Teacher Achievement Awards Winners 2015
VCAL Provider – Melbourne City Mission
James Inabinet with Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley
James is an exceptional VCAL practitioner who has taught in the Melbourne City Mission – Melbourne Academy program since 2014. This program works with young people with complex barriers to education, including mental health, homelessness, and drug and alcohol issues.
James has created integrated VCAL projects designed to engage students and connect with the community. James has developed an engaging Personal Development Skills legal/social science project called ‘The Zimmerman vs Martin Case’, which he successfully ran with Senior VCAL students in 2016. The project took a real-world case that young people can identify with and use to explore profiling, racism, the American justice system and media distortion of facts. This project helped students to contextualise their own opinions as well as communicate effectively with each other and with the wider community.
James filmed the students’ work in this program and created a documentary, which was entered into the Armed and Dangerous film festival. Melbourne City Mission has enjoyed a long partnership with the Armed and Dangerous film festival, with James having produced two other films highlighting the relevance and practice of VCAL education programs.
James has also run professional development programs for the VALA Safari, presenting his own templates and turning the People vs Zimmerman project into a teaching resource for other providers.
James’ mastery of integrated applied learning is evidenced by his success with disadvantaged VCAL students, by his involvement with the wider VCAL community and by the adoption of his resources across the VCAL teaching profession.
VCAL Provider – Maryborough Education Centre
James Macer with Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley
Under James’s leadership, the Maryborough Education Centre VCAL program has seen significant growth and improvement, from community partnerships to administrative initiatives and enhanced teaching practices.
James initiated the conversion of an old shed into a VCAL specific workshop which brought together the VET Building & Construction progam and Agriculture and Science programs to create 16 garden beds, two wicking beds, a digital weather station, and a DIY Seed germination chamber.
James established a a number of student-led community based projects and partnerships including one with the Maryborough Men’s Shed, the building of a chicken coop for the Beckworth Special School, and new furniture for the local youth space. James also initiated fundraising projects.
In the area of teaching and learning, James ran a VCAL induction day at Maryborough Education Centre to ensure all VCAL teachers in 2017 have a thorough knowledge of applied learning pedagogy and competency-based assessment.
Under James’s leadership, the VCAL Structured Workplace Learning program has significantly improved. By making Structured Workplace Learning a core component of the Work Related Skills Unit, student participation has increased. This is a testament to James’s ability to bring staff, students and the community together to have a positive impact on student learning.
Corinne Duhau, Adam Nettleingham
VCAL Provider – Berwick College
L-R: Corinne Duhau, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley and Adam Nettleingham
Corinne and Adam have taught in the VCAL program for the past five years at Berwick College and they have fully embraced and promoted VCAL in the school and the local community.
Adam and Corinne have built partnerships with the local childcare centre and kindergarten, primary schools and aged care facilities.
In 2016, they taught a cohort of sixty-four Senior VCAL students, tailoring a program to suit students’ needs. The program involved immersion in a local community services organisation of the student’s choice, including Wilson Botanic Park, Brotherhood of St Lawrence and the Salvation Army.
For four years Adam and Corinne led Berwick College’s VCAL Relay for Life team, fundraising over $20,000 and leading to four research awards named after the school.
In 2015 and 2016 Corinne and Adam developed a partnership with Minaret College, exploring social diversity. VCAL students worked in groups to discuss growing up in Australia as a Muslim and to acknowledge what makes them different and what makes them similar.
Corinne and Adam are tireless ambassadors for the VCAL program, ensuring successful transitions from Year 10 into the program. Prior to enrolling, students participate in a seminar outlining the benefits of VCAL, the eligibility requirements and pathway options. Adam and Corinne are well respected by their students and peers and recognised as innovative leaders in the delivery of VCAL.
VCAL Teacher of the Year
VCAL Provider – Manor Lakes P-12 College
VALA CEO Helene Rooks and VCAL Teacher of the Year Narelle Bean
Narelle has introduced creative and experiential VCAL programs to the College, giving students essential employability skills and the confidence to succeed in the workplace.
Her integrated program involves Senior VCAL students participating in a business venture. Taking roles as CEOs, they develop a business plan and employ Intermediate and Foundation students. The students apply for jobs and participate in mock interviews. They also advertise and interview prospective staff. Through the program, they learn about hazards, safety, Job Safety Analysis, cost of materials, and profit and loss.
Narelle and her staff also take the students on Leadership Camp where the Foundation and Intermediate students focus on relationship building and the Senior students undertake a week-long hike through the high country, facing challenges and experiencing personal growth.
Narelle has also initiated a number of highly successful fundraising schemes, including the opening of Café Echo, run daily by VCAL students. This involves barista training, safe food handling training and customer service training and is supported by a staff member each shift. The funds raised by the café are put back into the VCAL program.
Narelle was a key presenter at this year’s VALA conference. This has led to representatives from other schools visiting Manor Lakes to gain further knowledge about the VCAL program. Narelle’s outstanding leadership and creativity is underscored by her ability to relate positively with young adults and their parents, and to support them on their journey to the world of work.