Upper Yarra Community House

Community College Young Mums VCAL program

The Upper Yarra Community House (UYCH) is a community-based organisation that provides programs and services to the local community. As a registered training organisation, UYCH delivers accredited courses and training covering a wide variety of vocational areas, including automotive, hospitality, horticulture, community services, home care and children’s services.

UYCH is based east of Melbourne in Yarra Junction, a region where a significant level of disadvantage is experienced by many partly due to the area’s social and geographic isolation.

The LUCRF Super Community Program has provided financial support to the UYCH’s Community College Young Mums VCAL Program. The program provides specialised training for young women, giving them the opportunity to complete secondary school, vocational education and training. It also offers mentoring and support in parenting skills.

Liz’s story

After years of moving between the homes of her drug-addicted mother, detached father and long-suffering grandmother, Liz had attended more than 15 different schools. She was bullied at school for her mother’s addiction and by the age of 16 she was pregnant and homeless. In the following years, Liz endured failed relationships, an abortion and numerous low-skilled part-time jobs to keep her afloat. 

Liz was introduced to the UYCH Young Mums program by the local health service, where she has really embraced learning. Centre staff members have described Liz as a competent and committed student whose positive attitude is uplifting and inspiring. Liz uses the Young Mums program to full advantage by asking lots of questions and seeking support when needed. Now at 24, Liz is in a stable relationship with her live-in partner and is an excellent mother to their one-year-old daughter.

Get involved | About our Community Program | Project list