Community Award for Christine Mountford

Less than a year after setting up VU Community Gateways, Project Manager Christine Mountford has been awarded the Rotary Club of Brimbank Central 2010 Vocational Service Award.
Christine was presented with the award for her own efforts as well as another organisational award for the scope of the Community Gateways initiative.  The program has proven successful, with 567 individual career counselling sessions being conducted over the past six months. In addition to this, 767 people attended careers education sessions and a further 328 participated in workshops.
Combining the attributes of the static Learning Shop in Norwich, England and the Mobile Adult Learning Unit (MALU) in the Northern Territory, VU Community Gateways was designed to focus on programs and services to attract and engage non-traditional university entrants. Many of these are young and disengaged, mature aged and/or recent arrivals to Australia. 
Christine insists its success to date is due to the "underlying belief systems" inherent within VU. She also believes it is due to the community engagement within our region of people who wish to further their own development, whether through education or employment opportunities.
In partnership with Highpoint Shopping Centre, the initiative was launched in May 2010 with over 70 community, business and government stakeholders in attendance. This network has now expanded, with almost daily information sessions being held at various venues across the western suburbs.
Organisations such as WESTPAC, local councils, and centres affiliated with the state Department of Planning and Community Development have been critical links between the Gateways Program and those who could benefit most from its services.

Christine and her team of four dedicated staff take the university out into the community space. They provide career counselling, skills recognition, and short courses in collaboration with VU Faculties as well as community providers.

This initiative makes the transition to learning easier for those who would otherwise not consider further training or higher education. Advising people on the best starting point for return to study, VU Community Gateways counsellors can help choose pathways and courses to suit individual needs with the view to enabling successful completion of studies.

The Mobile Gateways Vehicle has also enabled Christine and her staff to organise a diverse program of activities and information sessions within schools and businesses in the north and west of Melbourne.

The success of this initiative has lead to other organisations, such as Queensland Rail to adopt this mobile model for flexible delivery of OHS training for their staff and community.

Christine Mountford at Hightpouint Shopping Centre

Christine Mountford at the Gateways portal in Highpoint Shopping Centre

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Contact us

  • Christine Mountford
  • Project Manager, Community Gateways
  • Phone: +61 3 9919 7709
  • Email: [email protected]

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