An agreement between Victoria University (VU) and Melbourne City Mission (MCM) has resulted in a new Early Childhood Intervention Service (ECIS) centre, located at VU’s St Albans campus. The new centre will offer potential employment and placement opportunities for VU students, as well as critical services for the community in the west of Melbourne.
It will also focus on supporting children as they work towards building confidence, fostering a passion for lifelong learning, alongside helping families with NDIS requests and connecting parents with support services.
One of Victoria’s oldest charities, MCM offers a range of community services including; youth homelessness and housing, disability services including Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS), family services, mental health and education services.
VU Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker praised the new arrangement with MCM and emphasised the University’s commitment to fostering student employment through its unique flipped campus approach.
“This new agreement exemplifies our dedication to welcoming like-minded organisations onto our campuses. As a leader in the ECIS space, we have a natural synergy with MCM. The goal to provide much-needed Early Childhood Intervention Services to local communities aligns perfectly with our own. At the same time, our students will gain hands-on experience in this crucial field, enriching their educational journeys and building the ECIS workforce,” Professor Shoemaker said.
The St Albans centre, staffed by a team of eight, comprising speech pathologists, occupational therapists and a social worker, is now operational and has created work placements for 10 VU speech pathology students.
Laura Knauer, a fourth-year VU student says the partnership provides opportunities for emerging and practicing speech pathologists and NDIS participants in the west.
“We get to be a part of the gradual increase of services across the region that means more people get to access speech pathology. Having the placement on a VU site is convenient and demonstrates that the university is committed to linking in with community services in a meaningful and impactful way. As an emerging clinician, it’s an invaluable opportunity to be so connected to services like MCM at this point in our careers,” Ms Knauer said.
Like VU’s cohort, MCM clients represent a range of demographics and one of the organisations key drivers is to ensure individuals and families have the opportunity to ‘live their life, their way’.
‘VU and MCM are both iconic organisations dedicated to providing services to individuals and communities. MCM’s Early Childhood Intervention Service has found a home at VU’s St Albans campus, and we look forward to supplying critical services for children and families in the communities of western Melbourne. We are keen to welcome VU students through placement and employment opportunities,” MCM Head of Disability Sally Moore said.
To arrange an interview with Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Shoemaker and/or Melbourne City Mission, contact Frances Atkinson, Media Adviser, Frances.Atkinson@vu.edu.au; 0435 960 793.