Matraville Education Partnership

Sparking a New Era in Education

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 and Matraville Sports High School (MSHS), and the broader Little Bay Community of Schools (LBCoS).   

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, fun and supportive activities that are breathing new life into the school and its community.   

For more information about the partnership between Matraville and UNSW, view our infographic.

Get involved with the program.

Once known primarily for the strength of its sports program, the MSHS is now gaining recognition across Sydney for the broadening scope of its curriculum. New academic opportunities are emerging 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 has one of the highest concentrations of Indigenous students of any Sydney high school and many students from non-English speaking backgrounds  

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 is about education, connection and community.   

The UNSW Matraville Education Partnership involves enriched curriculum activities for students, professional learning 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 as well as parent confidence to meet the needs of all students.  

Extend the Student Experience

UNSW offers afterschool workshops in drama, gifted education and music. We also have a homework and tuition centre open to both primary and secondary students in the community. MSHS students Nura Gili and other Schools and Centres across the university.   

We also offer an in-school Literacy Mentoring Program that pairs Matraville students who need extra support. These afterschool and in-school workshops are aimed at harnessing the existing strengths of students and building their confidence while developing vital skills in literacy, communication and creative expression.  

Enrich Initial Teacher Education 

While Matraville students benefit from a significant boost in academic opportunities, after-hours support, and resourcing, UNSW pre-service teachers also gain invaluable teaching experience. The rich diversity of the student population in the Little Bay community is an excellent opportunity for students at UNSW to build their professional capacity in areas such as Indigenous education, English as an Additional Language (EAL), literacy and numeracy, and gifted education.   

More than 50 UNSW pre-service teachers undertake their professional training at the high school each semester, assisting teachers in classes, working directly with students during and after school and contributing to special projects.  The five feeder primary schools in the community host our postgraduate primary initial teacher education program, and provide additional professional experience for two days a week in the first year of the program.   

Enhancing Professional Learning For Teachers 

MSHS staff and teachers at surrounding schools have access to hands-on professional learning sessions and collaborative inquiry projects organised by UNSW, to build capacity to teach diverse learners more effectively. Activities are already underway in literacy education, gifted education, special education, culturally responsive schooling and Indigenous education.  

Engage the School Community

We create a flexible model for education by integrating parents, teachers, families and the broader community into school life through a range of afterschool, evening and holiday programs,. This model meets the immediate needs of the community, creates better academic outcomes and widens educational expectations. The UNSW Matraville Education Partnership is a collective vision for cohesion and achievement in Matraville and the surrounding areas. 

The UNSW Matraville Education Partnership Advisory Committee comprises UNSW and 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 Kim Beswick, Head of School, UNSW School of Education
  • Professor Claire Annesley, Dean, Arts and Social Sciences 
  • Mr John Bush, Associate Director, Education, Social Ventures Australia 
  • The Honourable Dr Bob Carr, Director, Australia-China Relations Institute 
  • Mr Stanley Cowper, Alumnus, UNSW 
  • The Honourable Mr Michael Daley, MP, Member for Maroubra 
  • Professor Chris Davison, Director, UNSW Matraville Education Partnership 
  • Professor Ian Jacobs, UNSW Vice-Chancellor, or his representative
  • Ms Calita Murray, Secretary, Eastern Suburbs Local Aboriginal Education Consultative Group 
  • Dr Nicholas Pappas AM, Chairman, South Sydney Rabbitohs 
  • Ms Susan Shelley, Director, Public Schools NSW, Botany Bay Network 
  • The Honourable Matt Thistlethwaite, MP, Federal Member for Kingsford Smith 
  • Ms Nerida Walker, Principal, Matraville High School 
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