History of the Operation Newstart Program

Operation Newstart was conceived in 1995 by Paul Kill and John Burrell (teacher and principal) from Mount Erin Secondary College, Frankston, and Paul Maas, Rod Norman and Graeme Seamer, officers from the Southern Metropolitan Region of Victoria Police.

For most of its life, Operation Newstart has remained a partnership between the Victorian state education sector, and local Victorian Police officers, many of whom continue to provide much local support through Youth Resource Officer involvement.

Currently, each program provides its services through many key community partnerships.

The primary partner remains the Victorian Department of Education and more than 100 State Secondary Schools who regularly refer students. In any one year, up to 164 young people are enrolled in one of the five current programs.

Other major program delivery partners are the Department of Health and Human Services (Engage Program), Headspace, School Focus Youth Services (SFYS), the Royal Children’s Hospital Mental Health Service and Youth Support & Advocacy Service (YSAS). Many Local Government Areas provide invaluable financial and in-kind help. Please refer to specific Operation Newstart programs for a more comprehensive list of local supporters.

To be eligible for entry, students must be assessed to be at significant educational risk, and be currently enrolled in a state secondary school in one of the regions in which a program operates. The program is open to boys and girls in Years 8 to 10. We welcome applicants with CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) and Indigenous backgrounds, and from those who are recent arrivals to our country.

Each program is facilitated by a small team lead by a teacher and supported by a youth worker. (link – contact list of facilitation teams)