Youth of Sorell team up to solve global challenges on a local scale

From tackling plastic pollution to saying no to racism, no issue is too big for Action Crew 7172.

Action Crew 7172 is a Collective ed. initiative in Sorell which sees students of Sorell Scholl explore how producing short films can be used as a tool to communicate their ideas and encourage students to participate in education and the broader community. Across six sites in Tasmania, Collective ed is exploring how a place based approach to education can positively impact year 12 attainment and meaningful pathways for young people. 

Action Crew 7172 is a student led initiative, guided by and with the support of teachers and the Collective ed. team with skillsets in video making, community development and youth leadership. The school now has a Pop Up Studio with outstanding equipment including multiple video cameras, mics and green screens. The students take the lead- performing every role in the crew- camera, sound, script, direction interviewing and editing. They also develop transferable skills such as empathy, new ways of communicating, leadership and teamwork. The development of these skills is considered crucial by Collective ed. for young people to pursue meaningful post-school pathways in the 21st century, one of the initiative’s main goals.

Action Crew 7172 work of the principle “Nothing about us, without us.”

The students describe it as an opportunity to explore their curiosity. It is a way for them to find out things they did not know we were interested in. As one of the students puts it, “to explore things is the essence of curiosity.

Creating a platform where curiosity can flourish is important to Collective ed. as it helps students stay engaged in school and identify post-school pathways that they are interested in.

Action Crew is one piece of a bigger puzzle that is being laid by Collective ed. It functions as a foundational corner piece for the long-term goals of Collective ed. where a new system can be built that supports all young people to complete year 12 and continue on a meaningful post-school pathway.

This year, Action Crew is designing social change projects to tackle real world challenges. We had a chat with the students from the crew to learn more about each project.

Tackling plastic pollution by encouraging the local community to sew their own boomerang bags

Change makers:


Boomerang bags is an existing world wide project where people from communities come in and sew tote bags to reduce the use of plastic bags and create conversations about the issue of plastic and pollution. The team explains;

“It is called boomerang bags because it keeps giving back to the community.”

There are more than 1100 boomerang bag communities in the world. With plastic pollution being a global issue and affecting Sorell and the community, Sorell students Tahlia, Lloyd, Lacey and Lilly think it is time for Sorell to get sewing. They believe even small things can make a big difference saying;

“if we can get the Sorell community involved and actively thinking about their plastic consumption, hopefully, there can be a few less beautiful animals suffocating because of the human race”.

This year, the team is calling on their peers to join the project. They will make a promotional film to share information about the boomerang bags project and why we urgently need to act on plastic pollution.

Importantly, they are also looking outside of the school and calling on the whole of the community to get involved. To celebrate Sorell’s upcoming bicentenary this year 2021, they want to make at least 200 bags as a gift to the community. They are inviting anyone interested in fighting plastic pollution and celebrating Sorell to join one or more of their boomerang bag sewing bees. If you want to learn more about ways to get involved, reach out to boomerang bags:

Bringing a world wide public art project to Sorell 

Change makers:


In a Tasmania first, the students behind Sorell INSIDE OUT will photograph 200 portraits of young people in the community and exhibit these as part of a global initiative known as the INSIDE OUT Project.

The production team, made up by Isaac, Doug, Amelia and Deakin along with other interested students, will capture images of “awesome young people in Sorell” and print and display these portraits around the town as part of Sorell’s bi-centennial celebration. The team says too often, young people are not invited to decision making;

“Young people have brilliant ideas to make this world a better place”

“Action Crew is led by the principle that there will be nothing about us, without us. This is one piece in that puzzle and we are part of laying it out”

The production team is looking forward to working with the community to create and display the portraits to acknowledge the importance of young people. Sorell INSIDE OUT will be exhibited in public places throughout the Sorell township as part of the bi-centennial celebration. Their contribution will also be the first entry to date by the Tasmanian state to the global project putting Sorell on the map and be documented as part of the international platform

Sorell School: it is time to fly the flag!

Change makers

The project “Let’s fly the rainbow flag @ Sorell School” is an initiative to share a simple message of love is love. The team behind the initiative, Emma, Riley and Pascall wants to create an environment at school where everyone can be themselves and no one feels the need to hide their sexuality. Part of this, they say, is the simple action of seeing the rainbow flag raised on the school grounds.

They say;

“We believe in more kindness and no judgement. Everyone should be able to be their true selves, at all times”.

The team reached out to the Victorian organisation Raising Rainbows which aims to aim to raise awareness, educate communities and ultimately, reduce the instances of LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/gender diverse, intersex and queer) related bullying in regional schools and communities. With their support, they are launching a campaign at the school to introduce the rainbow flag. This includes building a business case for the cause as well as identifying the cost of adding another flag pole to the school and the flag itself.

The goal is to gain enough support from peers and the school as well as secure the finances needed to introduce the rainbow flag at Sorell School by the end of this year.

Sorell School says NO to Racism

Change makers

Tired of hearing racist insults, Leetesha, Maggie and Emma decided they wanted to do something to stop it.

“We knew we had to do something. People use racism slurs way too much and it is hurtful”, the team said.

Together, they came up with the idea to launch a bumper sticker campaign to raise awareness and stop racism at Sorell School.

People will be encouraged to use the stickers on their cars, laptops, windows or in other publicly visible places to show their support to stop racism. Through this, the team hopes to see the stickers become a common sight at the school and throughout Sorell.

“Racism is an issue that is affecting all communities. We hope our stickers will raise awareness beyond Sorell as people travel in cars to Hobart or other places in the state. Everyone should do their part to stop racism.”

To learn more about Collective ed. Sorell and their initiatives, keep an eye out on Beacon Foundation’s social media or subscribe to our newsletter. 

About Collective ed.
Collective ed. is a five year initiative launched in 2017 by Beacon Foundation exploring how a place based approach to education can positively impact year 12 attainment and meaningful pathways for young people. Collective ed. consists of six sites and communities; Jordan River, Bayview, Sorell, Ulverstone (also known as Collective ed. Central Coast) and Deloraine/Meander Valley (recently rebranded to ‘Thrive’ by the community). Collective ed. is funded by Paul Ramsay Foundation and the Tasmanian Government. For more information, click here.





Youth Participation and Collective ed.

Youth participation can be defined as ‘a process where young people, as active citizens, take part in, express views on, and have decision-making power about issues that affect them’ (Farthing 2012). While there is a wide spectrum of ideas on what youth participation looks like – and why it is desirable – we can use this definition as a departure point to understand engagement and participation of young people in projects and activities. An example from our Collective ed. communities that relate to the theme of youth participation in the Transition Video Project at Collective ed. Meander Valley. We asked Victoria Homer, Site Lead of Collective ed. Meander Valley to share the story. 

What is the Transition Video Project?

The Transition Video Project was a student-led action to create a new film that addresses the excitements and concerns of year 6 students from Meander Valley feeder schools (Our Lady of Mercy, Westbury, Mole Creek, Deloraine Primary Schools) before transitioning into Deloraine High School.

Why was Collective ed. approached?

Collective ed. was approached by the transitions teacher to support the updating of a previous transition video. While the idea for the action was initially conceived by adults, Collective ed. Meander Valley advocated for a student-led process of making the new video, and facilitated this process.

How was youth engaged in the process?

The engagement approach Collective ed. chose for this project encouraged students to take leadership in planning, practice, evaluation and decision-making. This was communicated at the beginning when students were given a very basic description of what the project was about, and were told that they could co-create and lead the work themselves. Practical support and expertise was provided by adults throughout the project in a mentoring capacity, including external filmmakers and graphic designers, teachers, and Collective ed. staff.

Three groups of a mix of year 7 and year 10 students volunteered for the project (20 students altogether). One group designed a postcard together with a designer that allowed year 6 students to ask a question about High School and to receive an answer by a year 10 student. A second group worked on a creative polling process with year 7 and year 10 students, asking what they would have liked to have known before arriving at High School. The data generation and analysis was conducted by students with support provided by our site evaluators. The themes developed from these two processes were then used by a third student group to develop and create the transitions film together with two community filmmakers.

What does it hope to achieve?

The main output of the action was a peer-to-peer video that helps year 6 students to become oriented in the new High School context, informed by data that was derived from their perspective.

During the process, conversations between older and younger students were instigated, relationships built, and expected outcomes were to increase the level of excitement and confidence amongst year 6 students when joining High School. The students participating in the three working groups were provided with a range of learning opportunities in the realm of graphic / film design and creation, data generation activities and analysis, organisational and time management skills, group work, planning and implementation of collaborative activities, as well as leadership skills.

For the Collective ed. Meander Valley team it was amazing to see the High School students really trying to create something that would support and engage year 6 students. The High School students got truly excited about making a peer-to-peer video that would help the next generation of students in feeling welcomed into High School.

For more info, please email Victoria:

Learn more about the project in the video below:

About Collective ed.:
Collective ed. is a five year place-based initiative across six communities in Tasmania including Deloraine and greater Meander Valley. This work is focused on bringing communities together alongside schools to utilise community data to develop and implement action focused on year 12 attainment and meaningful pathways. Learn more here. 
Be@Connected logo

Stay connected with Be@Connected

Beacon Foundation is today launching an innovative new series of 12 online learning webinars, Be@Connected. Australian Test Cricket Captain, Tim Paine, has come on board to be the National Ambassador for this exciting and innovative project.

The short series is specifically designed for students across Australia to support and inspire them through this period of great uncertainty.

Beacon Foundation has a long track record of engaging students in an online environment by linking education with industry and the future of work. Be@Connected is an additional program to the scheduled online learning resources Beacon is already offering.

Be@Connected will be offered to schools throughout Australia and will have a focus on life skills that will not only help Australia’s young people navigate the current environment, but be instrumental in their worlds of learning and work.

Scott Harris, CEO of Beacon Foundation says, “It is clear that now, more than ever, our young people need all of us including industry and education to step up and work together.”

“Be@Connected is a perfect platform to give students from across Australia the opportunity to hear and learn from some incredible individuals including Tim Paine, Jenna Cairney of The Mercury and Bianca Welsh of Stillwater Restaurant.”

Mr Harris added, “The Great Shutdown will radically reshape, and has already reshaped, the future for our next generation. We will see an increase in youth unemployment and underemployment to an extent we never experienced before.”

“Beacon Foundation is stepping up to ensure no kids are left behind during this time.”

Be@Connected will feature a range of prominent and inspiring speakers from a range of fields covering topics including communication, resilience, wellbeing, problem solving and adaptability.

Tim Paine says it was an easy decision to support Beacon Foundation to be the Ambassador of Be Connected.

“Now is more important than ever to join together and inspire our future generation.”

“We all have a responsibility to inspire our young people to navigate this situation and to help make their futures bright, secure and something they are really looking forward too.”

Tim will deliver the first and last episodes of the series.

“I can’t wait to share my own experiences and insights to help motivate and inspire Australia’s young people.”

The first online episode is launching on April 30 and students can watch the series on YouTube where they will be available throughout Term Two. Be@Connected will run alongside Beacon’s preexisting suite of online programs Industry Live and My Road. The full schedule can be found via this link. 

Subscribe to Beacon Foundation’s YouTube channel to watch Be@Connected.

‘Beacon & Egg McMuffin’ Day 2016

McDonald’s and Beacon: Joining forces to raise awareness and funds for Beacon programs that work to up-skill and motivate young Tasmanians onto better futures.

We are delighted to announce that McDonald’s are once again partnering with Beacon to host our annual ‘Beacon & Egg Breakfast’ in Tasmanian restaurants on Wednesday 23rd March, 2016.

Please help to support and generate awareness of this exciting initiative by pre-ordering and spreading the word through your networks and on social media.

To pre-order simply email or hand in your order form to your local McDonald’s restaurant by Monday 21st March.

Pre Order Now      Thank you and we look forward to your involvement.


Look out for more information in Macca’s restaurants around Tasmania.

Tasmania North  Burnie, Devonport, Devonport Homemaker Centre, Invermay,  Kings Meadows, South Launceston, Ulverstone

Tasmania South Bridgewater, Hobart, Kingston, Moonah, New Norfolk, North Hobart, Northgate, Rosny Park, Sandy Bay, Sorell

Federal Group and Beacon Join Forces for future TAS Hospitality Jobs

Media Release

Tuesday 23rd February

Federal Group and Beacon Foundation join forces for Tasmania’s future Hospitality Industry workforce

The Federal Group and Beacon Foundation are pleased to announce the establishment of a new partnership to assist young Tasmanian’s into careers in the state’s flourishing Tourism and Hospitality sector.

The partnership will provide secondary school students with access to a range of career exploration and work readiness activities at Federal Group locations around Tasmania and is aimed at promoting awareness of the diverse range of career opportunities that the sector has to offer both now and into the future.

The announcement comes after the successful completion of a Hospitality Industry pilot program with Country Club Tasmania that provided Launceston students the opportunity to participate in a work shadowing experience at 2015’s Mad Hatter’s Ball and has resulted in students undertaking employment with the company.
Federal Group Corporate Affairs Director Daniel Hanna said the company was looking forward to working with the Beacon Foundation.

“Federal Group is proud to be able to assist the Beacon Foundation to deliver on its fantastic projects, which have been shown time and again to have a positive impact on the lives of many young Tasmanians,” Mr Hanna said.

“The Beacon Foundation is one of many organisations Federal Group supports in delivering programs and outcomes for our communities, and it gives us great pleasure to play a small role in their valuable work.”

“Federal Group, as industry leaders, continue to promote careers in the tourism and hospitality sector and we are looking forward to showing students the great opportunities that can exist in the industry – both within the Federal Group and beyond.”

Beacon Foundation Chief Executive Scott Harris said it is a great opportunity to assist more young Tasmanian’s.

“The Beacon Foundation is committed to helping young Tasmanians transition successfully from education into employment – we are delighted to be partnering with the Federal Group who are leaders in an industry that is fundamental to Tasmania’s future.”

“These are exciting times for Tourism and Hospitality in Tasmania, and these partnerships will ensure the next generation of young Tasmanians fully understand the great opportunities that the sector can offer them,” Mr Harris said.

Country Club Tasmania General Manager Jackie Hutchinson said the new partnership would build on the success of a recent collaboration with the Beacon Foundation.

Country Club worked with Beacon last year to provide a number of young people with workplace learning opportunities, which resulted in a number being offered roles in the company.

“The opportunity to provide real-world experiences and on the job training for the young people that Beacon supports is so important, and we are fortunate to have caring and skilled staff to provide them with the guidance and training they need.”

17-year-old student Kyle Cox-McKinnon, who was a participant in work shadowing event last year, is now undertaking Commercial Cookery VET Course at Newstead College and is intending to seek a Chef Apprenticeship once completed.

“Working at the Mad Hatter’s Ball gave me a great taste of being a chef – I loved it and now have decided this is the career that I would like to pursue”

– End-

For Further Media Information:
Nick Probert
State Manager – Tasmania, Beacon Foundation
m: 0459 027 877