A Message from our CEO

It is exciting to share with you the report from Deakin University’s Strategic Research Centre in Education published in March 2023. 

This report reinforces what we’ve always known anecdotally and thanks to the incredible team at Deakin, we now have the research and data to support our claims. Importantly, the findings of the study validate our current program and will allow Cottage by the Sea to develop and enhance it further. If you’d like to read the full report, you can download it below or alternatively you can downlowd
 the “Summary of the Report and Key Recommendations.”

I’m confident you’ll find it reading the report and recommendations interesting and compelling as we have. Congratulations to the team from Deakin, and on behalf of the Cottage community, I express my gratitude for your hard work in understanding the work of Cottage and the Take a Break program.

Thank you,

Adam Wake
CEO, Cottage by the Sea

Cottage by the Sea: The Difference ‘Take a Break’ Make Research Study – Executive Summary

Cottage by the Sea: The Difference ‘Take a Break’ Makes is a research initiative of the Cottage by the Sea – Deakin University Research Partnership that seeks to understand the ways in which the Take a Break (TaB) program at Cottage by the Sea (CBTS) in Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia, makes a difference to the lives of the children who attend. The TaB program emphasises inspiration, fun and opportunity, and encourages children to be active, healthy, confident and respectful.

Most children at CBTS participate in TaB, which runs concurrently with the Recreation, Education, Environment, Friendship (REEF), Mentor and National Programs. This research contributes to future directions in evidence-informed interventions that focus on young Australians experiencing vulnerability.

Since 2018, the Cottage by the Sea TaB program has involved more than 2000 children, aged between six and 12 years, and more than 150 accompanying teachers and principals who have attended TaB programs across 20 local government areas (LGAs). These LGAs include areas that have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and exposed to natural disasters, including bushfires and floods, or include children who have experienced vulnerability. This report draws on data collected from student and teacher evaluations of their experiences of the TaB program, student drawings, and from semi-structured interviews with their teachers, and program leaders and members from the CBTS leadership team. This has enabled all those directly associated with TaB to share their understandings of the program. Researcher observations were made of participants undertaking a day of activities from five schools attending four separate TaB programs between May and October 2022

Thank You to the team from Deakin:

Professor Louise Paatsch
Associate Professor Amanda Mooney
Professor Andrea Nolan
Professor Julianne Moss
Dr Tebeje Molla
Dr Trevor McCandless