Victoria University partners with Western Bulldogs Community Foundation on new initiative

VU's Michelle Gillespie (Chief Student Officer), Wade Noonan (Deputy Vice-Chancellor), Prof. Alex Parker, Clare Carter (Major Partnerships) with Kashif Bouns (General Manager, WB Community Foundation) launch the WBCF's School Workshops.
VU and the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation have partnered to roll-out an impactful initiative: The WB Community Foundation School Workshops.
Thursday 12 October 2023

Two iconic organisations based in Footscray - Victoria University (VU) and the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation (WB Community Foundation) – have formally partnered to roll-out an impactful and engaging new initiative: The WB Community Foundation School Workshops, with VU as the Presenting Partner.    

This partnership marks a commitment by both organisations to support, nurture and improve communities across Melbourne’s west. VU and the WB Community Foundation have a history of collaborating successfully on programs focusing on youth leadership, diversity, social inclusion, and social advocacy.  

As with all targeted VU and WB Community Foundation programs, the aim is to provide at least 600 secondary school students a year with the tools to succeed and thrive. Each school selects the number of co-designed sessions and topics best suited to the needs of the students, which are presented by experienced professionals from WB Community Foundation and VU.  

The workshops will focus on mental health and resilience, leadership skills development, education pathways, employment pathways, social responsibility, gender equity and goal setting. 

“We are so proud to formally confirm this invaluable partnership with the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation. Beyond our deep, shared history of delivering accessible programs tailored to the needs of the west, we have a united vision for the future – one that is committed to addressing inequity in all its forms,” VU Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker said.  

WB Community Foundation and Government Relations General Manager Mr Kashif Bouns, said the partnership could not have arrived at a better time. 

“At the WB Community Foundation, we take pride in delivering evidence-based programs co-designed in consultation with our community. This has been made possible through our long-standing partnership with VU. It's truly wonderful to deepen this collaboration, creating more opportunities for young people in Melbourne's west through customised school workshops.”  

VU and WB Community Foundation have collaborated on a number of significant projects, including research into ground-breaking WB Community Foundation initiatives, the Sons of the West and Daughters of the West, and have engaged VU students from the West Melbourne English Program to participate alongside culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities through the WB Community Foundation CALDplay program.  

There will also be exciting new opportunities for VU students to ‘learn in the workplace,’ with a number of work integrated learning (WIL) placements to enhance opportunities for students working in social work, community services and youth work. 

VU Institute for Health and Sport Executive Director Professor Alex Parker, works closely with WB Community Foundation to identify key issues facing communities in Melbourne's west and uses the insights to shape programs, along with exploring opportunities for additional research funding and projects.  

“VU and WB Community Foundation both play a pivotal role in helping people reach their full potential, and ensuring they are accepted and valued, regardless of their gender, ability, race or faith,” Professor Parker said. 

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