VET in Schools Excellence Awards 2018

VET Group Winners for website.jpgThe annual VET in Schools Excellence Awards were held on Tuesday to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Vocational Education & Training (VET) students within our regional schools. Around 658 secondary school students are enrolled in VET subjects and School Based Apprenticeships in our region this year. Fifty-eight students were nominated for the Awards. During the Awards ceremony at Moama Bowling Club 56 finalists were presented with certificates, and winners were announced in 16 categories.

More than 300 guests attended the event which was organised by the Campaspe Cohuna LLEN. Those present included students and their families, trainers, teachers, host employers and sponsoring businesses. Music students from Echuca College performed songs for the audience.

Guest speaker was Louis Spencely who talked about his career journey since he was a VET Music student. Louis has successfully make the link between his study and life beyond graduation in a non-mainstream field and has been working full time as a musician for the last two years.

Students were nominated for the Awards by their VET teachers and trainers. Completion of a work placement in the relevant industry is a pre-requisite to be a finalist with host employers providing reports on individual student performance. Nominated students submitted their resume and finalists were interviewed by a panel of judges. The process is good preparation for entering the workforce.

Judges Brendon Hawken, Belinda Egan and Michael Pratt were again impressed with the calibre of the finalists. Students demonstrated strong employability skills in their assessment reports and interviews. Host employers provided evidence of the skills in their comments such as “displays excellent concentration, prioritising and communication skills, works well in the team and is able to anticipate what is needed and when,” “should be congratulated on the way she presented and conducted herself during placement”, “motivation, enthusiasm and approach to learning was outstanding”, “has a lot of knowledge within our industry, he picks up new things/learns very quickly.”

A list of the winners and all the finalists is available here.

November 2018

Campaspe Youth Partnerships

It’s been an exciting term with our programs, Junior Park Rangers, MATES Youth Mentoring and I CAN Network mentoring running successfully and concluding with celebration days and presentation nights. There have been many positive student outcomes from involvement in these programs.

Our partnership is growing with new members coming on board and a new Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by 15 member organisations. Funding has been secured through the Ross Trust Fund plus a financial commitment from the six schools involved to ensure the existing and new programs will run next year.

Junior Park Rangers - at the Fauna Park

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Twelve Grade 5/6 students from Echuca Specialist School, Kyabram P-12 College and St Augustine’s College celebrated the conclusion of the 10 week program facilitated by Park Ranger, Tyrell Gilligan, at the Fauna Park. The hands on projects included the building of compost bins, feeding the animals, a treasure hunt, yabbying and cleaning out animal enclosures.        

MATES Mentoring program

The MATES program has been evolving over the year with 6 matches in Kyabram at St Augustine’s College and Kyabram P-12 College, three mentors matched with Echuca College students, one mentor working with an Echuca Specialist School student and four at St Joseph’s College.

The mentors and mentees meet weekly at the school which builds up a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support and encouragement. If you are interested in being a mentor and making a difference in the life of a young person please contact us at CCLLEN. You need to, be over 18 years old, able to commit to four hours of training, and can meet with your matched mentee for one hour a week during the school terms.  We plan to run more mentor training in the new year.

Some of the students’ comments about the positives about being mentored included:

  • talking to my mentor about my life
  • good talking to older people
  • talking about stuff

I CAN Network Mentoring

I CAN Echuca has just celebrated the conclusion of a 10 week Secondary Mentoring program with students from St Joseph’s College, Echuca College and Echuca Specialist School. The program was held at Bendigo TAFE Echuca Campus and facilitated by Network Leader Sally Smith and Mentor Bec Cheep.  It was exciting to have one of our mentees speak on a panel at Victoria's Department of Education’s Morning tea in Melbourne on the International Day for people with Disability.

Jai from Echuca stole the show when he said 'what I've learnt is, it's just best to be yourself'.

The I CAN Kyabram secondary presentation night was well attended by family members and teachers after a 15 week program facilitated by Kate Andrews and Will Baum at Kyabram Community and Learning Centre. The students hosted the event and spoke of their achievements and displayed their passions and interests to the guests.

We are very proud of Ryan who has just completed Stage 2 of the Secondary Mentoring program and volunteered as a mentor for the Imagination Club. He spoke at the I CAN Network’s 5th birthday celebration in Melbourne of how I CAN has helped him develop his confidence and I CAN attitude.

‘The Imagination Club’ for Grade 3-6 students run by Kate Andrews and Sally Smith at Kyabram proved very popular with the 16 students with a ‘big imagination’. One of the Grade 6 students summed it all up in her I CAN talk on presentation day in front of family members and teachers.

Today I’ll be talking about how I CAN helped me.

Firstly my social skills. I made new friends in the I CAN group, at different schools, at home and other places. If it wasn’t for I CAN Network I would still be in my bubble of shyness.

Scared of all my work. Last year it was hard and I was struggling at school with my work. I wasn’t concentrating at class and sometimes my mind went blank. Now this year I can work and concentrate because of I CAN.

Thirdly my passion and ideas. I CAN helped me see the beauty in things. It’s also helped my imagination come to life. I feel like I’m not the odd one out any more. It’s also helped me learn more about the arts.

Thank you Kate and Sally for letting us have the I CAN Network to help us all.

So try to say I CAN to something. I said I CAN to this speech!

December 2018

MATES Mentoring Program

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Mentors have been recruited and trained in Kyabram, Echuca and Cohuna to be MATES mentors to secondary school students. More volunteer mentors are always welcome. The ongoing commitment is for one hour a week during school terms. We provide training and ongoing support. You will need a Working with Children Check (free for volunteers) and we can help you with applying. You can complete the training before deciding whether to commit to the program.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor please contact us for an information pack.

Navigator Program

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Navigator is coming to the Loddon Campaspe Area in 2019. Anglicare Victoria will be providing the Navigator program. Campaspe Cohuna LLEN actively lobbied for at least one worker to be based in Campaspe and Anglicare supports this.

Navigator supports young people who are not attending school or struggling with attendance - connecting each young person with a case worker who can provide access to a range of support services and create a path back into education.

Navigator is a hands-on, proactive service delivered by schools and community agencies to improve outcomes for young people, linking them to support services and interventions, and supporting them to re-engage with education and training.

The Loddon Campaspe Area consists of six local government areas, extending from Campaspe to Macedon Ranges.

Gannawarra is already serviced by Navigator provided by Murray Mallee LLEN, and that program will continue.

November 2018

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