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VET in Schools Excellence Awards

DSC02286-for-web.jpgThe annual VET in Schools Excellence Awards were held on 12 November to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Vocational Education & Training (VET) students within our regional schools.

Around 670 secondary school students are enrolled in VET subjects and School Based Apprenticeships in our region this year. Fifty students were nominated for the Awards, during the Awards ceremony at Moama Bowling Club all finalists were presented with certificates, and winners were announced in 13 categories. This year a category for students studying the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning – VCAL, was introduced to acknowledge this learning pathway.

More than 250 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 four great numbers for the audience. Guest speaker was Kelly Shotton who talked about her career journey to her current employment with local business Foodmach. Kelly is a standout for women in non-traditional roles.

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. Host employers provided evidence of the skills in their comments such as “uses their initiative, really contributed to the team, eager to learn and demonstrate new skills, and really showed great industry knowledge”.

Nominated students submitted their resume and finalists were interviewed by a panel of judges who have put some time into reading up on the students nominations before the final interview. The process from submitting nominations, including Resumes and Portfolios 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 but the Judges were most impressed with the “Can Do” attitude of so many of the students. One proudly said “I am not sure exactly what I want to do but I will give anything a crack.”

November 2019

ICT Careers - Echuca

DSC02430-for-website.jpgAlthough a Code Red had been announced for the day, we went ahead with our Information Communication Technology Careers Day at Echuca College.

Student numbers were down, but those that attended enjoyed the activities, lunch and prizes on offer.

Our presenters provided a great range of workshops, and with small groups everyone was able to "have a go".

Workshops included robots, coding, games design, augmented reality, computer puzzles, art and drones. The keynote presentation was on the use of ICT in civil engineering and the construction of the new Echuca Moama bridge.

Students provided quality feedback on the day -

I liked what different people did with their jobs in ICT because it gives you a look of what goes on

I liked learning about IT more. It was fun seeing and learning about the different types

I liked that there was a wide range of information on offer and that it showed many aspects of ICT

I learnt many things from all sessions, such as, that as of next year you need a drone licence. Thank you for coming to Echuca, it has really opened my eyes about the ICT industry

I learnt that all aspects of ICT help the world in some way, and that it’s fun and joyful to put a smile on someone's face when you tell them about ICT and your stories. And robotics is evolving and that we already have robots in our house

Our thanks to La Trobe University, Hawken Creative, Goulburn Murray Water, AIE, Campaspe Library and Splatoons.

November 2019

Voice of our Youth - Deep Dive

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The consultation is in full swing, and we have had a fantastic response.  There is still time to complete the online survey, with a cash prize of $500 on offer for one lucky individual and one school.  The consultation process ends Friday 20 December 2019.

Forum workshops have been held at Rochester Secondary College, Echuca Specialist School, Echuca College, Kyabram P-12 College, St Augustine’s College, Rushworth P-12 College, Indie School in Kyabram and Echuca and Bendigo TAFE's Echuca campus with VCAL students. We have also conducted some individual interviews, and surveyed many students through the postcards and online surveys.

On 7 November, we attended the Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnerships Deep Dive in Bendigo, and were accompanied by some incredible young individuals from our Shire.  The consultation was an opportunity for key Government stakeholders and Community Leaders to learn first-hand some of the struggles that young people face in terms of remaining engaged in education.

In the Campaspe Shire, the youth unemployment rate (15-19 years) at March 2018 was 5.6%, with 465 children aged 5 to 14 not attending education.  Regionally, over 600 students in Loddon Campaspe left school without a Year 12 or equivalent in 2018. 

The Voice of our Youth consultation aims to capture the lived schooling experience of young people aged 12 – 25 years, to identify gaps and to offer insight into how the system could be improved to better support the needs of students.

We encourage all young people living in the Campaspe Shire to take the opportunity to have their say, visit the website www.voiceofouryouth.com.au for information, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

November 2019

Engineers Solve Problems

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In a move designed to address long term skill shortages in the Echuca Moama region, Campaspe Cohuna LLEN and Committee for Echuca Moama (C4EM) have brought together young people, education and engineering industry professionals to talk about local pathway opportunities into engineering.

Sixty Year 10 and Year 11 students from St Joseph’s College Echuca, Moama Anglican Grammar and Echuca College visited two local manufacturers; Foodmach and Byford Equipment, to see world-leading innovation firsthand. Students then went on to visit the once-in-a-lifetime Echuca-Moama Bridge Project hosted by Senior Project Manager Jason Warren from Major Road Projects Victoria.

Students heard from a diverse range of business owners, engineers, apprentice fabricators, computer coding specialists and project management professionals about the alternative education pathways and job opportunities that lead into an engineering career in the local region.  Students also learnt more about Industry 4.0, mechatronics, robotics and industry diversification to keep apace with industry changes.

“I learnt that there are companies in Echuca Moama that are world class and can be potential career paths into the future” commented one student after completing the tour.

“I learnt that there are a lot of different pathways that will lead you to the same job, you don’t always have to go to Uni” noted another.

CEO of C4EM; Nina O’Brien stated “Like everywhere, we need more engineers in the Echuca Moama region. Rather than lamenting about how many of our young people leave the region, we are giving them reasons to stay, or maintain links to home while they study. These are our engineers, apprentice fabricators, automation specialists and project managers of tomorrow.”

The engineering immersion day was coordinated by C4EM, Campaspe Cohuna LLEN, and the local Careers Teacher Network, made possible by the generous donation of time by staff from Foodmach, Byford Equipment and Major Road Projects Victoria.

Student transport was assisted through the valuable support of the Loddon Campaspe Student Access Program delivered through the Victorian Department of Transport. Campaspe Cohuna LLEN provided lunch and protective equipment for students and accompanying teachers.

October 2019

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