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Bendigo Indigenous Homework Centre (BIHC)
Partnership and inclusiveness
Bendigo Indigenous Homework Centre (BIHC) was set up in 2008 as a joint initiative by the Bendigo Local Indigenous Network, the Goldfield Local Learning and Employment network and the Department of Education Childhood Development.
BIHC was set up in an effort to increase the number of Koorie students completing grade 11 and 12 in Bendigo. As there is only one government Senior Secondary College in the Bendigo region, it made sense for the Homework centre to be set up on the senior secondary college campus. In order to do this, BIHC had to work closely with other partners such as the college and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) to ensure that this could happen. The homework centre has since become place of pride at Bendigo Senior Secondary College, an outcome which was able to be achieved through successful stakeholder engagement and partnership development.
BIHC acknowledges that not all valuable partnerships are underpinned by financial benefits. BIHC takes pride in nurturing its ties with the local Aboriginal community and has opened its doors to host a number of cultural collaborations, exchanges and programs over the last four years.
“The best part of our governance model is the incredible Indigenous network that supports the Homework Centre students in so many ways. For example a member of the Bendigo Learning Indigenous Network who works with North Central Catchment management suggested to the Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group that some of our year 11 and 12 boys may like to be involved in making a film “Our People/Our River. We also used our networks to help two of our senior College girls improve their fitness in order to increase their chances of gaining entry into the police force. In order to achieve this outcome we formed a partnership with Mallee Women’s Health Service, we now continue to run a nutrition and wellbeing program for all of our senior girls.”
It is in the spirit of developing partnerships that BHIC has welcomed and entertained representatives from the Goldfields Local Learning and Employment Network, Bendigo and District Aboriginal Corporation, La Trobe University, Department of Human Services and the Department of Justice.
BIHC recognises that it’s their partnerships and community involvement, along with their dedication and hard work that really allow them to achieve the best educational outcomes for young Koories in the Bendigo region.