VCAL Achievement Awards - recognising the achievements of VCAL students, teachers and partner organisations.

Student Achievement Award Winners

Foundation Outstanding Achievement and Foundation Personal Development Skills

Kayla O'Brien

VCAL Provider – Whittlesea Secondary College

Two women, standing and smiling on the lower stage of an auditorium. One is holding a framed certificate and the other a trophy

Kayla O'Brien with Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley

Kayla has demonstrated an excellent work ethic in the completion of her VET Hospitality Certificate II in Kitchen Operations, alongside her voluntary contributions to her community.

Utilising her excellent organisational skills, Kayla planned and successfully delivered activities in support of the Starlight Children’s Foundation at two local primary schools. Kayla was highly commended for her passion and organisational skills in creating the events, considering every contingency and meeting every challenge.

In 2018, Kayla is continuing her VCAL studies at Senior level, and has plans to continue her work supporting children in need.

 

Foundation Personal Development Skills

Isa Fezollari

VCAL Provider – Melbourne Polytechnic

A man and a woman, standing and smiling on the lower stage of an auditorium. The woman is passing a trophy and certificate to the man

Isa Fezollari receiving his award from Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley

Isa displayed outstanding project management skills in the Trade Pathways program.  As one of the youngest students in the program, he quickly took on a pivotal role in planning and developing a project at a local kindergarten building a kitchenette and teepee using recycled and existing materials.

Isa displayed outstanding leadership abilities, exceptional communication skills and the confidence to negotiate the project.

The response from the local kindergarten was so positive that it has resulted in the development of a partnership with Melbourne Polytechnic.

 

Foundation Team Achievement

Nathan Cranston, Koray Korkmaz, Amira Sidani, Reyna Sosa, Cameron Stevens and Mark Yakimov

VCAL Provider – Narre Warren South P-12 College

Three women and three men stand, smiling, holding a trophy and framed certificates on the lower stage of an auditorium

L-R: Nathan Cranston, Amira Sidani, Reyna Sosa, Mark Yakimov, Narre Warren South P-12 College VCAL Teacher Craig Johnston, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley. Absent: Koray Korkmaz and Cameron Stevens

VCAL Foundation students Nathan, Koray, Amira, Reyna, Cameron and Mark embodied the principle that as a community we have a responsibility to assist those in need.

Rallying around a Year 11 student to raise money for his new wheelchair, students completed two projects to achieve this goal – creating handmade chopping boards, and making homemade strawberry jam.

The team raised more than $2000 for the wheelchair. Throughout the project they demonstrated their excellent capacity for teamwork, leadership, time management and perseverance.

 

Intermediate Outstanding Achievement

Daniel Gagovski

VCAL Provider – Staughton College

A man and a woman, standing and smiling on the lower stage of an auditorium. One is holding a framed certificate and the other a trophy

Daniel Gagovski with Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley

Daniel assisted in the planning and implementation of numerous projects across his school. As a role model, he motivated his peers to achieve success.

Daniel's individual and team work - has seen him engage with the school community in valuable ways. He initiated barbecues and bake sales, set up a school supplies pop-up shop, fundraised for toy-drives and soccer clinics, and led the organisation of a VCAL showcase.

Dedicated and hardworking in all his subjects, Daniel has plans to pursue further study in the field of robotics.

 

Intermediate Outstanding Achievement

Rachael Matthews

VCAL Provider – St Augustine's College, Kyabram

Two women, standing and smiling on the lower stage of an auditorium. They are holding a framed certificate together and one is also holding a trophy

Rachael Matthews with Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley

Rachael's mature understanding of the importance of community engagement and civic and civil responsibility has led her to develop high-level leadership and social skills. 

She demonstrated these skills during her structured work placements in dental and aged care, and her leadership roles in Kyabram community groups.

Displaying high-level problem solving skills, Rachael took on a leading role in a VCAL project at her college, refurbishing the Trade Training Centre, and has also supported her school community through work in catering and the college coffee shop, St Caffeine's.

 

Intermediate Personal Development Skills

Dylan Sgambelloni

VCAL Provider – Bright P-12 College

A man who uses a wheelchair shakes hands with a woman standing and smiling on the lower stage of an auditorium. Visible behind the two people is a banner with the Victorian Applied Learning Association (VALA) logo

Dylan Sgambelloni accepting his Award from Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley

Dylan's capacity to take initiative and foster positive relationships has seen him become an effective advocate for accessibility in his community.

Dylan conducted research and liaised with the Bright community and the Alpine Shire Council, to highlight areas that could be made more accessible for a range of people, including residents and visitors who use wheelchairs, elderly people using mobility devices and parents with prams.

His proactive work to address mobility issues enhances the livability of the region for residents and offers more positive experiences for people with disability.

 

Intermediate Team Achievement

Emily Bresnehan, Harry Goakes, Aiden Renshaw and Angus Spargo

VCAL Provider – Mentone Grammar School

Two women and three men stand, smiling, holding framed certificates on the lower stage of an auditorium

L-R: Emily Bresnehan, Aiden Renshaw and Angus Spargo, Harry Goakes with Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley

VCAL students Emily, Harry, Aiden and Angus developed empathy and understanding toward marginalised groups, becoming effective advocates for the challenges these groups face.

The team engaged with several organisations to gain an insight into experiences of marginalisation, including Disability Sports Australia, Scope's See the Person program and Urban Seed.

The students also undertook Cultural Awareness Training through AFL SportsReady, broadening their awareness of Indigenous issues and cultural practices.

Drawing on their training, the students then travelled to Lilla, Northern Territory where they worked together to complete maintenance and improvement work in the community, and volunteered in the Watarrka School working one-on-one with local students.

 

Senior Outstanding Achievement

Hicham Wahid

VCAL Provider – Narre Warren South P-12 College

A man and a women stand, smiling, on the lower stage of an auditorium. They are holding a trophy together and the man is also holding a framed certificate

Hicham Wahid with Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley

A talented media and technology student, Hicham completed a School-based Apprenticeship at Wonderworld Games and a work placement with Melbourne radio station Nova 100, where he is now working as a videographer.

Alongside his achievements in media, Hicham has led valuable fundraising initiatives, raising more than $5000 for Breast Cancer Network Australia, and arranging a 48 kilometre fundraising walk for the purchase of a wheelchair for a fellow VCAL student.

As College Captain and VCAL Student of the Year at his school, Hicham's enthusiasm and willingness to have a go saw him become an outstanding role model for other students.

 

Senior Personal Development Skills

Brooke McCluskey

VCAL Provider – Shepparton High School

Two women, standing and smiling on the lower stage of an auditorium. One is holding a framed certificate and the other a trophy

Brooke McCluskey with Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley

Brooke, a motivated and independent learner, has displayed the highest level of commitment to her VCAL and VET studies.

Her VCAL projects include assisting with the Prep to Grade 2 Reading Program at Bourchier Street Primary, coordinating the Shepparton Emergency Services Workers Thank You Breakfast, assisting with the Shepparton High School Breakfast program, and securing funding for quality gifts for serving soldiers.

In Year 11, Brooke successfully completed a Certificate III in Business Administration and a Certificate III in Health Administration, working on a placement one day a week at Rubicon Systems in Shepparton. This led to a full-time office administration role.

In Year 12, Brooke also successfully completed a Certificate IV in Business at GOTAFE.

 

Senior Work Related Skills

Rachelle Dowling

VCAL Provider – Education College Gippsland

Two women, standing and smiling on the lower stage of an auditorium. One is holding a framed certificate and the other a trophy

Rachelle Dowling with Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley

As part of her Senior Work Related Skills unit, Rachelle was appointed to the role of Meeting Administrator in the Baw Baw Food Movement, a group which aims to unite food efforts across Baw Baw Shire and increase food education in the region.

Rachelle collaborated with the Longwarry and District Lions Club, Food Bank and SecondBite to assist individuals experiencing food insecurity.

This led her to develop a resource centre at her college where people in need can access food, and use facilities to shower, wash their clothes and get a haircut.

Rachelle was also one of 15 students selected for Country to Canberra – where she travelled to Canberra and participated in a three-day leadership and mentoring program for young women.

 

Senior Team Achievement

Kate Napper, Molly O'Neill and Gabrielle Sims

VCAL Provider – Sacred Heart College Geelong

Four women, standing and smiling in the lower stage of an auditorium. Two women are holding framed certificates and one woman is holding a framed certificate and a trophy

L-R: Sacred Heart College Geelong Teacher Narelle Dickson, Molly O'Neill, Gabrielle Sims and Kate Napper

Molly, Kate and Gabrielle's project 'Little Boxes of Hope' has brought comfort and support for 10 to 18 year olds experiencing mental illness in the Geelong region.

The students established a partnership with a clinical nurse to develop sensory care packages. Following a successful social media campaign, there were enough donations to create over 50 care packages. Donated items included mindfulness colouring books, art supplies and sensory tools.

Molly, Kate and Gabrielle hope to expand 'Little Boxes of Hope' and continue to provide support for young people in the Geelong region.

 

School-based Apprentice/Trainee

Liam Gray

VCAL Provider – Loyola College

A man and a woman, standing and smiling on the lower stage of an auditorium. One is holding a framed certificate and the other a trophy

Liam Gray with Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley

Liam has excelled during his apprenticeship at Cummins – a global manufacturer of engines and generators, and is on the way to becoming a certified technician. His work at Cummins has fostered a positive relationship between the company and school, allowing other Loyola VCAL students the opportunity to make connections in the industry.

While undertaking his apprenticeship, Liam has completed a Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology. He has also developed his communication and public speaking skills which were displayed at the Loyola VCAL Breakfast where he was a key speaker.

 

School-based Apprentice/Trainee and Koorie Student Achievement

Brittany Finn

VCAL Provider – The Grange P-12 College

A woman, smiling, holds her two award trophies: one in each hand in the foyer of an auditorium

Brittany Finn holding her two Awards at the VCAL Achievement Awards

Brittany has successfully worked towards her career through a traineeship and study. Brittany has a clear sense of pride in her Culture and Aboriginal heritage. She regularly participates in NAIDOC Week with her family, spending several days at her relative's house where extended family members reconnect.

While juggling the demands of study and work, Brittany has developed self-confidence and self-direction as she works towards her career goals

Brittany began a School-based Traineeship with Qantas at Melbourne Airport where she received exceptional supervisor assessments. Her confidence blossomed and her ability to speak to both customers and staff quickly developed.

Her hard work paid off and she was offered full-time employment at Qantas. Brittany's achievement has motivated others by encouraging them to stay in school so that they too can achieve their dreams.