The ripple effect of Cottage by the Sea

The challenge

Cottage by the Sea was established in Queenscliff Victoria in 1890. Its mission is to enhance the lives of young people in need by providing inspiration, fun and opportunity within a holiday environment. There are four tailored programs: (1) The Take a Break Program (young people aged 8-12 years); (2) The REEF program (young people transitioning from Year 6 to Year 7); (3) The Mentor Program (young people 13 to 18 years); and (4) The National Program in partnership with the Cathy Freeman Foundational and their Horizons Program.

The aims of The Ripple Effect of Cottage by the Sea research project are to provide a deeper understanding and evidence-based insights into the long-term impact of the Cottage by the Sea programs on the lives of the young people who attend these camps. This aim will be addressed through interviews with young people (aged 6-18 years) currently attending Cottage by the Sea, alumni adults who have participated in the Cottage by the Sea programs from 1940 to present, school principals and teachers who have either attended or have had students from their school attend Cottage by the Sea programs, and parents of current students who have attended Cottage by the Sea.

Research questions:

  1. In what ways does participation in the Cottage by the Sea programs enhance the lives of children and young people who attend?
  2. What are the long-term impacts of Cottage by the Sea programs on children, young people, family school and community?

Project overview

This project is a large and planned program of research to be undertaken over the next three years as part of the Deakin and Cottage by the Sea partnership. The work will be undertaken by Deakin University’s Research for Educational Impact team, who will collaborate with key stakeholders from Cottage by the Sea. The study will use a mixed methods approach collecting both qualitative and quantitative data.

Qualitative data will be collected through focus group and individual semi-structured interviews with three groups of participants:

  • Group 1: alumni participants. These are participants who have attended Cottage by the Sea programs between 1940 to present day.
  • Group 2: Participants who have attended the Take a Break program in 2023 including students aged 6-12 years and teachers and principals of schools who have attended Cottage by the Sea Take a Break Program in 2023. Parents and caregivers of these students will also be interviewed.
  • Group 3: Participants from schools who have attended Cottage by the Sea programs over the past 10 years. These participants will be principals and teachers from these schools.

Quantitative data will be collected through anonymous surveys conducted by staff at Cottage by the Sea.

Outcome

The project will provide new knowledge about the ways in which the Cottage by the Sea programs support young people experiencing vulnerability to become socially connected and engaged citizens. The study will also provide insights into the practices and opportunities provided by the Cottage by the Sea programs that have a long-lasting impact on the lives of people who attended these programs between the years 1940 to current.

These insights will also highlight the aspects of the Cottage by the Sea programs that need to be maintained and/or strengthened to continue to make a positive impact on the lives of young people into the future.

Funding

Cottage by the Sea

$54,999.91

Timeline

2024 – 2026

 

Keywords

young people, vulnerable young people, disadvantaged