When schools meet community...


Welcome to a sponsored post from NAB

Every day in communities throughout Australia hundreds and thousands of teachers work tirelessly behind the scenes and often without recognition, to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders.

And for every teacher that rolls up their sleeves and work extra hours, there are an equal amount of individuals and organisations outside the school system that dedicate their time, energy and resources to help these teachers in their mission. Together these school-community partnerships are making a significant difference – on children, their families and their communities in hundreds of different ways every day and every year.

But more often than not – they do this on the smell of an oily rag. Driven only by a desire to contribute positively to creating the best possible opportunities for young people. Fortunately  over the last two years NAB– through NAB Schools First – has made a strong commitment to recognising and rewarding these great school-community partnerships.

NAB Schools First is an initiative of NAB in partnership with the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).  NAB Schools First brings students, teachers, parents and community members together to help young people grow. Their aim is to get  communities to become more involved in their local school and for an extended range of people to contribute to student learning.

In fact NAB Schools First has provided $10.15 million to 195 different Australian schools. That is a lot of award money – especially for schools.

The most amazing thing about this NAB Schools First program is hearing the individual stories of students and communities that have been transformed as a result of these partnerships. The impact of these school-community partnerships and the awards is truly humbling.

  • The inaugural National Award winner Canberra College inspired with their ground breaking CCCaresprogram which provides education and life support, in partnership with ACT Health and a number of other support agencies, for teenage children who are pregnant or young parents. As a result of their award, they have invested in the establishment of the Australian Young Pregnant and Parenting Network (AYPPN) which is committed to connecting young pregnant people to education and support networks in their communities regardless of where they live.
  • The 2010 National Award winner, Centenary Heights State High School – Toowoomba Flexi school, was a campus of challenging students who had not been struggling with mainstream education. Their student body included homeless students, single mothers, young people suffering from substance abuse or mental illness, and some students with a criminal record. By partnering with The Older Men’s Network Inc– a collection of retired men in the local community – on a mentoring program the school has been able to reduce rates of depression and increase graduation rates and uptake of school based traineeships.

Watch this clip – it is truly inspiring


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In the two years of the program, there has been an amazing spread of schools across all sectors. In 2010, 83% of winners came from the Government sector, 8.4% of the Catholic sector, and 4.6% from the independent sector. There was also a good representation across secondary schools (53.5%), primary schools (29%) and R/P/K – 12 schools (9.5%).  The community partners that are involved in these partnerships include not for profit organisations, business, further education institutions (such as TAFE or Universities) or government agencies/departments.


This year, NAB Schools First has more than $5 million in awards to offer to schools and community groups all throughout Australia. There are 60 impact awards for schools that can demonstrate that their community partnership is having an impact of their students. There are also an additional 50 Seed Funding Awards available at $25,000 each for schools that need funding to develop their community partnerships.

Applications are open now until Friday 29 July at If your child’s school is not already involved in NAB Schools First,  you should encourage them to get online, get involved and apply now.

There is an amazing world of opportunity to schools when they partner with the community – and NAB Schools First is helping them to make a difference in the lives of the next generation.

What do you think your school could do with funding? How could they partner with a community organisation or group to improve the lives and outcomes for the children at the school ?

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