Excellence programs


​Tamborine Mountain Learning Academy


The Tamborine Mountain Learning Academy (TMLA) is a strategic partnership between high performing schools - TMSS, TMSHS and tertiary partners, Griffith and Swinburne Universities.

Through this unique alliance a seamless educational pathway will be delivered from the early phase of learning through to university and adult life. TMLA partners will work together to provide a range of “learning enhancements”, called academies, for students at all stages of learning. Partners will also work to ensure smooth transitions occur at the key junctures of schooling.

TMLA will provide staff with the opportunity to work between the two schools and university campuses in their specialist areas, to extend their professional development aspirations beyond their current working environment and to collaborate and plan with colleagues outside their cohort or department. The alliance of education providers will share resources, facilities and staff to benefit the students’ short and long term learning outcomes and experiences.

TMLA Mission Statement: Empowering students to meet the challenges of the future, by offering rich, world class education programs through personalised learning pathways.


  • Griffith University – Gold Coast
  • Swinburne University of Technology – Melbourne
  • Tamborine Mountain State High School
  • Tamborine Mountain State School


TMLA aims to improve awareness of pathways from primary school, through secondary school and on to tertiary education. It builds linkages and pathways between the partners to provide opportunities for students and their families to consider and pursue higher education. As a partnership it provides a forum to develop specific activities, agendas, or opportunities that can be negotiated and pursued collaboratively.

It also aims to improve the connection and engagement between the members of the TMLA, improving working relationships between the partners in development of knowledge, practice and engagement that advance these objectives in the pursuit of excellence in teaching within the partnership.

TMLA provides a means by which relevant strategic opportunities can be identified, evaluated and pursued by the partners, either jointly or independently, with the ultimate aim of significantly improving the enrolment and retention in each of the partner institutions.

Signature programs to be offered:

  • Academic Excellence – Years 5 to 9 - specialist Learning Academies for high achieving primary students to access TMSHS, and tertiary aspirants to access university early entry programs
  • Digital Technologies & STEM Academies – providing high performing students the opportunity to expand their digital knowledge outside the classroom by engaging in hands-on, world-context systems, design and computational thinking projects
  • Philosophy in Action – explore future life using the disciplines of emotional intelligences, philosophy and critical thinking
  • School Concert Bands & Dance Troupes – Performing Arts Academy for talented and aspiring musicians and dancers
  • Solid transition programs between education providers to cater for all students, including specialist support and tracking of Students with Disabilities and Indigenous students
  • Griffith University Ambassadors program

Plans are already in place to expand the suite of programs to include:

  • International learning partnerships through University partners
  • Expanding partnerships with industry and community groups
  • World class e-learning capabilities providing access to global learning communities
  • Young Scholars Program – university-aligned academic extension
  • Griffith University School Ambassadors – Junior and Senior representatives from TMSS and TMSHS


The partnership will be bounded by an MOU that sets out, in a non-binding fashion, the shared understanding of the purpose of the relationship and the manner in which partners will work together.

The relationship will provide a positive outcome for staff and students because of a range of factors, including:

  • a shared commitment to raising the aspirations of students going on to post-school study
  • personal and professional connections between school partners through the close Tamborine Mountain community
  • an appreciation and understanding of the internal and external forces operating on each of the partners and a willingness to give ‘room to breathe’.

It is the long-term nature of the relationship and the shared commitment that will lead to positive outcomes for students and families. Sponsorship will be sought for funding the TMLA objectives and school expansions.

TMLA extends a partnership to TMSS EATSIPS team to support their Jingeri Jimbelung project across both campuses and with Tamborine Mountain community.


A number of activities are being planned for the partnership, but central to them all is a focus on the development of personal connection and institutional understanding so that each partner can deliver on their mission, both shared and individual, in the best possible way.

A key direction for the future of the relationship will be research into the pathways of students. Central to this research will be indicators on when higher education aspirations are best fostered.

Last reviewed 02 March 2021
Last updated 02 March 2021