Matraville Education Partnership

Sparking a new era in education.

a group of children laying on the grass making a shape of star

An exciting new era in education has emerged in Sydney’s south-eastern suburb of Matraville. The UNSW Matraville Education Partnership is an ongoing initiative between the UNSW School of Education, Matraville Sports High School (MSHS) and the broader Little Bay Community of Schools.   

The UNSW Matraville Education Partnership is a first-of-its-kind school-based university education program. Academics and students from UNSW work with Matraville students, teachers and the wider public to deliver a suite of educational opportunities that support the aspirations of the school and its community. 

For more information about the achievements of the partnership between MSHS and UNSW, view our infographic.

Get involved with the program.

  • Once known primarily for the strength of its sports program, MSHS is now gaining recognition for its success in improving student educational outcomes. New academic opportunities are becoming part of the school culture, thanks to the growing alliance between UNSW and MSHS.  

    The diversity of the Matraville student population is one of its greatest assets and presents a unique opportunity for UNSW teacher education. Matraville is a place where UNSW students can learn from young people from Indigenous, non-English speaking and low-socioeconomic backgrounds, and from their teachers, families and communities.

    Research supports the view that the best places for children to be educated are those rich in diversity, and initiatives that unite communities are the best way to raise educational outcomes. For UNSW and MSHS, the partnership is more than just an opportunity for the mutual development of their respective students; it’s about education, connection and community.   

    The UNSW Matraville Education Partnership involves enriched curriculum activities for students, professional learning for and ongoing research with teachers, events for parents, and evolving partnerships with the Aboriginal and wider community. We look to increase both novice and experienced teacher capacity, and parent confidence to meet the needs of all students. 

  • The Matraville Education Partnership has grown from strength to strength since 2015. Its initial pillars were to extend the student experience, enrich initial teacher education and applied research, enhance teacher professional learning, and engage the school community. After several years of success across these areas, in 2021 the strategic priorities of the partnership were reenvisaged to more specifically support students from the Matraville community to achieve positive educational outcomes.

    Strategic priority 1: Raise the educational motivations, aspirations and achievement of low-socioeconomic status (low SES) and Indigenous students in the Matraville area.

    UNSW is an integrated part of students’ experience at MSHS from the moment they start in Year 7 until they complete their secondary studies. The UNSW Matraville Education Partnership manager works onsite at MSHS, connecting staff and students to people, events and opportunities across UNSW. They also support MSHS students’ educational needs, which include afterschool and holiday programs, working with UNSW tutors, extra assistance in classes from UNSW education students, the UNSW Gateway Program assisting Year 12 students in completing their UAC applications, guest speakers from UNSW in HSC classes, and a dedicated scholarship for Matraville graduates who attend UNSW.

    Strategic priority 2: Engage UNSW with the Matraville community and build capacity to raise low-SES and Indigenous student outcomes.

    Student success doesn’t occur in a vacuum, and working closely with families is key to ensuring our work has lasting impact and aligns with a particular community’s hopes for their children. UNSW works closely with the local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group, MSHS Parent and Citizens’ Committee, and individual families to ensure our activities are helpful, supportive and culturally sensitive. A free parent lecture series has attracted parents from local schools and further afield, and flagship research projects such as the Culture, Community & Curriculum Project seek to elevate the Aboriginal community’s voice in local schools.

    Strategic priority 3: Engage UNSW with the Matraville teaching staff and build capacity to raise low-SES and Indigenous student outcomes.

    Research shows that teacher effectiveness has a profound impact on student success. The partnership offers professional learning opportunities to MSHS and LBCoS teachers to build their capacity across a range of areas, including gifted education, special needs education and meeting the needs of culturally diverse learners. These teachers also open their doors to research undertaken by UNSW academics, helping advance and trial cutting-edge educational practice. All staff mentor the next generation of teachers by hosting UNSW pre-service teachers as classroom assistants and practicum students. Staff mentors report that these experiences help them gain new skills and creative ideas, and feelings of self-efficacy.

  • The UNSW Matraville Education Partnership Advisory Committee comprises UNSW Department of Education staff members and influential community members who support the aims of the partnership. The committee, which meets once a year and is chaired by Professor Kim Beswick, Head of School of Education, has been instrumental in building the partnership’s profile, raising awareness and seeking opportunities for funding and expansion.


    • Professor Claire Annesley, Dean, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture
    • Mr Nic Accaria, Director, Education Leadership, Public Schools NSW, Botany Bay Network 
    • Professor Kim Beswick, Head of School, UNSW School of Education
    • Mr John Bush, Associate Director, Education, Social Ventures Australia
    • The Honourable Dr Bob Carr, Director, Australia-China Relations Institute 
    • Dr Avinesh Chelliah, UNSW Medicine & Health and Prince of Wales Hospital
    • Mr Stanley Cowper, Alumnus, UNSW 
    • The Honourable Mr Michael Daley, MP, Member for Maroubra
    • Ms Noni Hoskins, Principal, Matraville Public School (representing the Little Bay Community of Schools)
    • Professor Ian Jacobs, UNSW Vice-Chancellor, or his representative
    • Dr Kevin Lowe, Scientia Indigenous Fellow, UNSW School of Education
    • Dr Karen Maras, Director, UNSW Matraville Education Partnership 
    • Ms Calita Murray, Regional Representative, Eastern Suburbs Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group
    • The Honourable Matt Thistlethwaite, MP, Federal Member for Kingsford Smith 
    • Ms Nerida Walker, Principal, Matraville Sports High School 

Contact us

UNSW School of Education staff work on-site at MSHS and UNSW. 

For general enquiries, please contact Katherine Thompson, Matraville Education Partnership Program Manager: 

T: +61 2 9661 0583
Facebook: UNSW School of Education / Matraville Sports High School

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