Latrobe Special Developmental School

Inclusive and empathetic design supports students to reach their potential

Location: Gunaikurnai Country, 146 Liddiard Road, Traralgon VIC
Status: Complete

Victorian Chapter Learning Environment Awards 2023 - New Educational Campus (Commendation)

Latrobe Special Developmental School (Latrobe SDS) provides a purpose-built new campus that celebrates community, opportunity and independence. Relocating from an isolated site on the outskirts of Traralgon to a new home on an underutilised portion of a neighbouring campus, represents a significant shift to a cohesive and inclusive educational community.

The school’s motto “Towards Independence” is embodied in the planning and design of the reimagined campus. Learning environments support a diverse cohort of students aged 5 to 18 years, with moderate to severe intellectual and associated disabilities.

An initial home-like environment for the junior years transitions to environments that provide greater agency and independence during middle years, finally finishing with senior learning spaces that encourage independence and greater connection with community.

Community members have spoken to me about how they love that the school ‘fits’ in with the other schools. The natural colours and the incredible landscaping have made our school a beautiful, warm, and inviting learning environment.
Nicole Herbert

Designing for inclusivity meant creating environments that were warm and inviting for students and the school community. Nooks and alcoves scattered throughout each building provide opportunities for students to retreat, self-regulate and navigate their environment with agency and dignity.