An Andrews Labor Government will invest $1.6 million in a pilot program for high-achieving tertiary students to mentor secondary school students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Labor will fund 100 annual scholarships for high-achieving TAFE and university students to mentor young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The pilot program, which will be coordinated through the Department of Education,
is based on the successful PERACH program currently run in Israel. The $3000 scholarships will reduce students’ HELP debt.

Labor will also provide $1 million to expand mentoring programs run by organisations
working with disadvantaged youth. Eligible organisations will be able to apply for grants.

Eligible organisations will include Jeanieboy Dream Catchers Netball Academy, founded by elite netballer Sarah Wall, which works with adolescent girls to teach healthy living and discourage risky decisions.

Ms Graley said that the mentoring and partnering of our most brilliant students with young people who need that extra guidance and tutoring would benefit everyone involved.

“Countless young people in Israel and around the world have benefitted from the support, guidance and friendship a mentor and role model can provide,”

“It’s time our young people, young people who are finding it harder than ever to find
work or complete their schooling receive the help they need to stay on track,”

“Labor will be there to provide that helping hand, to ensure our young people have the same opportunities as anyone else.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor of Monash Berwick and Peninsula Campuses, Professor Leon Piterman AM said that the Labor Party in Victoria and its leader Dan Andrews are to be congratulated on announcing the funding of a student mentoring scheme based on the well-established Israeli Perach program which financially supports thousands of University students to tutor and mentor disadvantaged high school students.

“Whilst the proposed pilot project is modest in funding only 100 $3000.00 Scholarships,  Monash University alone supports almost 200 of its students  as tutors or mentors in local schools, it is a step in the right direction.”

“Hopefully the evaluation of the outcomes of this pilot will lead to a major expansion of this program across Victoria.”