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Welcome to the School Gateway Project page. To learn more about the Project, click on the links below:

What is the School Gateway Project?

Guiding Principles

Mirrung's Impact

Report: Creating A Thriving Learning Community



What is the School Gateway Project?

In 2021, Ashcroft Public School and NCOSS set up a wellbeing hub, based on the Victorian 'Our Place' model that supports children and their families from one location.

Located inside the school, the wellbeing hub was named Mirrung. It means 'belonging' in Dharug.

Mirrung is created on the understanding that to support children in their education, we need to support their families to overcome structural disadvantage.

Ashcroft is both a community of considerable strength and resilience and a community that experiences significant disadvantage.

Located in the south western suburbs of Sydney, it is a young and diverse community, home to people born in over 50 different countries. Ashcroft is amongst the 1% most disadvantaged communities in NSW, having the highest overall poverty rate in NSW and the third highest rate of children living in poverty in NSW.

Ashcroft has a limited number of local support services; the only social service located in Ashcroft is the South West Sydney Women’s Centre. This means that children and families need to travel to neighbouring suburbs such as Liverpool or Miller to access supports.

Guiding Principles

Mirrung is designed around community priorities. During consultation, children, parents and carers, teachers, service professionals and community leaders identified these priorities for the school:

  • creating safe outdoor spaces for children to play; and places for parents and carers to share information and engage in learning
  • easier access to child health and development services
  • greater access to sports programs, arts and craft programs, culture and language classes, community-wide events and activities, a homework centre and opportunities for children to engage with nature and animals
  • that the school should be the safest place in the community.

Mirrung's impact

Mirrung is a place where parents feel welcome to drop in for a cup of coffee, use the internet and printer, connect with teachers about their children’s learning, seek assistance with filling out government forms, or pick up supplies of food and uniforms.

A variety of after-school programs, including sport and music, are now being offered to the students. This has led to improved school attendance, academic growth and improved wellbeing and sense of belonging.

Building trust between families and the school means that early intervention services can be delivered when it's needed, and prevents the need for crisis intervention.

A School as Community Centre Program, nicknamed the Beehive, also operates from the school. It provides playgroup and support for families with kids aged 0-4 years, and preschool and primary school aged children.

Mirrung: Creating A Thriving Learning Community

Download a copy of the report here: Mirrung - Creating a Thriving Learning Community 2023

Find out more about the School Gateway Project

Contact the team:

Olivia Wright, Program Director, E

Poppy Loueizi, Ashcroft Public School Principal, (Add contact details)