcome to the Conference - Judy Barraclough, CEO, Youth Off The Streets

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Judy Barraclough
CEO, Youth Off The Streets

As the CEO of Youth Off The Streets, it is my honour to welcome each of you to the 2024 Alternative Schools Conference. 

This year marks an important milestone as we convene for the fifth Alternative Schools Conference in NSW, celebrating the theme Every Child, Every Chance: Transformative Education in Action.

Our journey here at Youth Off The Streets is driven by a deep commitment to education that empowers and transforms young lives. We are privileged to host an ever-growing number of delegates who share our vision for a future where every child is afforded the opportunities they rightfully deserve.

I would like to express my gratitude to Warakirri College and Skillset Senior College for their steadfast support of this conference. Their dedication to alternative education continues to inspire and pave the way for impactful discussions and collaborations.

A special thank you to the University of Newcastle for opening their doors to us for this important event. Their support in hosting us at the picturesque Ourimbah Campus is much appreciated. We extend a special acknowledgment to the Central Coast schools for their enthusiasm and readiness to offer insightful school tours, contributing a practical and interactive dimension to our conference. Additionally, our sincere thanks go to our speakers and presenters, especially Dr. Helen Cahill, Mary Teague, Joe Kwon and Dr. Carmel Hobbs, whose expertise will greatly enrich our collective learning experience. 

To our diligent conference committee, your tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed. The thoughtful planning and organisation have been instrumental in shaping what promises to be an extraordinary event. 

This conference is designed to be more than just a gathering of minds; it aims to be a time of learning and collaboration that will have a lasting impact for our students, families, staff, and wider communities. The diverse range of topics we are set to explore reflects the multiplicity of approaches that contribute to transformative education. From inclusive practices and engagement, to resilience, collaboration, and beyond, we endeavour to cover the expanse of alternative education.

As you participate in the wide array of interactive sessions, engage in thought-provoking dialogue, and share in collective wisdom, I encourage you to embrace this opportunity wholeheartedly. Together, let us champion the cause of transformative education and ensure that every child truly gets every chance.


time iconJuly 4, 2024 09:15

Housekeeping

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John Martin
Youth Off The Streets

time iconJuly 4, 2024 09:20

Effective approaches in wellbeing education: it’s more about method than content - Dr Helen Cahill, Faculty of Education, The University of Melbourne

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Emeritus Professor Helen Cahill
Faculty of Education, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Effective approaches to wellbeing education use participatory methods to elicit student voice and development of those skills and values that are central to healthy relationships. This has been demonstrated across a substantial body of research in the fields of social and emotional learning, drug and alcohol education, bullying prevention, and sexuality and respectful relationships education.  Collaborative learning activities not only enhance engagement, but also provide opportunity for students to develop their social capabilities. Indeed, when educators use more didactic teaching methods, the programs do not produce the same positive results. Using drug and alcohol and consent education as the focus, this presentation provides an overview of the research into what works, and the ways in which wellbeing education can attune to the interests and priorities of young people who have found that conventional schooling does not meet their needs.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 10:10

Connection Activity

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John Martin
Youth Off The Streets

Join us for our interactive 'Connection Activity', a structured networking activity designed to foster meaningful connections and facilitate engaging discussions among delegates, enhancing both professional relationships and collaborative opportunities.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 10:15

Morning tea / Networking

time iconJuly 4, 2024 10:55

Student empowerment through enhanced engagement and participation - Carolyn Blanden, Warakirri College

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Carolyn Blanden
Warakirri College

With an emphasis on the individuality of each student, a diversity of strategies is necessary to cater for individual needs, backgrounds and the childhood experiences that have shaped our learners resulting in their disengagement from mainstream educational pathways. Exploring options and opportunities for responding to individual needs will assist participants to better support their students.

Using systems thinking, schools can identify factors affecting attendance and engagement and modify their policies, processes and practices to craft a student experience that builds confidence, competence and fosters high aspirations. Simple systems mapping opportunities will enable participants to explore the multitude of variables that impact student outcomes and identify those which can be harnessed to better effect.

Managing the tension between Maslow's hierarchy and Bloom's taxonomy is one of the biggest challenges for alternative schools. Finding the right balance produces life changing outcomes for our students and great professional satisfaction of our staff.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 10:55

The Youth Off The Streets Model Of Education - Amy Gill, Youth Off The Streets

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Amy Gill
Youth Off The Streets

Lecture Hall

The Youth Off The Streets Model of Education stands as the innovative framework at the core of Youth Off The Streets (YOTS) Education. It captures the visionary spirit of its founder, Father Chris Riley, and the profound insights of our expert educators. This model is both an homage to three decades of empirical resilience and a beacon for future pedagogical endeavours. At its heart lies the Circle of Courage, a compass that guides the YOTS philosophy, emphasising belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity. This presentation will unravel the eight core principles that constitute The YOTS Model of Edcuation, elucidating how each principle contributes to our healing communities. We will delve into how The YOTS Model has been instrumental in harnessing the collective, experiential, and research-based knowledge of our educators to strengthen and expand the capabilities of our schools. By sharing our journey, we aim to inspire and invigorate the alternative educational community, ensuring that both educators, and the students they serve, not only survive but thrive. Join us in exploring how The YOTS Model can illuminate the path for educators and students alike, creating ripples of positive change that extend far beyond the classrooms of Youth Off The Streets.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 10:55

The power of enquiry for self-directed learning in Science - Dr Rosei Espedido and Aladdin Houssein, Youth Off The Streets

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Dr Rosei Espedido
Youth Off The Streets

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Aladdin Houssein
Youth Off The Streets

The power of inquiry in fostering self-directed learning within the area of science cannot be overstated. Encouraging students to ask questions, explore predictions, and seek answers independently serves as a catalyst for their growth and autonomy. By engaging in scientific inquiry, students not only deepen their understanding of fundamental concepts but also develop essential skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and information synthesis. Through hands-on experiments, research projects, and investigative activities, students are empowered to take ownership of their learning journey, driving their curiosity and passion for scientific exploration. Moreover, the process of inquiry instills a sense of confidence and self-efficacy, as students learn to navigate the complexities of the natural world through their own initiative and perseverance. As educators we are committed to harnessing the transformative potential of inquiry-based learning to cultivate a generation of scientifically literate and self-directed learners poised to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 10:55

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - Hamish Neal, The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award NSW

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Hamish Neal
The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - Australia (NSW)

An introduction to The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award and how the Framework is used as a platform to enable youth in a non-formal education environment to successfully be empowered within themselves and their communities. What does The Duke of Ed look like for you in your local community? Come and find out!

time iconJuly 4, 2024 10:55

Preparing, Responding & Recovering - uncovering best practice in suicide prevention - Annette Bulling & Maggie Maslanka, Headspace

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Annette Bulling
Be You - Headspace Schools and Communities

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Maggie Maslanka
Be You - Headspace Schools and Communities

When a suicide or critical incident occurs in a school the impact on the community is profound, so it’s vital that staff respond with consideration and care. This interactive workshop will highlight best practice in improving your school’s capacity to mitigate risk. 

Through activity-based learning you will gain a clear understanding of the strategies required to embed whole school mental health and wellbeing at your school. You will 

learn how to develop a detailed Suicide Response Plan,

consider helpful partnerships, 

identify professional learning opportunities for staff on mental health topics, such as grief and loss and self-harm,

consider protective intervention strategies for people at risk. 

The session will provide guidance and resources to reduce staff uncertainty in managing critical responses, and will show you how to access free, ongoing consultancy and support through Be You. 

time iconJuly 4, 2024 11:55

Movement between workshops

time iconJuly 4, 2024 12:00

Using playful methods to educate for prevention of gender-based violence - Dr Helen Cahill, Faculty of Education, The University of Melbourne

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Emeritus Professor Helen Cahill
Faculty of Education, The University of Melbourne, Australia

In this workshop participants will sample use of playful participatory methods designed to elicit student voice about wellbeing and relationships. The learning activities deploy strengths-based approaches and collaborative games to develop relationship skills, and to help participants engage with concepts such as power relations, respect, consent, peer support, and help-seeking.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 12:00

Y We Educate: How can we elevate, motivate and empower our students to fully engage in their own learning path? - Liz Parker, The Y School

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Liz Parker
The Y School, WA

At The Y School in WA, our goal is to provide educational experiences that enable our students to Flourish.

Using the Model for Positive Youth Development as our basis, we focus on the 5C Outcomes of Connection, Character, Competence, Confidence, and Caring. As a basis for our curriculum, we choose to ensure all our students have the support necessary to develop in these key areas, learning skills where they can investigate problems and have the courage to face them in a constructive manner.

In this presentation, you are encouraged to dive into Y… or why we choose to educate. Why do we choose to turn up for our students, always working above and beyond? Why do we need to create such innovative ways to educate? And how can we do this more efficiently without losing the heart of it all?

Liz will unpack some of the vital considerations when working with at-risk students, providing insight and opportunities for further discussion, specifically related to mental health, well-being, positive recognition and student empowerment. As a group, we will create a foundation outlining how we can elevate our students, motivating them and empowering them to engage in their own learning path. 

Through information sharing and a series of group activities, we will look at how we can seamlessly connect high-quality curriculum planning, teaching and learning, and mental health support, to create opportunities for students to feel fully invested in their own education. We’ll connect and find the ways in which we can show compassion and care in all we do. We’ll focus on best practice and how to help students feel that they can effortlessly find their independence in learning. We’ll create a pathway to success that fosters the concept of Human Flourishing at its very heart.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 12:00

Supporting Student Re-Engagement - Beyond adversity towards achievement! - Karelynne Randall, MBL Consultancy

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Karelynne Randall
MBL Consultancy

In 2023 86.4% of 7 to 10 students regularly attended school. By year 12 the full-time retention rate was just 79%.  (5 Feb 2024 https://www.theguardian.com)

Statistics fail to accurately describe the reasons for and levels of disengagement, nor the health, wellbeing, educational or employability outcomes for students.

Of real concern are the less obvious reasons for student disengagement. Primarily poor living conditions, generational disengagement from education and living with the influence and effect of drug use, alcohol, consumption, and effects of domestic violence. All being Adverse Childhood Experiences. 

Ref: The ACEs Study - Dr. Vincent Felitti, MD & Dr. Brian Alman, PhD.  

To assist the wellbeing and education of reluctant, ‘hardest to teach’ and /or marginalised students, I’ve created a rapport-based, values-driven intervention program, to help students identify and understand their values, to effect communication of student voice and agency. 

My belief (with substantial evidence-base) is that often through no fault of their own, students have a reason for being withdrawn or exhibiting abject behaviour, with resultant educational disengagement. These students are who I was, and they are:

• Deserving of understanding, acknowledgement, and appreciation.

• ‘Teachable’ yet with unidentified potential, that deserves nurturing to successfully re-engage in education, to experience educational progress and become

•  Valued, holistically healthy, independent, resilient, and successful contributors to society. 

Supporting Student Re-Engagement through values identification involves:

• Understanding how values form, 

• Learning to be discerning about ‘helpful and unhelpful values and

• Applying the most appropriate values – Signature Strengths®, to empower positive self-leadership, and informed decision-making to encourage productive learning engagement, towards achieving positive educational outcomes.

Participants are invited to participate in the Signature Strengths® identification process, hear results of educational pedagogy and student responses to successful strategy practice.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 12:00

Building Inclusive Communities: Fostering Positive Relationships through High Support and High Accountability - Aaron McDonald, Youth Off The Streets

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Aaron McDonald
Youth Off The Streets

In the quest for inclusive schools, fostering positive relationships coupled with high support and accountability emerges as a cornerstone. This presentation delves into the pivotal role of cultivating a student-centred community where holistic education flourishes. By setting high expectations for student engagement and growth, we create an environment conducive to thriving. Central to this approach is the construction of a therapeutic web, carefully designed to bolster students' capacity to flourish academically, socially, and emotionally. Join us as we explore the symbiotic relationship between inclusive environments, positive relationships, and student success.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 12:00

Art Therapy - Learn how to Create, Connect and Communicate with Art - Emma Fitzgerald

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Emma Fitzgerald
Come As You Art: Art Therapy

In this workshop you will learn all about art therapy, and the benefits of creativity. This will be part presentation, and part practical, where there will be an experiential art therapy component. In the presentation section I will explain a little about my practice as an art therapist, and the therapeutic frame I work within. There will be an explanation about what art therapy is, how it is beneficial and helpful for children and adolescents to creatively express themselves. I will help clarify, and understand some common misconceptions associated with art therapy, how art therapy can function in school contexts to promote more holistic care. Finally we will look at some examples of art therapy work I have had permission to share. We will then move through to the practical component, where to truly understand art therapy and its effectiveness, there will be chance to take part in an immersive art making experience. This will not be an art therapy session, but rather a contained, safe way to start to see the potential of art therapy. This will involve art making, a time to reflect and there will then be time for questions at the end. This is a chance to be curious and come with an open mind to see the many benefits of art therapy.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 13:00

Lunch

time iconJuly 4, 2024 13:50

Wellbeing Support Staff Sharespace

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Shikara Collins
The Y School, WA

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Kylie Semler
Youth Off The Streets

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Danielle Costanzo
Youth Off The Streets

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Ray Saipele
Youth Off The Streets

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Anthony Tyrell
Youth Off The Streets

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Kathryn Taylor
Turning Point Consulting Pty Ltd

A focused session for youth workers and wellbeing staff to share strategies and insights on enhancing student support and resilience in alternative education settings.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 13:50

Psychologist/Counsellor Sharespace

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Sally Roseby
Youth Off The Streets

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Lance Stephenson
Youth Off The Streets

Tailored for psychologists and counsellors, this session provides a platform to discuss therapeutic approaches and mental health strategies beneficial within school environments.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 13:50

Learning Support Sharespace

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Raghida Issa
Youth Off The Streets

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Shantai Smith
Youth Off The Streets

This session is designed for SLSOs and teacher aides, providing a collaborative forum to exchange strategies and insights on enhancing individualized learning and support in diverse educational settings.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 13:50

Teacher Sharespace

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Natasha Matthews
Youth Off The Streets

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Alex Rowe
Youth Off The Streets

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Emma Buzo
Youth Off The Streets

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Andrew Gabriel
Youth Off The Streets

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Jenny Dowling
Youth Off The Streets

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Kimberley Wheeler
ET Australia Secondary College

Designed for educators, this session encourages the sharing of innovative teaching methods and classroom strategies that align with the ethos of transformative education.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 13:50

Leadership/Executive Sharespace

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John Martin
Youth Off The Streets

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Annette Cairnduff
Learning Creates

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Joanna Nicholson
Youth Off The Streets

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Dr Lisa Hobden
Youth Off The Streets

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Kirsty Napper
KAN Education Consultancy

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Elizabeth Moodey
Youth Off The Streets

Aimed at school leaders and executives, this session offers an opportunity to explore leadership strategies that foster inclusive and effective educational communities.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 13:50

Administrator Sharespace

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Lee-Anne Hanney
Youth Off The Streets

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Yasmin Schubach
Youth Off The Streets

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Bonnie Dolores
Youth Off The Streets

A session for administrative staff to discuss and exchange best practices for supporting the operational and strategic needs of alternative schooling environments.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 15:00

Movement to main lecture hall

time iconJuly 4, 2024 15:05

Student Voice Panel: Voices of Tomorrow: Student Perspectives on Transformative Education facilitated by Nathanial Baker

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Nathanial Baker
Youth Off The Streets

This panel discussion, Voices of Tomorrow: Student Perspectives on Transformative Education, features a diverse group of students from Alternative Schools on the Central Coast. These students bring their unique insights and experiences from environments that step away from traditional educational models to embrace more inclusive and adaptive approaches. During the panel, they will share their personal journeys within the alternative education system, highlighting both the challenges they have faced and the successes they have celebrated.

The session aims to provide conference attendees with a rare and valuable opportunity to hear directly from the students themselves about what works, what doesn't, and what future educational transformations are necessary to better serve diverse learner populations. The discussion will cover a range of topics, including the impact of innovative teaching methods, the importance of supportive school cultures, and the ways in which personalized education has influenced their academic and personal growth.

Through their stories, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the practical implications of alternative educational practices and the transformative potential these models hold. The panel not only aims to inform but also to inspire educators, administrators, and policymakers to think creatively and courageously about how to evolve our educational systems to meet the needs of all students.

This engaging and enlightening session promises to highlight the powerful voices of tomorrow's leaders, offering critical insights into the ongoing evolution of education in a way that only those who have lived it can convey.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 15:35

Afternoon Tea

time iconJuly 4, 2024 16:00

Responding to teen intimate partner violence: Who cares? - Dr Carmel Hobbs, School of Education, College of Arts, Law and Education University of Tasmania

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Dr. Carmel Hobbs
School of Education, College of Arts, Law and Education University of Tasmania

At a time when recognising children as victims of domestic violence in their own right is increasing, the experiences of teens in violent and abusive relationships remain invisible. The intimate partner relationships of young people of secondary school age are often dismissed as short term, fleeting and fickle, increasing the likelihood of violence and abuse being dismissed or normalised.

The narratives of young people aged 12-17 who experienced intimate partner violence depict a harrowing and complex issue that is poorly understood, and often invisible. Alongside professionals who work with young people, their voices highlight what it is like to navigate life, including school participation, while living with violence and abuse from their partner, the impacts of intimate partner violence, the conditions that keep them trapped, and what they need from the people around them.

They want you to know that this is happening, how bad it can be, and they need people to believe them and to care. In this presentation, we will talk about what this care looks like, and the role schools can play in preventing and responding to this issue.

time iconJuly 4, 2024 16:45

Day One Overview – Closing

time iconJuly 4, 2024 17:00

Finish

time iconJuly 4, 2024 18:00

Networking Function at Central Coast Leagues Club

Cap off a day of learning and connection by joining us at the rooftop bar of Central Coast Leagues for our conference networking function. Enjoy an evening filled with delightful food, engaging entertainment, and ample opportunities for networking. Don’t miss this chance to unwind and form lasting connections with fellow delegates.

time iconMay 27, 2024 15:00

vfairs test

time iconJuly 5, 2024 08:30

Registration / tea and coffee / trade tables

time iconJuly 5, 2024 08:50

Acknowledgement of Country

time iconJuly 5, 2024 08:55

Welcome to Day 2

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Catherine Harland
Youth Off The Streets

time iconJuly 5, 2024 08:55

Housekeeping and Connection Activity

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John Martin
Youth Off The Streets

time iconJuly 5, 2024 09:10

Students at the Centre - Partnerships for Good - Mary Teague and Joe Kwon, University of New South Wales/Confit Pathways

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Mary Teague
Director of Access, Equity, and Inclusion, UNSW Sydney

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Joe Kwon
Confit Pathways

Australia’s future is dependent upon combatting intergenerational disadvantage and educational exclusion, how do we practally approach this as individuals in our roles and how can we play a key role?

 

This session will focus on the drawing upon your shared knoweldge, experience, and understanding of young people who are historically underrepresented in tertiary education and who have been excluded from traditional secondary schooling contexts.

 

We hope that the “conversation” or “dialogue” today springs forth many future conversations and ideas sharing on how we can partner to improve the educational outcomes for the young people who have found themselves on the periphery and are at a precipice. 

 

We are going to talk about our shared vision; our experience in establishing partnerships that enable student success; provide key insights on our approach; our recent student outcomes; understand what quantifies student success and how we measure it.

 

We acknowledge that our audience and the young people we work with are important partners in establishing a partnership and that much of this work is at its early stages and small in scale but can hopefully provide a blue print for transformational change that is motivating and inspiring.

 

We will examine some of the structural barriers that are at play and maintain the current status quo in the Australian Higher Education system, and forthcomming change in Higher Education, providing a brief outline of relevant recommendations from the Australian Universities Accord- what does student equity in the future look like?

 

We will upack the UNSW Confit partnership and use this case study to and draw upon tangible and hopefully relatable and practical approaches in workshop with you on developing a future partnership.

time iconJuly 5, 2024 09:55

Being Proactive when Responding to Behaviours of Concern - Jacqui Rainey, The Association of Independent Schools NSW

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Jacqui Rainey
The Association of Independent Schools NSW

This workshop offers a hands-on approach to planning effective supports for students presenting with behaviours of concern, such as aggression. Participants will gain insights into Functional Behaviour Assessment (FBA), enabling them to identify environmental factors and skill deficits contributing to these behaviours. Through collaborative planning with the student, emphasis will be placed on enhancing social-emotional and communication skills to proactively prevent or replace behaviours of concern. Additionally, participants will develop an awareness of how certain responses to these behaviours might unintentionally reinforce them, thus fostering a more informed and proactive approach within school settings.

time iconJuly 5, 2024 09:55

Developing and implementing Plumpton High School’s Student Executive Council Leadership, Agency, Voice and Community Engagement Capability-based Framework - Tim Lloyd

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Tim Lloyd
Plumpton High School

Lecture Hall

Plumpton High School’s Student Executive Council Leadership, Agency, Voice and Community Engagement Capability-based Framework was initiated, developed and implemented in 2017 and it is an innovative and essential part of the curriculum. This was a result of changing needs of the workforce, Universities and capabilities required of high school graduates to be successful global citizens and the leaders of tomorrow. A significant focus is to improve lives at the school/local community level, state, national and international level and develop the leaders of tomorrow. The framework was developed through collaboration of the Principal, newly self-nominated senior (Year 12) Student Executive Council (SEC), the Futures Centre Coordinator and two SEC Coordinators. The framework continues to evolve with each subsequent SEC leadership team refining processes and implementing specific initiatives with support from approximately 20 alumni who have worked on developing the model since 2017. The framework replaced the Student Representative Council (SRC) that was largely a symbolic structure with quotas and a voting system that did not ensure high quality leadership.

There are approximately 135 students from years 7-12 currently SEC members with the goal of 100, with this varying year on year based on student choice with no limit being set. In 2023 there are 135 members, 2021 there were 29 Year 12 Prefects, 41 in 2020, 29 in 2019, 16 in 2018 and 22 in 2017.  

The SEC is divided into seven project management teams; Inclusion, Charity, Community, Sustainability, Leadership, Media and Marketing and Junior SEC continue important work to support the ongoing implementation of the Merit System, House Spirit and Primary to Secondary Transitional Leadership teams. Each team has alumni from 2017-2019 as leadership mentors, are trained in Gazelle Project Management by mentors from Citi Group, AMEX with SEC teams using Gazelle to implement projects under supervision of SEC Coordinators. Students also participate in formal leadership courses facilitated by some of our 40 business partners. If we demonstrate what the world beyond school looks like by being immersed in it through partnerships with industry, our students learn and understand what they need to have as essential skills/capabilities to succeed in that world. 

time iconJuly 5, 2024 09:55

Reimaging the role of the school psychologist in Alternative Schools - Sally Roseby, Youth Off The Streets

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Sally Roseby
Youth Off The Streets

Schools are uniquely positioned to support children and young people who have a history of childhood adversity (Soleimanpour, et al., 2017), with educators and wellbeing staff embracing this and recognising the significant role they play in providing a nurturing and safe school environment (Bernardi & Morton, 2017). Yet what if this is the tip of the iceberg? What if we, through the foundations of being trauma-informed and healing centred, transform our alternative schools into a community hub whereby students can access much needed services (including psychology services) and resources within the safety of their school environment? 

Often, the language used around schools is that it is education that is their ‘core business’, with significant resources, time and energy put into influencing students ‘higher order functioning’ i.e. academic functioning. However, we know that ‘readiness to learn’ is mostly a function of an individual’s emotional, behavioural and social skills (Bettencourt, Gross, Ho & Perin, 2018). Furthermore, it has also been established that the capacity for individuals who have experienced childhood adversity to effectively learn is significantly compromised (Bick & Nelson, 2016; Perfect et al., 2016). Lastly, it has been highlighted that the relationship between childhood adversity and poor academic functioning may be mediated by a student’s mental health symptoms (Porsche, Costello & Rosen-Reynoso, 2016; Threlfall, Auslander, Gerke, McGinnis & Tlapek, 2017). Therefore, if we are going to effectively support students to learn, shouldn’t we also be providing services and supports that address the underlying factors for their school difficulties? 

Through the safety of the Eden College school environment, maintained by the dedicated staff, students and their families have been provided the opportunity to access the psychology services provided on site. These services have included comprehensive assessment, diagnosis and reporting as well as ongoing and long-term intervention. Targeted supports provided within a wider trauma-informed school environment; reimaging schools as ‘hubs’ for students and creating significant change for future outcomes. 

time iconJuly 5, 2024 09:55

Youth Engagement: Involving Young People in the design of training for Youth Workers - Omar Bensaidi, Youth Off The Streets

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Omar Bensaidi
Youth Off The Streets

This session examines the role of the Youth Advisory Sub-committee within the TACCT (Taking Action Creating Change Together) project, illustrating how youth engagement and empowerment are pivotal in addressing the challenges faced by children and young people (CYP) experiencing domestic, family, and sexual violence (DFSV). The Youth Advisory Sub-committee is a cornerstone in ensuring that the perspectives and lived experiences of CYP are not only heard but are integral to shaping project outcomes and strategies.

The TACCT project serves as the backdrop for a deeper exploration into how youth-led governance can significantly impact service design and delivery. The sub-committee’s active involvement in the project has been testament to the effectiveness of engaging young people in decision-making processes, highlighting their capacity to contribute meaningful insights and solutions.

Through the lens of the Youth Advisory Sub-committee, this session underscores the importance of creating participatory spaces that empower CYP and amplify their voices. This approach not only enriches the project’s development and implementation but also exemplifies a scalable model of youth engagement that enhances service responsiveness and effectiveness. Preliminary insights from the TACCT project have demonstrated transformative potential of integrating youth perspectives in crafting holistic and impactful interventions for CYP impacted by DFSV. 

time iconJuly 5, 2024 09:55

Breaking Learning Barriers in Mathematics through ICT - Alex McAnespie, Skillset Senior College

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Alex McAnespie
Skillset Senior College

In today's diverse classrooms, ensuring every student has access to quality mathematics education presents both a challenge and an opportunity. This presentation explores the transformative impact of innovative software solutions on mathematics education, focusing on enhancing students' confidence, well-being, and academic success. Developed by My Maths Room and trialed through Skillset Senior College, the software offers practical implementation strategies tailored to address the unique needs of students at all ability levels. 

Aligned with the conference themes of Inclusive Practices, Engagement and Empowerment, and the Role of Technology, this presentation showcases how technology can create inclusive learning environments where every child can thrive. Attendees will gain insights into the power of technology to foster active engagement and empowerment among learners through a demonstration of the software's features and its real-world impact on student learning. 

Key highlights include strategies for customising learning experiences to meet individual student needs, promoting active participation and collaboration, and leveraging technology to enhance mathematical understanding and problem-solving skills. Moreover, the software significantly reduces teacher prep time by enabling the generation of randomised and levelled questions with just a touch of a button. This feature facilitates easy repetition of similar concepts, making it invaluable for group instruction, revision and independent practice, ultimately enhancing student comprehension and mastery of lesson content. Additionally, the software boasts a very low learning curve, ensuring staff and students can readily utilise its features with minimal support. This user-friendly interface fosters seamless integration of technology into the classroom, maximising instructional time and promoting independent learning. 

Ultimately, this presentation aims to inspire educators with practical tools and strategies for implementing similar software solutions in their classrooms. By embracing technology as a tool for inclusivity and empowerment, educators can create dynamic learning environments that support the diverse needs of all students, ensuring every child has the opportunity to succeed in mathematics education and beyond.

time iconJuly 5, 2024 10:55

Morning tea

time iconJuly 5, 2024 11:25

Strengthening Whole-School NCCD Practices - Leanne Woodley, The Association of Independent Schools NSW

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Leeanne Woodley
The Association of Independent Schools NSW

The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) supports schools to refine systems and processes to identify students with disability and capture the work of staff in providing personalised learning and adjustments due to the functional impact of their disability. This workshop will explore the principles of effective whole school processes to enhance and strengthen systems for the successful implementation of the NCCD and evidentiary requirements aligned to school obligations under the disability legislation. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on their current processes, discuss practices with other schools and examine the shared roles and responsibilities. 

This workshop assumes participants have a working knowledge of the NCCD process.

time iconJuly 5, 2024 11:25

Embracing Indigenous Wellbeing: Culturally Responsive Approaches for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities - Rikka Lamb and Craig Brown, Youth Off The Streets

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Rikka Lamb
Youth Off The Streets

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Craig Brown
Youth Off The Streets

Lecture Hall

The social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal students is crucial to their success in education and beyond. This is because their cultural background shapes their identity and influences their values, beliefs, and behaviors. Therefore, it is essential for the education system to recognize and support the social and emotional needs of Aboriginal students to ensure their overall wellbeing and academic success. Implementing programs and strategies that focus on Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing in schools can have numerous benefits. Firstly, it helps create a safe and supportive environment for Aboriginal students to learn and thrive. By incorporating culturally relevant practices and teachings, students feel more connected to their heritage and are more likely to engage and participate in their education. 

Prioritising social and emotional wellbeing can help prevent and address issues such as mental health problems, substance abuse, and low self-esteem, which are more prevalent among Aboriginal populations. By providing holistic support that considers the emotional, cultural, and spiritual aspects of wellbeing, schools can help students develop resilience and coping strategies to navigate the challenges they may face. In addition, promoting Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing can contribute to reconciliation efforts and promote understanding and respect for Aboriginal cultures and histories. By incorporating and acknowledging Indigenous perspectives into the curriculum and fostering cross-cultural relationships, students are encouraged to celebrate diversity and build meaningful connections with their peers, teachers, and community members. Overall, recognizing the importance of Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing within the education system is crucial for creating inclusive and equitable learning environments that support the holistic development of all students. By prioritizing the social and emotional needs of Aboriginal students, schools can empower them to reach their full potential and thrive academically, emotionally, and culturally.

time iconJuly 5, 2024 11:25

Recognising and responding to teen intimate partner violence (IPV) - Dr Carmel Hobbs, School of Education, College of Arts, Law and Education University of Tasmania

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Dr. Carmel Hobbs
School of Education, College of Arts, Law and Education University of Tasmania

Nationally, 28.5% of 18–19-year-olds report experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) in the previous 12 months. To understand the lived experience of victim-survivors, I interviewed 17 young people who had experienced IPV from a partner when they were under 18 and 20 professionals working closely with teens in Tasmania.  Central to their narratives was a need for professionals to better understand, recognise, and appropriately respond when teens they know are, or may be, in an abusive relationship. Professionals referred to a lack of available formal training and guidance on this issue. 

In this workshop we will explore strategies to recognise and respond to teen IPV. Workshop participants will be invited to share current practice and discuss opportunities for strengthening school-based responses to this issue. Feedback produced during the workshop will inform ongoing work to develop trauma-informed guidelines for schools and services working with teens to effectively recognise and respond to teen IPV.

time iconJuly 5, 2024 11:25

Balancing Act: Nurturing Wellbeing in Demanding Jobs - Susie Edmonds, Inner Directions

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Susie Edmonds
Inner Directions

This workshop is for you! How do you look after yourself and maintain your balance, whilst being in a demanding job that often leads to burnout and compassion fatigue? Self care is not just about recharging ourselves - it’s also about doing the tough stuff: setting boundaries, and living in alignment with our values. 

Drawing on insights from renowned researcher Brene Brown, discover how setting boundaries is an act of self-love and courage, allowing us to prioritise our own wellbeing without sacrificing our compassion for others. Gain practical strategies for living our values authentically and maintaining healthy boundaries, ensuring that we remain responsible for ourselves while still offering support and empathy to others. 

Through interactive activities and self-reflection, gain clarity on the various dimensions of your life and identify areas where balance may be lacking. By pinpointing strengths and areas needing attention, you'll be equipped to implement interventions aimed at maintaining a positive state of wellbeing. Whether it's setting boundaries, prioritising self-care, or seeking support, these interventions are crucial for nurturing overall happiness and fulfillment.

This workshop will help you gain clarity and insight, and walk away with meaningful strategies to help you show up to yourself before showing up to others.

time iconJuly 5, 2024 11:25

Fostering Healing Through Companionship: Integrating Animals in Educational Settings at Youth Off The Streets

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Nathanial Baker
Youth Off The Streets

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Kylie Semler
Youth Off The Streets

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Natasha Matthews
Youth Off The Streets

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Taylor Harvey
Youth Off The Streets

At Youth Off The Streets, we have successfully integrated animals into our educationalprograms to create healing environments for marginalised youth. This presentation will highlight our experiences with individual animals like Kobe the dog and Speedy the guinea pig, as well as our collaborations with Grace Springs Farm, experiences of equine therapy and theTaronga Zoo for wildlife education program. Through these initiatives, we have observed significant enhancements in our students' emotional wellbeing, behaviour, and academic engagement. Case studies will illustrate the therapeutic impact of these animal-assisted interventions, showcasing improvements in student interaction, responsibility, and empathy.

 

Additionally, the presentation will address the challenges and practical considerations of implementing such programs, including animal care and student safety. By sharing insights, outcomes, and the things we continue to learn in this space, we aim to provide actionable recommendations for other schools considering the integration of animals into their curriculums. Our goal is to inspire similar approaches that leverage the unique benefits of animal companionship to foster more nurturing and effective educational environments.

time iconJuly 5, 2024 12:25

Movement between spaces

time iconJuly 5, 2024 12:30

It Takes A Village: What does it mean to be a healing-centred community? - Amy Gill, Youth Off The Streets

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Amy Gill
Youth Off The Streets

This session explores the profound significance of a healing-centered community within the context of alternative education, drawing upon the framework of the Circle of Courage and the universal adage, "It takes a village to raise a child." This presentation delves into how schools, as microcosms of society, can embody the role of a nurturing village, crucial for the holistic development and healing of young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Grounded in the poignant experiences of individuals like our casestudy Sky, whose narratives of neglect and invisibility highlight the dire consequences of community disengagement, this talk underscores the need for an integrated approach in supporting vulnerable youth. It discusses the theoretical underpinnings of collective guardianship that have sustained and nurtured many traditional cultures, advocating for a shift from fragmented interventions to comprehensive, inclusive strategies that engage every facet of the community—from family members to educational staff and policy makers.

Further, the session will outline practical implementations of these philosophies in educational settings, demonstrating how schools can transcend their conventional roles to become epicentres of communal healing. Emphasising the importance of consistent, caring relationships and a therapeutic web of support, we explore how educational environments can foster resilience, hope, and recovery, turning schools into therapeutic landscapes that are not only about academic achievement but also about nurturing well-being and communal bonds.

time iconJuly 5, 2024 13:15

Closing, Conference Overview, School Tour Process Overview

time iconJuly 5, 2024 13:30

Lunch

time iconJuly 5, 2024 14:15

Travel to schools for tours

time iconJuly 5, 2024 14:45

Ngaruki Gulgul Central School

Ngaruki Gulgul Centre Coast

Ngaruki Gulgul Central School (translates to 'Standing Strong' in Darkinjung language)

 

NG Central is a secondary school for young people who need an alternative to mainstream education. We believe that school should be a pathway towards a purposeful future and that given the right conditions, all young people are capable of learning and laying the foundations for a life they're truly proud of. At NGC, we take a practical, personalised and enterprising approach to education, combining mandatory RoSA and HSC subjects with hands-on vocational training, innovative extracurricular programs and wraparound wellbeing support. This is complemented by our therapeutic bush setting, where outdoor learning and immersion in nature is the norm. We encourage our students to connect their learning with the world around them through the integration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, social and environmental perspectives, and opportunities to participate in our local community. Practical work experience and training - both at school and in external workplaces - are also key to our philosophy, helping our students prepare for the workforce and build their employment readiness and aspirations in real-world environments. At NGC, every young person can experience inclusion, belonging and a fresh start on their learning journey.

Address: 1 Kangoo Rd, Kariong NSW 2250

time iconJuly 5, 2024 14:45

The Lakes College, Youth Off The Streets

The Lakes College, Youth Off The Streets

The Lakes College (TLC), nestled in the Blue Haven community on the NSW Central Coast, is a small but impactful alternative school established in 2017 to cater to disengaged and at-risk youth. Starting with just two staff members and 12 students, TLC has grown to support 24 students. The college offers a highly tailored educational experience for students in Years 9–12, adhering to NESA guidelines and operating under the innovative Youth Off The Streets Model of Education.

 

TLC's approach is flexible and personalised, adapting to the specific needs, interests, and talents of each student. Wellbeing initiatives, including counselling services, form an integral part of the college's support structure. This nurturing environment is further enhanced by the Circle of Courage framework, which promotes belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity, thereby fostering each child's self-esteem and resilience.

 

The classrooms at TLC are transformative spaces that prioritise trauma-informed practices and conscious pedagogy. By defining students by their potential rather than their circumstances, TLC, as part of the broader YOTS education network, offers a comprehensive therapeutic support system aiming to provide pathways to positive life outcomes and transform schools into places of educare and healing.


Address: 1 Apsley Court Blue Haven New South Wales 2262

time iconJuly 5, 2024 14:45

ET Australia Secondary College

Et Australia Secondary College

ET Australia Secondary College (ETASC) is a Years 7 to 12 independent special assistance high school located in the Gosford City Centre. ETASC had 260 students in 2023 and will have 280 students enrolled in 2024. ETASC has two campuses, a Years 7 to 10 campus inside a shopping centre and a Years 11 and 12 campus co-located with our ET Australia’s adult training college. ETASC provides a supportive learning environment that allows individuals to excel regardless of the challenges they may face. The school provides students with the right balance of self-expression and supervision allowing them to focus on achieving their personal best whilst developing ethical and behavioural self-management skills for life. 

 

ETASC delivers the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) approved curriculum that fosters academic progress for all students. The school model is based on explicit teaching and learning with a focus on literacy and numeracy and preparing students for the world of work. Every subject contributes to the achievement of an ATAR and the HSC.


Address: Level 1 Imperial Shopping Centre, Gosford NSW 2250

time iconJuly 5, 2024 14:45

TLK Youth College

TLK Youth College

TLK Youth College is a not-for-profit independent high school designed specifically for disengaged and at-risk youth. We provide alternative education for young people who present with a range of lifestyle factors, catering predominately to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals and/or students who are living with mental health struggles, low socio-economic families and/or those unable to complete mainstream schooling. Our school offers enrolment for up to 65 students from Year 9 to Year 12, using a proven and successful model for young people on the Central Coast. A key difference lies in the adult education setting, where the school encourages learning, freedom of thought, independence, mutual respect and responsibility.

Address: 78W Shannon Parade, Berkeley Vale NSW 2261

time iconJuly 5, 2024 15:45

Conclude School Tours / Travel Home

Speakers

Judy Barraclough

CEO, Youth Off The Streets

Emeritus Professor Helen Cahill

Faculty of Education, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Carolyn Blanden

Warakirri College

Dr Rosei Espedido

Youth Off The Streets

Aladdin Houssein

Youth Off The Streets

Hamish Neal

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - Australia (NSW)

Liz Parker

The Y School, WA

Karelynne Randall

MBL Consultancy

Aaron McDonald

Youth Off The Streets

Shikara Collins

The Y School, WA

Tim Lloyd

Plumpton High School

Sally Roseby

Youth Off The Streets

Omar Bensaidi

Youth Off The Streets

Leeanne Woodley

The Association of Independent Schools NSW

Annette Bulling

Be You - Headspace Schools and Communities

Maggie Maslanka

Be You - Headspace Schools and Communities

Emma Fitzgerald

Come As You Art: Art Therapy

Dr. Carmel Hobbs

School of Education, College of Arts, Law and Education University of Tasmania

Jacqui Rainey

The Association of Independent Schools NSW

Alex McAnespie

Skillset Senior College

Rikka Lamb

Youth Off The Streets

Craig Brown

Youth Off The Streets

Susie Edmonds

Inner Directions

Mary Teague

Director of Access, Equity, and Inclusion, UNSW Sydney

Joe Kwon

Confit Pathways

Nathanial Baker

Youth Off The Streets

Catherine Harland

Youth Off The Streets

Taylor Harvey

Youth Off The Streets

Frequently Asked questions


The conference is for Alternative Education staff, including teachers, administration staff, leaders, youth workers, support staff, psychologists, teachers’ aides/student support learning officers, and researchers – or those wishing to learn more about Alternative Education.
The campus is an easy 10-minute walk from nearby Ourimbah Train Station. Local buses also stop outside the main quadrangle on campus. For more information and timetabling, visit Transport NSW.
The conference is at the Ourimbah Campus, University of Newcastle, located at 10 Chittaway Rd, Ourimbah NSW 2258.
Yes, parking at the campus is free. The campus is less than five minutes from the M1 Pacific Motorway Ourimbah exit. However, traffic and parking rules apply.
The campus is approximately an hour away from both Sydney and Newcastle. Please email melindad@youthoffthestreets.com.au if you require further information on accommodation options.
The Conference Networking Function will be held at the rooftop bar of Central Coast Leagues Club, located at Dane Drive Gosford NSW 2250. 4th July, 2024 at 6pm.
Tickets are $180 inc. GST per person. The Conference Dinner is an additional $70 inc. GST per person, including food. Beverages are not included.
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide a refund if you are unable to attend. However, we encourage you to see if another person can attend in your place. We are happy to transfer your ticket across, please reach out to us at melindad@youthoffthestreets.com.au.
No applications are required to access the event. However, we recommend that mobile users access the event via our vFairs mobile application, available on both Android and iOS devices.
Please scan the relevant QR code, and it will directly lead you to the download screen.
Bookings of 10 or less can be made through the website and paid for by credit card. Any bookings over 10 can be made by emailing melindad@youthoffthestreets.com.au. An invoice will be provided.