More than a School: Building a learning community at Doveton College

Published: Wednesday 10 December 2014


In November 2014, the Victorian Chapter of CEFPI explored the theme of integrated community facilities during a one-day mini-conference at Doveton College. This Big Day Out was attended by approximately 120 members and guests including representatives from interstate.

Doveton College, designed by Brand Architects, is the heart of its neighborhood. It has state-of-the-art facilities and provides new and inspiring ways to learn for children and families. Doveton College is built on a unique partnership between the Department of Education and the Colman Foundation (an Australian leader in the delivery of truly integrated community infrastructure, wrap-around early intervention and family support services). Doveton families, residents and local community groups are welcome to use the College’s performing arts centre, fitness centre, internet café and community meeting spaces. The school project specifically targets the whole community to dramatically boost educational standards and whole-life opportunities for children and families in the local community.

The event was content rich, including tours of the school and presentations by a diverse range of expert practitioners and speakers. It offered attendees the unique opportunity to visit the College and its facilities, and discuss the programs with key players.

“It was great to see a working model of wrap-around service delivery and place-based development to demonstrate these theories. It was interesting to hear from other participants of the conference that they saw local government as a critical partner to make initiatives like Doveton work. As a community infrastructure planner in local government, I am not likely to have the opportunity to plan or otherwise influence the development of a school, but local governments clearly have a role in planning for some of the component service and facility types, so there may be opportunities to influence the development of community facility design and governance models. I will be ready when opportunities arise.” (John Cook, Community Infrastructure Planner, Melton City Council)

The project was awarded a commendation in the 2014 Regional Awards Category 5 An Educative Initiative/Design Solution for an Innovative Program.

Architects: Brand Architects