The CHASE Program
CHASE adopts an innovative pedagogical framework to promote the health and wellbeing of young Victorians. Over the course of the school year, CHASE’s 100+ volunteer mentors travel to our partner schools to deliver twelve health-related workshops, each mentor working with the same group of 3-4 students every fortnight.
The first six workshops (Education Phase) work to build students’ understanding of key health topics pertinent to themselves and their community—these include healthy eating, physical activity, respect and relationships, alcohol and other drugs, and mental health. In the latter six workshops of the year (Project Phase), mentors then support students through the process of designing and executing a community-based health project in partnership with local community organisations.
All community projects are student-led, meaning that students are responsible for identifying a relevant community challenge, building partnerships with local organisations, fundraising, designing an innovative solution and executing it.
As an example, a recent student group at Copperfield College organised a campaign to raise community awareness of homelessness through a tin-can drive at Copperfield’s three campuses. To fund the project, the students set up a fundraising campaign through a car wash initiative. The team raised $480 and collected over 2,400 cans to donate to Hope Street Youth and Family Services.
At the end of the year, CHASE culminates in the Showcase event, where students’ achievements during the year are showcased and celebrated with peers, teachers, parents and community leaders.