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Family Worker and Project Officer - Project REAL

Banksia Gardens Community Services
  • Are you a highly experienced youth worker with a background in student wellbeing and a passion for social justice and inclusive education?
  • Are you looking for a vibrant and dynamic educational setting that is working towards creating positive systemic change in education to support our most vulnerable children and young people?


Banksia Gardens Community Services is a vibrant community service charitable organisation operating in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Our programs focus mainly on education and training, young people, early childhood, environmental sustainability and community participation and advocacy.

An exciting position is available in our Project REAL, a re-engagement program integrated in the Northern Centre for Excellence in School Engagement (NCESE). Project REAL is dedicated to the re-engagement in education and learning of primary school-aged children showing clear signs of disengagement, often as a result of exposure to early adversity and stress.


Project REAL is a re-engagement program for 9-12 year-olds who have become disengaged from mainstream education. It aims to support children, their families and schools to develop skills that foster positive school engagement.

Project REAL is a Flexible Learning Option (FLO) for students ages 9-12 with Tier 3 behaviours, enrolled in local (Broadmeadows) schools. Commenced in 2017, Project REAL has undergone extensive evaluation, and is now regarded as a benchmark of effective practice in the Flexible Learning space. Project REAL accepts 6-7 students per annum, for 3 days per week at school, and provides 1:1 teaching and learning with the Department of Education and Training registered teaching and learning staff, as well as family support services.

For the duration of students’ enrolment at Project REAL, our team provides intensive family or caregiver support, including referrals and collaboration with community agencies and allied health professionals, coaching for referring schools, and professional development on key areas of our practice.

It is through a holistic and collaborative approach with students, families, mainstream schools, Project REAL and community organisations, that we can achieve the best outcomes for children and successfully re-engage them back into their mainstream schools.

The rationale of Project REAL is based on a solid body of research (ARC and TIP) into the importance of repairing self-regulatory abilities in ensuring educational engagement of young people who have experienced complex trauma and/or high levels of adversity and stress.

Banksia Gardens Community Services is the lead agent in delivering Project REAL. We do this in partnership with The Gateway School, Outer Urban Projects, DPV Health, the Department of Education and Training, Roxburgh College and fourteen local primary schools.


Project REAL (Re-engagement in Education and Learning) employs a multi-disciplinary team to work with these young people using a therapeutic framework, with the ultimate goal of re-engaging them into their school by achieving the following objectives:

  • Increase the child’s sense of self-esteem and agency;
  • Establish corrective relational experiences;
  • Apply the latest evidence to repair neurobiological damage caused by traumatic experiences;
  • Maintain and improve community connections with school and circle of friends;
  • Help participants to develop constructive interests and hobbies;
  • Build a body of knowledge that can help build our capacity to effectively work with severely disengaged youth.

The Project REAL Family Worker and Project Officer will work collaboratively to support the teaching team in delivering programming requirements for Project REAL, with a specific focus on supporting students' learning, and particularly their social and emotional development, and by creating an environment conducive to achievement and personal development.

The purpose of this position is to provide support to the Project REAL team with the daily operational requirements of the program. This support will involve: (i) assisting the teaching team to prepare the Project REAL space for the day; and (ii) supporting staff and students during learning activities and breaks by attuning and responding to students’ needs, and by maintaining a safe, calm and nurturing learning environment.

We are seeking a committed, qualified and experienced worker, with tertiary qualification in social sciences, including social work, community development or related discipline, and significant experience working with highly disenfranchised children and families.



  • You are a trauma informed, passionate and innovative teacher with significant experience in student wellbeing and engagement programs.
  • You are able work collaboratively and inspire a high-performing team to continue delivering high-quality engagement and learning programs in a fast paced, dynamic educational setting.
  • You are committed to reflective practice and rigorous evaluation and capable of building the capacity of other teachers and schools to better understand and meet the complex needs of our students.


  • A flexible part-time flexible teaching position.
  • Join a passionate and dedicated team making a positive difference in our community.
  • Encouraged work-life balance and a broad range of leave entitlements, including annual leave, personal leave, purchased leave, leading paid parental leave, study leave and paid family and domestic violence leave.
  • Access to a range of mental health and wellbeing supportive initiatives, including confidential counselling services and education programs, through our Employee Assistance Program.
  • Salary packaging and novated lease arrangements on offer with leading provider, AccessPay, reducing your tax.
  • Access to a range of ongoing learning and development opportunities that will benefit and support you in your role.

BGCS is a child-safe organisation and is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and young people with zero tolerance for child abuse. All successful applicants will be required to undertake a National Police Record Check and Working with Children Check prior to commencement of employment and periodically following commencement.

Feel free to contact Eric Dommers - NCESE Co-Director eric.d@banksiagardens.org.au or Seral Fehmi - Project REAL Lead Teacher seral.f@banksiagardens.org.au, using the subject line: Family Worker and Project Officer - Project REAL enquiry via EthicalJobs, if you have any questions.

A full position description is attached below.

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