Funding for Bairnsdale’s 'Changing Lanes'

Bairnsdale Secondary College has received a grant of $104,325 for its ‘Changing Lanes Re-engagement Program’ under the Coalition Government’s $5 million ‘Local Solutions Year 12 Retention Fund’ Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull said today.

“The Changing Lanes program aims to re-engage young people and equip them with the skills, confidence and desire to build a future within their community by providing new and life-long skills.

“Building self- esteem is incredibly important to improving a students’ outlook on life and there is clear evidence that those students who acquire a trade, or go on to graduate, become more active members of the community and contribute to society.

"The school and wider community are well aware of the benefits and positive outcomes achieved by the Changing Lanes Program and I am sure this allocation will be welcomed,” Mr Bull said.

Acting principal, Bairnsdale Secondary College, Ian Hall said “the school is very pleased to receive the funding which will help us maintain the Changing Lanes Re-engagement program which benefits all students, but particularly those with specific needs.”

Minister for Education, Martin Dixon, said while the number of metropolitan students finishing school was going up, the government was committed to ensuring the same opportunities were available to rural and regional students.

“We know when a student completes school, the likelihood of them going on to achieve, succeed and become a skilled and valued contributor to society dramatically increases,” Mr Dixon said.

“Almost nine out of 10 metropolitan students are finishing school, but nearly a third of country students are leaving school early, and these new grants are a step toward addressing this issue.”

The ‘Local Solutions Year 12 Retention Fund’ was created upon advice from the Rural Education Reference Group; a cross-sectoral group established by Minister Dixon to advise the government on initiatives specifically designed to support rural and regional schools.

“I am really keen to see the success of these retention programs as they are rolled out across Victoria,” Mr Dixon said.