In 2006, Albert Park College, a public secondary school in inner-city Melbourne, was closed after a dramatic loss in confidence caused enrolments to plummet. Devastated yet determined parents rallied and convinced the education department to give the school a second chance. The old buildings were bulldozed and a new school began to take shape.
At the same time, experienced public school educator Steven Cook was in search of a fresh start. He took on the job as principal of the new college, moved into the local area, became part of the community and got to work.
In 2021, Albert Park College was voted Australian School of the Year.
In From the Ground Up, Steven Cook reveals how a thriving new college was created where the previous one had failed, and what it takes to create a successful public school. He reflects on his career as an educator, and demonstrates how to rebuild and renew our public schools to give our young people and our nation a great future. This is an inspiring story of how learning from our mistakes can result in our greatest achievements.