The Hester Hornbrook Academy


The Hester Hornbrook Academy is an Independent school run by Melbourne City Mission. We provide flexible, community-based learning opportunities across Melbourne.

We focus on engagement and relationships – not just educational outcomes

With the support of an Educator and a Youth Worker in every classroom, we aim to reconnect disengaged young people through a combination of learning and wellbeing support.

Our curriculum is flexible and tailored to each individual’s interests and goals.

Our practical education programs are project-based and connected to real world employment skills. 

We offer:

  • Foundation, Intermediate and Senior community-based Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)
  • Accredited training through our own Registered Training Organisation (RTO: 40580) or we assist students to access external training providers including TAFEs and private providers
  • HEAT (Hospitality Employment and Training) Program
  • Young Mums classrooms where students can be pregnant and can bring their baby in to class when they are ready to return to learning
  • Specialised support for young people experiencing homelessness
  • Connect Youth program, providing outreach education, small group-based workshops and case management support.

Our classrooms

All of our classrooms are based in the heart of communities and co-located with other youth services. Every location is easily accessible via public transport.

Classes operate from 10.00am-2.30pm on Monday to Friday.

North Fitzroy

  • Intermediate and Senior VCAL
  • Certificate II in Business (BSB20115) and Certificate II in Creative Industries (CUA20215)
  • Connect Youth Outreach program 
Melbourne CBD
  • Foundation and Intermediate VCAL
  • Frontyard Youth Services for young people experiencing homelessness, or at risk of homelessness
  • Foundation, Intermediate and Senior VCAL
  • Certificate II in Community Services (CHC22015)
  • Located in the Visy Cares Hub, housing a number of youth support services
  • Young Mums classroom – Foundation, Intermediate and Senior VCAL 
  • Foundation, Intermediate and Senior VCAL
  • Young Mums classroom
  • HEAT Program – Certificate II in Kitchen Operations (SIT20416)
  • Certificate II in Creative Industries (CUA20215)

Enrolling at The Hester Hornbrook Academy

Enrolments are open all year around, so we can support and engage young people as soon as possible. We can welcome students at any time during the school year

To be eligible to enrol at The Hester Hornbrook Academy, students must be:

  • 15 – 25 years old
  • Willing to commit to classes 5 days per week
  • Willing to travel to North Fitzroy, Braybrook, Sunshine, Prahran or the CBD. 

2019 Term dates 

  • Term 1: Tuesday 30 January – Friday 5 April

  • Term 2: Tuesday 23  April – Friday 28 June

  •  Term 3: Monday 15 July – Friday 20 September 

  •  Term 4: Monday 7 October – Thursday 12 December

To enquire about enrolment, please complete the expression of interest form below, or contact us.

Phone: 1800 517 218 

About the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

VCAL is an applied learning approach and that provides students the opportunity to engage in learning that is suited to their interests. VCAL is delivered in three levels; Foundation, Intermediate and Senior.

There are four VCAL strands provided at The Hester Hornbrook Academy; Literacy, Numeracy, Personal Development Skills and Work Related Skills.

Completing Intermediate or Senior VCAL provides students with a year 12 equivalent certificate and the opportunity for tertiary studies including TAFE, bridging courses to University, Apprenticeships and broader employment options.

There are no formal entry requirements for VCAL. Students can apply to enrol into VCAL from the age of 15-25. VCAL at The Hester Hornbrook Academy is full-time study while also flexible to each student’s personal needs.

The Hester Hornbrook Academy Alumni

When the Academy was being developed, discussions were had about how students could be supported after they leave the classroom and move on to their next stage of their education journey. 

We wanted to create an Alumni Program that could provide ongoing support, continuous connection to the Academy community, provide a space to return to in times of crisis, and provide ongoing education and pathway support.

The Alumni program is managed by a youth worker who has experience in education, employment and youth work, and a good understanding of the Academy.

The program focuses on strengthening the transition for students from the classroom to further education and employment options.

This support is delivered through case coordination, crisis intervention and employment support. The Alumni program also supports students to access a scholarship program. 

If you are a past student and you want to stay connected and get involved, please email and someone will be in contact with you.

Annual Report 2017

Download The Hester Hornbrook Academy Annual Report for 2017 (PDF, 3.93MB)

Policies and procedures

Anaphylaxis Management Policy
Behaviour Management & Restorative Justice Policy
Bullying & Harassment Procedure
Child Safe Policy
Duty of Care Policy
Mandatory Reporting Procedure
Student Welfare Policy
Assessment & Reporting Policy
Enrolment Policy & Procedure
Complaints & Grievances Policy & Procedure
Responding to Suspected Child Abuse Policy & Procedure
Student Supervision Procedure


Please complete the quick enquiry form below and one of our staff will be in touch shortly.

Enrolment: Quick enquiry

I am: