Jabiru Community College was established in 2011, thanks to the initiative of Jabiru Community Youth & Children’s Services Association Inc. (Jabiru). Jabiru is a community organization based in Bracken Ridge. It provides a range of social and community services in support of children, families and young people throughout the north east region of Brisbane. It has done so for more than twenty years. The work of the association has included outside school hours care, youth and family support and vocational development and preparation with young people.
Through its engagement with the various communities of north east Brisbane, Jabiru was inspired to meet an identified need to support the educational development of a cohort of young people who were at risk of ‘falling through the cracks’ of mainstream educational and training institutions. Also there was a belief and vision that all young people were entitled to choices in terms of the educational options available to them. Therefore from a position of social justice and collaboration, Jabiru worked together with Bracken Ridge State High School and Sandgate State High School to establish REAP – an educational program for young people who for a variety of reasons were unable to maintain their engagement with these two local high schools. This program continued to operate until 2010.
At this time Jabiru made the decision to formalise the program and expand the learning opportunities for young people and established the new company, Community Learning Ltd, with the aim of operating a new independent high school. Jabiru Community College would endeavor to continue to offer to young people a further local option that provided flexibility and responsiveness to their realities and aspirations.
Young people meeting at one of the first college camps held in 2011In 2010 Community Learning Ltd applied to the Queensland Non State Schools Accreditation Board to establish a new Secondary School based at the Jabiru Community Annex in Bracken Ridge. This new school, Jabiru Community College, began operating in 2011.
This application was successful and Jabiru Community College commenced operating as a new educational option on 31 January 2011.
The initial enrolment was approximately twenty young people supported by two full time staff [one teacher and one youth and community development worker] and a part time College Principal. By term four of 2011 the enrolment was approximately forty five young people and four full time staff [two teachers and two youth and community development workers] and a part time Principal. Administration and Management support was provided throughout 2010 by the Executive Director of Jabiru Community Youth & Children’s Services Association Inc. and its Operational Support Services Team.
The College has continued to grow in terms of Young people enrolled and the numbers of staff. This has been a gentle process. The priority remains to develop the culture, quality of practice and programs. Presently the college enrols up to 75 young people who are supported by 14 staff (7 full-time and 7 part-time).