Applications are now closed and will be announced soon.

A share in $30,000 is available for initiatives that enhance student learning outcomes in the following categories: 

  • Indigenous Culture
  • Sustainability
  • Engage with Asia
  • General Curriculum

2018 People’s Choice Winner

Take a look at one of the winners from the 2018 Teaching Initiatives Program (and our People’s Choice Award winner), Swan Hill Specialist School and their initiative ‘Creating Playground Equipment from  Recycled materials’.

Bank First Teaching Initiative Programs: People's Choice Winner


  • Guidelines and FAQs

    What is the Teaching Initiatives Program?

    The Teaching Initiatives Program (TIP) was developed to support schools and preschools with their goals of encouraging excellence in education and to bring innovative teaching initiatives to life. Grants are available to support such initiatives.

    Who is eligible to apply?

    The program is open to all customers of Bank First working in Victorian schools and preschools.

    What do the successful applicants receive?

    A share in $30,000 in funding for education related initiatives. The amount granted depends on the needs of each initiative but has ranged from $200 - $2,000 in previous years.

    What is considered an initiative?

    New ideas and methods of teaching that support enhanced student learning outcomes are considered initiatives.

    Ideas need to come under 1 of the 4 categories: Indigenous Culture, Sustainability, Engage with Asia or General Curriculum.

    The purchase of computers and software is not considered a teaching initiative, however the development of software that may be used by students or staff will be considered for a grant.

    The payment of wages for personnel is also not considered a teaching Initiative.

    Further, introducing a program that is in place at another school or institution is not considered a Teaching Initiative. New ideas and methods of teaching are initiatives.

    Are there categories for entry?

    Yes, our Teaching Initiatives Program provides funding to support the education community in the following areas:

    • Indigenous Culture.
    • Sustainability.
    • Engage with Asia.
    • General Curriculum.

    How are the applications judged?

    The TIP judging panel review all applications and select winners based on their level of innovation and, student welfare benefits and support of student learning outcomes.

    What information must I include in my submission to meet the criteria?

    The criteria for submitting an application includes:

    • A brief outline of the initiative and its purpose.
    • Description of the learning outcome and how it will be demonstrated.
    • The proposed timeline and the costs involved.
    • The personnel involved with implementing the initiative.

    See a complete overview of TIP and the Submission Criteria.

    Who is on the TIP judging panel?

    The TIP judging panel is made up of Bank First Directors and senior members of staff.

    Do I need to supply quotes with costing details in my application?

    No. You should break down the total cost of your initiative, however quotes are not necessary. An estimated cost for each part of the initiative will suffice for the application, however please remember to include GST in your estimates of cost. If your application is successful, you will be asked to provide a review of your initiative following implementation of your program.

    How much can I apply for?

    Grants to successful applicants have historically ranged between $200 and $2,000.

    How many schools/preschools will be awarded a grant?

    Historically, the $30,000 pool has shared by approximately 20 schools and preschools.

    Is TIP open to all Victorian Government, Catholic and Independent Victorian schools?


    I have applied to the TIP in the past and was unsuccessful. Can I apply again?

    Yes. You may apply for the TIP as many times as you like, however it should be noted that each year the calibre of applications is improving. If you plan to resubmit a previous application and your initiative has been unsuccessful in the past, it may be worthwhile rethinking some aspects of your initiative, or perhaps rewriting your application to better highlight the educational benefits of your initiative.

    I have applied to the TIP in the past and was successful. Can I apply again?

    Yes. You may apply as many times as you like.

    When will applicants find out the result of their application?

    Applicants will be notified in late May or early June regarding whether their application was successful. Successful applicants will also be posted on our website.

    If I am successful in my application, when will I receive my grant?

    Your local Relationship Officer will arrange a visit to your school/preschool to present your TIP funding cheque and certificate after the winners are announced. A presentation to all staff will be conducted, either at a staff meeting or during the school day.

    Grant cheques will not be sent early, or via the mail.

    I have already begun my initiative earlier in the year. Can retrospective payments be made?


    I would like to submit an application for a program I wish to run next year, can I still apply?

    Yes. You may apply to the TIP in advance of the commencement of your program.

    Other important details:

    • Your proposal must be submitted via the online application form.
    • You MUST answer all questions marked with an asterix.
    • Successful applicants will be expected to supply an evaluation of their award to Bank First in September 2020. This should not exceed two A4 typed pages.
    • All submissions will become the property of Bank First and may be distributed and/or promoted via publications such as Slate, eSlate, website, Annual Review, newsletters to volunteer networks etc, or in a published format as Bank First may deem appropriate.

    The information in your submission will be used primarily to process your application. Your information will be handled strictly in accordance with our Privacy Policy available by clicking here or at our branches on request. You may request access to the information we hold about you.

  • Past Winners

    Since the Teaching Initiative Program’s inception in 1993, we have provided over $647,000 to support the teaching initiatives and programs of 526 Schools and Preschools.

    2018 Grant Recipients

    Congratulations to the following schools and preschools for their successful application in the 2018 Teaching Initiatives Program.

    Bass Coast Specialist School

    DigiTech for our Future

    In 2017 two teachers went to a coding class for Primary school students and a senior class visited a Technology loaded bus called the WOW WOW bus. Both groups returned with so much enthusiasm that it became obvious that to move into the future, Bass Coast Specialist School had to introduce Digital Technology Curriculum. Implementing this Curriculum area in 2018 recognises that our students need to be taught about digital systems, data and information and creating digital solutions to thrive and survive when they graduate. I believe it is our obligation as a school to our students to continue to address future needs.

    Batman Park Kindergarten

    Magnifying our world: Digital Microscopes for early learning

    This initiative will introduce the children of Batman Park Kindergarten to the use of digital microscopes. The children will gain a positive, active experience with technology and gain a greater understanding of the natural world and its hidden underlying structures and patterns by using digital microscopes. As a result the children will begin to conceptualize the natural world in a different, more detailed way and from a wider perspective. The microscopes will also increase the children's understanding of the environment and the natural world. As the children gain proficiency in using the digital microscopes and start to initiate their use they will gain valuable experience in being confident active users of technology.

    Bendigo South East College

    Student Enterprise Loan Program

    This is a student enterprise and innovation loan program to support secondary students develop and sustain a profit making enterprise. At BSE students in Years 8 to 10 undertake a self-directed learning class. Students make use of a design thinking learning framework to problem solve real life initiatives. Design thinking is the product development methodology utilised by companies such as Apple and AirBnB and a range of social enterprise organisations. BSE would like to provide 4 young entrepreneur loans to either individual or a team of Year 9 students to develop viable small business proposals and plan through their SDL classes. Student proposals are to be pitched to a community-based panel. Proposals deemed the most viable by the panel would be granted a loan. Students will be required to pay back the loan from their enterprise over the following twelve months. Once the loan repayment has been completed students are able to retain profits created through their enterprise. The loan money returned would be used to support the sustainability of the enterprise program for the following year.

    Chum Creek Primary School

    Chum-math-tivity Bags

    Chum Creek Primary School is a rural small school. One area we found we needed to address was the students’ skills in basic number facts. We wanted to address the fluency of these which meant that students needed to demonstrate flexibility in the methods they chose to use, understand and explain these methods and then to efficiently produce accurate answers. As a result mathematical game kits were made up, housed in calico draw string bags with game instructions and equipment like playing cards, and different dice so games taught in the classroom could be played at home to build up number facts, thinking strategies and mathematical understanding. Videos of how to play the game were also made and put onto the school website. Mathematical game afternoons were held too, inviting parents to be part of the learning. Bags were collected monthly to change over the games.

    Coburg High School

    Active Transport Workshop

    Coburg High School student run bicycle shop. This initiative, funded through Bank First, helped our growing student population start up a small business that trained students to be bike mechanics and storing managers. Through this initiative we were able to get dozens more students riding to school, get scores of old bikes back on the road again and teach basic business management skills to a cohort of thirty bike club members, ranging in age from 13-17. We envision this program will continue for years to come. This initiative built on older grants that we received for tools, shelter and racks to catalyse a major shift in our school culture. This shift was towards a more health conscious lifestyle, a more sustainable form of transportation and a more self reliant form of problem solving through mechanical engineering. We'd like to thank Bank First for considering our project and for their ongoing support of teachers, student and the environment.

    Colbinabbin Primary School

    Full STEM ahead!

    Colbinabbin Primary are moving Full STEM Ahead as they embark on 2018 Solar Boat Challenge. The 15 grade 3/4/5/6 children in this small rural school will undertake a STEM inquiry unit which will see them design and construct a solar boat. They will then compete against other schools at the Solar Vehicle Challenge Championship.

    Columba Catholic Primary School

    Kind Kids Initiative

    Kind Kids: our whole-school initiative is a multi-faceted approach to the development of students’ self-management and collaborative skills, and seeks to build resilience and a culture of caring for ourselves and for others. Our initiative focuses on improving students’ well-being and by extension their educational outcomes, by identifying areas of particular need and specifically planning learning sequences which open students up to a range of new and innovative learning experiences. The next step in our initiative is to resource to expand our STEM program as this was something our students identified as an area of particular interest and staff felt delivered engaging opportunities for collaborative learning. We hope that the resources provided by this grant will help us engage all our students in learning about and using technology whilst building key personal and social skills necessary for life-long success.

    Glenroy Specialist School

    Inclusion of Deaf Blind Students in Learning

    Inclusion of Deaf Blind Students in Learning. The aim of this initiative is to develop an understanding of how to communicate with deaf blind students who have significant additional disabilities and effectively support them to be actively involved in learning. The focus is on informing deaf blind students so they know what is happening and assist them to develop a clearer understanding of their world. Resources to support these students include ‘day awareness’ packs, oils linked to colours for authentic choice making, object representations to make sense of routine or room changes , 3D core language kits and tactile resources. The grant would also support the purchase of additional teacher references (from UK/USA) for professional reading and growth.

    Great Ryrie Primary School

    Music Education for Refugees

    The universal language of MUSIC. A 12 month Instrumental Music Scholarship, awarded to a refugee student, that will allow them full access to music tuition, orchestras, ensembles and instrument hire.

    Holy Rosary Primary

    Healthy Environment, Healthy Living

    Caring for the environment is at the very heart of the school vision at Holy Rosary Primary School and permeates the ethos of all members of the community. Students are encouraged and supported to be ‘Stewards of the Earth’, improve their own practice, increase awareness within the community and celebrate the efforts of others. The Healthy Environment, Healthy Living program at Holy Rosary aims to extend previous work within the school community. It will offer opportunity to extend classrooms beyond four walls, link to a range of curriculum areas, reconnect students with the natural world and better equip them to make healthy living choices.

    Kennington Primary School

    Photography Club

    The Kennington Primary School Photography Club will provide interested students in the Grade 4-6 Department with a creative and safe place to explore photographic ideas whilst learning skills, developing relationships, reaching their potential and having fun. It will cover how the camera operates, basic and advanced composition skills, photo-editing and design techniques. Students will have access to current photographic technology and adult facilitators who are skilled and passionate photographers. The Photography Club will be accessible to all. Adjustments will be made as necessary, to ensure access to the program on an equivalent basis for all students.

    Lilydale West Primary School

    Engaging Students in Literacy Through Film Production

    The aim of our initiative is to use film production in the classroom as a way of increasing the engagement levels of students in the literacy area.  It is felt that the introduction of appropriate film making equipment and upskilling both students and staff in the area of film production, will give classroom teachers the capacity to effectively include film production in their teaching program, with the ultimate goal being improved outcomes in a range of curriculum areas, particularly literacy. As a part of their weekly classroom program, the Year 6 students visit the other year levels and interview them about ‘what they are learning’ in the classroom, and then turn it into a video presentation for assemblies, called What’s the Buzz?’. This has been a very positive addition to the weekly assembly. It is expected the an improvement in the quality of film presentation, will help to inspire the students to value learning and aim as high as possible to achieve maximum outcomes.

    Malmsbury Primary School

    Robotics: building social capital

    Robotics: Building Social Capital is a project designed to build and strengthen peer relationships at Malmsbury Primary School, while boosting student engagement. By developing the programming skills in a small group of senior students, we hope to create a team of Robotics Experts who can share their knowledge with other students. Using the model of peer-to-peer teaching, these students will teach other students how to design, build and program simple robots. They will also test their skills in a robotics competition later in the year. The teaching and learning process will be filmed and will culminate in a Robotics Extravaganza, where the entire school community will be invited to a demonstration of student programming skills. This initiative will see students of all ages working and learning together, building positive social networks. The opportunity to develop partnerships with other schools, as well as strengthening community connections will help build social capital at MPS.

    Mary Immaculate Primary School

    Hooked on Worms MIPS Green Rangers Worm Farmers Inc.

    Reducing waste, educating our students to rethink, reuse, recycle and care for the environment is a major focus at our school. This initiative will assist in managing the school’s waste to protect and enhance the school environment. We have 16 student environmental leaders from Foundation to Year 6 at Mary Immaculate Primary School who are actively responsible in managing the school’s waste, protecting and enhancing the school environment and acting as environmental stewards. The students are known as the M.I.P.S Green Rangers. We have entered this initiative to gain funds to support the Green Rangers in their leadership to care for our environment and practise sustainability. The MIPPS Green Rangers liaise with the Environment Leader and the school Principal and plan activities that will promote waste reduction and other areas of sustainability. The ultimate purpose of the initiative is to develop well maintained worm farms to create nutrient rich compost for our vegetable garden.

    Mentone Girls' Secondary College

    Academic Writing for Everyday Purposes - Gardening Show

    This year in the Year 10 Elective block, we have introduced a new EAL subject called Bridging to develop English language and social skills of Year 10 EALD students who are all newly arrived and find Australian culture so different to their own. The subject addresses the academic and wellbeing needs of 15-16 year old students, whilst engaging their interest in a topical subject: sustainability. Students develop their creative and critical thinking skills as they study the global concern of sustainability. One way to develop writing, reading, viewing, speaking and listening skills of students is using Inquiry thinking, which incorporates academic writing as well as creating a final product that attracts an audience for everyday purposes: a gardening show. Past garden practices in Australia introduced non-Indigenous plants to the country that affected its environment. Students will be researching, designing and examining what plants are best suited to create a sustainable garden.

    Mount Evelyn Christian School

    Waste Not Want Not/Fit for Fashion

    Waste Not Want Not & Fit for Fashion is a project designed and implemented by young people, tackling the issues of waste management with their adolescent peers. Inspired by recent media coverage about waste around food and fashion, the project explores the attitudes and values of the secondary school student body and staff, including administration, around matters of waste, and seeks commitment to sustainable waste reduction and management practices. This challenge extends into the personal values of students around fashion waste, and seeks to capitalise on the growing affection for "op shops" by offering a weekly market for "reusing" and "recycling" outer garments. The project involves a cohort of middle school students who learn differently, providing an opportunity to show their school community the results of their engagement in deeper learning, and their capacity to design and plan high quality projects that contribute significantly to their school community and beyond.

    Nyah District Primary School

    Real Writers

    The Young Writers Award was conceived during collaboration between Swan Hill Regional Library and a local Professional Learning Community to improve student writing. The PLC consists of five Swan Hill district schools and was formed as part of a pilot program initiated in August 2016 by the Department of Education to drive teaching excellence. The library was keen to help coordinate this fantastic initiative, seeing it as a great opportunity to promote creative writing in all schools across our municipality. Swan Hill College was involved, with their Year 11 Literature class judging the entries to create a short list, from which author Fleur Ferris determined the winners. 2018 will see participation in the competition of secondary school students from year 7-10.

    Portland Secondary College

    Digital Technology Implementation and Engagement

    Portland Secondary College has very few disadvantages compared to many other schools, but in one subject area we are: Digital Technology. Staffing for this subject is difficult due to our rural location and since the students bring their own devices our computer labs have long gone. To cater for our students and to upskill our enthusiastic staff we intend to invest in some resources that will kick-start a strong and engaging technology program. We would like to invest in a modular robotics program which would provide an educational day for staff to learn about the potential of the robotics kits and basic coding and offer endless potential for our students. To offer an extended line of inquiry for students and staff the school wants to invest in enough programmable Arduino kits to teach simple coding and electronics. These will provide a forward step in developing our Digital Technology program, diversify the possibilities for project based learning and upskill our committed staff.

    Rangebank Primary

    Professional Development for and from India

    In the search for World’s Best Practice, Rangebank Primary School has developed a novel method. Through Rangebank’s sister school relationship with Bluebells School International in Delhi India, Rangebank is able to access the teaching and learning of this globally connected school. With their strong collegiate relationship, both schools will implement a program of professional development activities for their respective teachers where the learnings and expertise gained by each school is provided to the other in the areas of Mathematics, Hindi, English and Inquiry Learning. Improved teacher capacity we know leads to enhanced student outcomes.

    Strathewen Primary School

    The Strathewen S.T.E.M. Fiesta

    Strathewen Primary is a very small, rural school, with a total student enrolment of 34. Our STEM Fiesta will bring families and the wider school community into the classroom, encouraging engagement in school programs and strengthening the understanding of the changing curriculum. The event will promote student interest and curiosity as they explore the exciting opportunities available in the world of STEM. Our students will play a major role in planning our STEM Fiesta, to showcase their projects, their plans and the many learning possibilities in STEM. Building connections with the wider school and local community, students from all grade levels will take on the role of sharing their knowledge with a host of visitors and with one another. Our STEM Fiesta is creating a buzz of excitement, as students investigate their chosen topics and plan their demonstrations. The evening event will benefit all learners, whilst building confidence and promoting the study of STEM.

    Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Specialist School

    Engagement through Music

    Students in Yr 7-12 at Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Specialist School will have the opportunity to participate in a new music program that will be introduced to the secondary campus. Students currently engage in a broad curriculum that focuses on traditional educational programs as well as programs to enhance independent living skills and prepare students for optimal independence in a post school life that may include employment or volunteer roles. A teacher has taken up the challenge to undertake the Musical Futures professional learning program with the belief that by building upon their passion for music they can connect and build upon their learning across the curriculum. Our wish is to provide the Secondary campus with a suite of musical instruments so that music can be introduced as a whole of campus new curriculum initiative.

    Swan Hill Specialist School

    Creating Playground Equipment from Recycled materials

    We are aiming to use recycled materials in the creation of playground equipment and planters for our grounds. The use of these materials will reinforce an awareness of waste reduction and promote sustainable methods of living. The creation of the equipment will be undertaken by a group of Middle and Senior years boys who are at risk of disengaging from school. The project will provide basic carpentry and handyman skills that will continue to be valuable throughout the students lives. The project will also incorporate a mentoring aspect by students from the two local secondary colleges. This will provide an opportunity for enhancing communication skills and building contacts for our students within their local communities.

    Thomastown West Kindergarten

    Our Land, Our Way, Our Yarn ­ 45 years on

    Our Kindergarten services a highly multicultural community with numerous newly arrived families from around the world. Many have little knowledge or contact with our indigenous communities & our unique native flora and fauna. It is imperative that we embed experiences that highlight & support our families & children to understand & connect with our unique national identity, in partnership with our indigenous community. We aim to incorporate experiences into the daily program for the children to explore the customs, culture & language of the Wurundjeri people. We aim to help the children connect to our unique native world through hand-on experiences & incursions. The creation of an art mural will reflect our centres own journey as well as build connections, understanding & respect for the diversity of our first people & our unique native world. We are seeking support to provide quality experiences & resources to help bring this initiative to the forefront of our learning environment.