Connecting kids with their school and community

Hands On Learning Australia is a harm prevention charity that partners with schools to give students at risk of early leaving the hope and aspiration to stay at school and realise their potential. The Hands On Learning method has been proven to significantly increase attendance, improve vocational and academic pathways, and reduce youth unemployment.

Ten students work with two artisan-teachers one full day each week on creative building projects that benefit the school and local community.   Student engagement increases through safe respectful relationships that cultivate a sense of belonging and tangible learning opportunities that offer opportunities to experience success.

Give Where You Live provided a medium grant in 2012 of $30,000 to support HOL at Newcomb and Northern Bay College with support extended this year with a $140,000 two year innovation grant to expand the HOL method into three more Geelong schools.

HOL in action: Rejuvenating a much loved local park  
Hands On Learning students at Northern Bay Secondary College enjoyed a helping hand from an energetic band of Goldman Sachs volunteers who joined forces with them in May this year to restore the You Yangs Regional Park’s visitor amenities. Rain and wind quickly gave way to great conditions as the sun came out and the wind dropped. Following health and safety instructions, work began restoring six park tables, removing five tonnes of dead plant material and clearing vegetation from visitor pathways. The teams worked in groups of four – two students and two Goldman Sachs volunteers, taking turns on the various jobs and swapping ideas on how to complete the work. Ongoing discussions about life at school and work offered new insights and aspirations. Students prepared a hearty lunch to celebrate, and a valuable day was had by all.

For more information about Hands On Learning visit –