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Clemente Ballarat partnership proposed

Adults facing disadvantage will benefit from a proposed five-year Strategic Partnership Agreement between the City of Ballarat and Clemente Ballarat.

Clemente is a free tertiary education program for people facing multiple forms of disadvantage, including mental illness, unemployment, domestic violence and substance abuse.

It is a formal partnership between the City of Ballarat, Australian Catholic University, Federation University, Centacare, The Smith Family and The Ballarat Foundation.

Clemente Ballarat is the only model nationally that has strong partnerships with local government, a library, two universities and three support agencies.

At Wednesday night’s meeting, Ballarat City Council will vote on providing $15,000 per year as part of the Strategic Partnership Agreement, which will be used for part of Clemente Ballarat’s overall operating budget.

Research indicates the Clemente program assists in breaking down the cycle of poverty, inequality and social injustice for disadvantaged people in Ballarat.

Clemente provides a range of accessible education programs which also achieve improved wellbeing and relationship building within the Ballarat community.

Since it began in Ballarat in 2008, more than 250 people have taken part in the program, with the expected number of participants for 2019 to be 26.

Those who complete four semesters of study receive a Certificate in Liberal Arts accredited by ACU.

The ethos of the Ballarat Clemente program is consistent with the City of Ballarat Council Plan’s Liveability focus in making Ballarat a better place for all.