Clemente changing lives through education.

A mother who left school early, a retrenched man who has only ever known his trade and a grandmother of five sit talking about their futures and how education is helping improve their well being and prospects.

On any given day this is what you may find at a Clemente Learning Partners group. Clemente is an educational pathway program that provides opportunities for people who may be socially isolated, experiencing hardship or are marginalised. It provides participants with an opportunity to undertake education, increase employment prospects and engage with their community.

Empowerment through education is the fundamental principal of the Clemente program. Through education participants can build resilience, improve wellbeing, confidence, mental health outcomes and self-esteem.

A respectful and open approach to learning Clemente recognises that participants bring to the class a wealth of unique experiences and knowledge. Everyone is encouraged to engage with the program taking ownership of their individual learning journey and well being.

Working towards a certificate in Liberal Studies successful completion of four units qualifies participants for a non-award certificate of Liberal Arts from Federation University and Australian Catholic University.

Community volunteers are allocated as Learning Partners to each participant and assist with their studies and any issues that may arise from personal circumstances which may impact on participants’ involvement in the program.

Over the nine years the Ballarat Clemente program has been running, past participants have successfully continued their studies in welfare, technology, professional writing and teaching.

Centacare are the auspice agency for the Ballarat Clemente program and run the program in collaboration with Australian Catholic University (ACU), The Smith Family, Federation University, United Way, Central Highlands Regional Library and City of Ballarat.