Advance is a fantastic one-year school-based program that encourages you to get actively involved in your local community.

AdvanceIf you are in Years 7 to 12 at a Victorian Government secondary school, you can get involved in the Advance program and have the chance to develop your leadership skills while having fun.

What Sort of Community Activities Will I Do?

There's a whole range of activities young people are doing with heaps of different community organisations. There are heaps of programs for you to choose from. For example, you can:

  • Participate in a conservation program
  • Get involved with Army, Air Force or Navy cadets
  • Help your local Surf Life Saving association
  • Help the Red Cross
  • Be a Girl Guide or Scout
  • Run a community radio program
  • Learn life saving skills through St John's Ambulance and the State Emergency Services

Is My School Involved?

To see what schools are involved, visit the Advance (new window) page on the Department of Human Services website. If your school is not involved, speak to a teacher, co-ordinator or school counsellor and ask them to look at the program. It's not a competition to get a grant for your school or anything like that - any government school can become involved!

If your school is not involved and you'd like to become a part of the program, tell your teacher about it today.

How Will Advance Benefit Me?

Hopefully, by participating in this program:

  • You will develop skills to participate in your community
  • You will be engaged in community activities
  • Communities will support your engagement and participation and
  • You will have something great to add to your resume or uni or TAFE application!

To find out more on how Advance can benefit you, read some case studies of Advance in action (new window) and read on to see what other young people have been doing in their community and how it has had a positive effect on their life.

If you have questions or want more information about the Advance program, email:

What Some Schools Have Done As Part of Advance

There's heaps of different things that schools have done as part of their Advance program. Here's just a sample:

Community Arts

Burwood East Secondary School students enrolled in a five week pottery course at the Box Hill Community Arts Centre. “Under the guidance of the teacher, they learnt how to roll clay, squeeze and make pinch pots, draw on clay with sticks, and use tools such as a garlic press to create additions to their work. They then experimented with paints and eventually their creations were fired and glazed. The results were amazing-all individual, all colourful and all uniquely artistic. Putting it altogether and making something that turned out to be creative and age-appropriate was magic."

Working with the Fire Brigade

Students from Cobden Technical School got involved with the Cobden Fire Brigade through the Advance program. Here’s what they had to say about it: “I enjoyed the training. It makes you realise what the volunteers have to do when you actually get to do what they do. Heather (the instructor) had lots of first aid cases we had to solve, so we got into groups and had to work out how we would treat the injured person. I’ll be able to use the information at home and help my family and friends."

Helping Out at the CFA

Bellarine Secondary College were involved with their local CFA. Here's what student Amanda said: "Advance has been full of great learning experiences and has been a lot of fun. I have learned first aid and how to cope during a fire. The chance that youth Advance has given has been awesome. I have been able to work with the community and at the same time make some good friends."

Taking Kids Surfing

Blair and Nick at Brauer College were involved in their Advance groups helping primary school kids that had never been in the surf before: "Taking part in helping the kids learn about the surf helped us get up our community service hours. Not only that but we got to see the little critters get hammered by the waves while they waited for us to come save them. Altogether we came out of this trip with massive biceps and a more profound understanding of the world around us."

Helping Out at Kindergartens

Taylah at Bundoora Secondary College visited Stables Kindergarten. “I found that being a kindergarten teacher is very difficult because not only do you have to deal with young children but you also need to help them with a lot of the activities. Even nap time is difficult. Overall I found that the kindergarten uses volunteers when it can and welcomes any additional help. I enjoyed what I did at the kindergarten; it was a very good experience. The students made us cupcakes to say thank you for helping them with the activities."

Conservation Volunteers

Corio Bay Senior College students worked in partnership with Conservation Volunteers Australia on a 'Tracks and Revegetation' project around the Anglesea and Lorne area. One student said, "I really enjoyed the teamwork and the way everyone worked well together the job done." And another, “I liked working in the bush, even though it was hot, it was fun, I enjoyed making a fashion statement - we got to wear gum boots and overalls."

Raising Money for Charities

Lauren at Croyden Secondary College was involved in a breakfast club raising money for Rubuga Youth Development Association in Uganda - an organisation that takes in orphans and gives them a home and education. She said, "Working with our community partners has been a great experience because we talked a lot and learned from them about what is happening around us. The training we did was all very helpful. It has also given me some really important certificates that will help me with being able to find part time work while I am still at school."


Department of Human Services - Advance Schools Program
The Victorian Government's DHS website provides an overview of the Advance program.

Back to more youth programs.