No matter what obstacles the journey throws up,
women when educated and nurtured will thrive.

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning

The River Nile School (RNS) offers full time programs delivering the VCAL curriculum to re-engage Refugee and Asylum Seeker school-aged young women who may have experienced disrupted schooling, are newly arrived to Australia, or find a flexible learning environment most suitable to their learning. All students who attend RNS have English as an Additional Language (EAL) so there is a dedicated focus on developing students’ English literacy and oracy alongside the VCAL curriculum.

RNS delivers an integrated VCAL program with projects designed and delivered by the students. It provides a high-challenge, high-support learning environment adopting a strengths-based approach. One of the measures of student success at RNS is a successful and meaningful transition pathway for each student.

RNS offers diverse and flexible Vocational Education and Training (VET) options as part of the VCAL program. We offer both year-long and semester options of VET Certificate II in Business, Kitchen Operations, Salon Assistant and Retail Cosmetics.

RNS offers small class sizes and highly individualised, flexible learning programs for our young women. All students develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) in conjunction with their teacher. This assists with guiding students’ learning, transitions and goal setting. RNS also has a dedicated learning intervention specialist who assists teachers to support students with additional learning needs.

RNS adopts a holistic model for supporting the unique educational and wellbeing needs of each student. As our students come from backgrounds where they may have experienced trauma and torture, we adopt a trauma-informed approach to our teaching. Furthermore, students receive a yearly myki pass, a laptop, access to a wide range of excursions, incursions and a school camp. All programs and supports provided through RNS are free for students.

This program runs Monday – Friday from 10.00am until 3.00pm.


We give priority to supporting young women who are mothers, with free childcare.

Our alone mothers are among the most disadvantaged in our community, often isolated and with the least opportunity to engage in their education.

All education, social support and childcare are provided free-of-charge to the students, as they are unable to contribute to the cost of their education.

Through education, RNS is breaking the cycle of dependence on social welfare and opening new opportunities for these mothers and even better ones for their children.