Live, Learn, Grow

Live, Learn, Grow supports students with an Out of Home Care (OOHC) experience to access and actively participate in higher education by offering support in areas that are known to present challenges.

Live, Learn, Grow was the first program in Australia and internationally to provide students from a care experience, such as foster or residential care, with a range of tailored support services including:

  • Assistance with finding and maintaining appropriate accommodation
  • Access to on-campus employment
  • Academic and social support

Image of Student on Callaghan Campus

Image credit: Aurora Magazine Peter Stoop

Anyone with a prior care experience who is interested in studying at the University of Newcastle can apply for the Live, Learn, Grow program. You don't need to already have applied for university or even to have finished year 12, as we can assist you with exploring enrolment options, including Enabling Programs, such as Newstep, Open Foundation and Yapug. Anyone with a care experience (including residential, foster and kinship care) who is currently studying, or thinking about studying, can contact Emily on 0439 953 579 or for information or support.

The Live, Learn, Grow program also provides information and support to carers, sector staff and children and young people in care to assist in finding out about pathways, access and support for higher education. Staff from the program, as well as current university students, participate in community events such as the annual Interagency Foster Care picnic, staff training and carer morning teas, and facilitate on-campus events for children and young people currently in care to experience what university life.

The program was developed in consultation with a range of stakeholders across the sector to ensure the program responded to some of the known barriers that prevent care-leavers from accessing higher education, such as accommodation and employment.

The following agencies are involved in the Live, Learn, Grow Consultation Group:

The project team are also working to influence a research agenda that can affect broader systemic changes across policy and other universities. In 2018 the Live, Learn, Grow program was awarded the Association of Children's Welfare Agencies (ACWA) Innovation award for innovative practice which is responding to an area of need in the community.

The model has the potential to be adopted for other groups in the community who may also have lower transition rates into higher education.

The program was established under a 2015 HEPP NPP grant and is now fully supported by the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education and the University of Newcastle, Australia.

If you would like more information about the program, including educational pathways and support for anyone with a care experience, or would like to talk to us about an idea you have related to OOHC and education, please contact Emily Fuller on 0439 953 579 or