Message from Our Past CEO
CHASE is a young organisation that is rapidly growing; expanding its reach in the north and western suburbs of Melbourne. I’ve been with CHASE for over 2 years and I’ve witnessed first hand the transformative effects that the CHASE program can have on a student’s life. We aim to empower young people by providing access to knowledge and resources, and equipping them with health literacy skills they will need to traverse life.
My motivation for joining CHASE stems from my lived experience as a disadvantaged student from the western suburbs of Melbourne. In Year 9, I was classified as an ‘at-risk’ student, on the verge of dropping out. I was struggling with my education and my grades, I had behavioural problems that stemmed from disengagement and general apathy towards mainstream curriculum and schooling.
However, in Year 10, my school had a year-long mentoring program called the NITOR Program. NITOR is a year 10 school-based program that aims to promote and improve the educational, academic and professional outcomes of disengaged Year 10 boys. The NITOR program challenges the traditional education paradigm by transcending the student-teacher relationship, shifting the focus and emphasis of the school curriculum and providing the necessary environment for disenfranchised young men to reconnect with their enthusiasm for education. This mentoring program had a profound impact upon not only my education but also my life. I could name a million things that the program did for me but the one thing that I am grateful for was that it gave me an opportunity. It gave me an opportunity to become who I am today, it gave me an opportunity to reconnect with my education, it gave me an opportunity to fulfil the potential I had locked inside of me.
In the north-western suburbs, student ability is spread evenly but unfortunately opportunity isn’t. What I’ve learnt now is that disengaged and disadvantaged students don’t lack ability, they lack opportunity.
So whilst CHASE aims to improve the health literacy of disadvantaged students, at the core of what we do, we also aim to give students an opportunity. CHASE provides an opportunity for students to access preventative health knowledge, empower themselves and engage with their broader community to become future leaders.
We are partnering with new schools every year, recruiting more mentors every year and improving the delivery and quality of the CHASE program every year.
CHASE is connecting with more students in more schools across metropolitan Melbourne.
It has never been a more exciting time to be a part of CHASE.
Michael Lim – Past CEO of CHASE
Why the North and Western Suburbs?
Encompassing Brimbank, Hobsons Bay, Wyndham, Maribyrnong, Moonee Valley, Melton and Moreland municipalities, the north-western suburbs consists of some of the most socioeconomically disadvantaged people in metropolitan Melbourne.
- Health and community services in Melbourne’s north & west are significantly underfunded and under-resourced (Western Agenda 2012, 58)
- The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in Melbourne’s north-west far exceeds the state-wide average.. Up to 1 in 7 people in Melbourne’s west has the disease, compared with in 1 in 30 for the whole of Victoria (Western Agenda 2012, 59)
- Since 2008, there has been no improvement in the proportion of low socioeconomic status students progressing beyond year 10 (COAG Reform Council 2013)