Grant Opportunity

Skyline Education Foundation Australia
Suite 51 45 Riversdale Road
Hawthorn, VIC, 3122

VCE Support for Gifted Students from a Disadvantaged Background -

Founded in 2004, Skyline’s vision is that gifted and academically talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds reach their full potential. Our mission is to empower VCE students from disadvantaged backgrounds to thrive through education and personal growth in a caring community.

Since 2004 we have assisted 170 students across Melbourne and regional areas with 100% having successful post-school outcomes including a transition to university (85%) and more than a quarter of alumni completing Masters and Doctoral degrees. This year we are supporting 94 students enrolled in 23 schools located in 14 local government areas in south eastern, western, northern and central suburbs of Melbourne, Geelong, and Kyneton.

Our work takes a preventative approach to address issues impeding access and opportunity that can derail young people in their final years of secondary school. Skyline aims to break the cycle of generational disadvantage by nurturing students to become confident educated individuals who have the ability to become successful income earners and community leaders, supported lifelong through the Skyline Alumni community. Many of our students are the first in the family to complete secondary school.

Key activities:

The Skyline Program – VCE support for academically talented young people experiencing disadvantage.
Skyline provides financial, educational, emotional and practical support for students aged 16-18 undertaking VCE in Victorian secondary schools. The two-year program comprises financial reimbursement of educational cost, residential programs and workshops, and students are supported by Skyline staff and a companion teacher in their school.

Collaboration – Skyline’s partner schools are government secondary schools identified as having a low ICSEA value i.e. schools that have a population of gifted and talented students from low socio-economic-educational circumstances.

Graduation Event – We celebrate the success of our Year 12 graduates in March. The Skyline graduation is the final event of the two-year Skyline Program whereby students are recognised for their VCE endeavour, their progression through the Skyline Program and for overcoming barriers to reach this critical point in their lives.

Skyline Advocacy – Skyline held its inaugural Skyline Round Table Forum in October 2018. The event was chaired by Dr Dahle Suggett and titled ‘Improving life chances for gifted and talented students in Australian education’. The common goal of participating organisations and individuals in Skyline’s advocacy work is to address the well documented link between social and economic inequity and educational outcomes. Our advocacy work aims to gather and document a body of knowledge to share with secondary schools, tertiary institutions, social welfare organisations, government and philanthropy.

  • Total Requested Amount
  • Total Raised From Donors
  • Remaining Goal

Project Details

Postcode where activity will take place:

Start Date: 07/01/2019

End Date: 10/05/2019

Target Population:

  • Education status > Secondary school students
  • Social and economic status > Economically disadvantaged people

Field of Interest:

  • Education > Education support
  • Education > Equal opportunity in education

Project Summary:

The process for students entering the two-year Skyline Program is designed to ensure those students accepted will receive the most benefit from their involvement with Skyline.


- Our low ICSEA government partner schools will nominate at risk, gifted and academically talented students.
- Skyline will undertake scientific testing and interview students at their secondary school.
- Once selected students are asked to commit to participating in all aspects of the Program and to sign a letter of acceptance (formal contract) in November the year prior to program commencement.
- Skyline will provide each student with financial support in the form of financial reimbursement for educational costs, a series of personal growth and development workshops, vocational seminars and residential three-day camps over the two-year period of the program. The cost per student over the two years is $11,500.
- Dedicated wrap around support from a companion teacher within the school and Skyline’s Program team.
- In March, we will hold a VCE graduation event in Melbourne at Trinity College and a separate ceremony for our Geelong students at the Geelong Gallery.

Skyline delivers this VCE Support Program because gifted and academically talented students have great potential to be Australia's leaders and innovators, but a concerning number are under-stimulated in school and experience social isolation. Combined with the issue of financial hardship and other drivers of disadvantage, the potential for this group of talented young people to significantly underperform academically or drop out before completing secondary school is high. In addition to providing financial assistance for education costs, we involve our students in workshops and camps which helps them feel part of a like-minded community of academically talented young people. This also helps them focus their attention on VCE success and recognise the potential they all have to continue their studies and pursue their career of choice.
"Meeting high achieving peers and adults encouraged me to set higher expectations for myself (in life, at school) where I otherwise wouldn't have. Prior to Skyline I definitely saw the 'failure' (low education level, etc.) of my family and extended family as a reflection on my own ability to succeed. Meeting and talking to successful people in the program has made the prospect of entering university a lot less intimidating. It’s shown me that it is possible to do just as well for myself."

Project Outcomes:

Skyline’s Theory of Change identifies the following outcomes and impact over time.
• Financial reimbursement component of the Skyline Program allows students to concentrate on VCE without having to worry about educational costs.
• Improved access to study materials, resources and academic support.
• Students are stimulated through involvement in Skyline’s workshops and camps helping them stay engaged and focused throughout VCE and inspired to transition to tertiary studies.
• Reduced social isolation and strong sense of belonging developed through association with like-minded students and formation of friendships.
• Personal and skills development contributing to increased self-confidence, self-belief and motivation to succeed.
• Access to career guidance and advice to help students makes informed choices post VCE as they transition to tertiary studies.
• Increased awareness of university scholarships and awards which offer financial assistance at tertiary level further assisting with transition to university studies.
• Skyline Alumni will become role models, showing students that it is possible to achieve your educational goals with support and encouragement.
• Lifelong connection in an inclusive, respectful and supportive alumni network

Skyline gathers quantitative and qualitative information via surveys and interviews to assess outcomes and measure the success of the Skyline Program.
• At least 85% of successful Year 12 completions
• At least 60% ATAR scores exceed pre VCE expectations (increase confidence, new opportunities)
• 100% of students who complete the two-year Skyline Program transition to tertiary education or career of choice

In addition to the finding that 100% of students have successful post-school outcomes, by far the most significant difference that Skyline students see in themselves is increased confidence and self-efficacy – personal traits that translate to longer-term personal, societal and economic benefits. As they leave school, students say they now:
• see themselves as a person of value and worth
• have confidence in their academic ability and capacity to succeed
• are better able to define and pursue a career pathway of their choice
• have stronger personal, organisational and work-readiness skills
• wish to give back to their community through leadership and volunteer work.

Budget Details

Total Budget: $540,500


Income item Price ($)
ACF donors (unconfirmed) 11,500
Arvenitis Family (confirmed) 50,000
AM Costa Foundation (confirmed) 23,000
Newsboys (confirmed) 23,000
Baker Foundation Equity Trustees (confirmed) 17,500
Other PAFs and Individuals (unconfirmed) 135,500
MECCA (unconfirmed) 115,000
Brian and Virginia McNamee Foundation Mutual Trustees (unconfirmed) 85,000
Community Fundraising – APS schools, MRC Raceday (unconfirmed) 80,000


Expense item Price ($)
Educational Equipment eg books, stationery, uniforms 83,500
Excursions, Camps, Workshops 86,000
School levies and travel 88,300
Administration, research, evaluation 123,500
Program Facilitation 159,200

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