Foundation Outstanding Achievement
Sabrina enrolled in the Foundation program at Melbourne Polytechnic in 2020 after her family moved to Melbourne. She had decided she wanted to seek out a better educational option for herself after experiencing difficulties in a mainstream school.
Sabrina is an articulate, mature young woman, who takes responsibility for her own learning and completes all tasks to a high standard. She is also organised and extremely hard-working, juggling her studies with working weekly shifts in a fast food outlet.
Over the course of the year, Sabrina grew in confidence and ability. She talked to her teachers in a professional and respectful manner and exhibited an impressive commitment to her studies in all subject areas, playing a leadership role in both remote and face-to-face classroom settings. She brought her workplace knowledge to the classroom, revealing a sound understanding of workplace health and safety and career pathways.
Sabrina demonstrated her commitment to excellence throughout the year in her Numeracy classes. She developed strong Numeracy skills, which she linked to everyday situations, for example, when reading and drawing maps during a visit to the Grand Prix, and in her workplace.
Although the transition to remote learning had its challenges, Sabrina ensured she attended all remote lessons and completed all tasks. During this time she was able to prioritise and complete her work to a high standard with minimal teacher intervention. She was engaged with her studies and able to think beyond the questions and topics and to apply the learning to her own circumstances.
In the classroom, Sabrina provided support and encouragement to those around her, mentoring several students over the year. She took part in an investigation into the social issue of homelessness in Australia in Literacy and Personal Development Skill studies, taking on a leadership role in the project. She helped others to understand the complexities of the issue and presented mature ideas on bringing about change and awareness.
Sabrina produced a range of texts, revealing her depth of understanding and insight into the complexity of the issue, and a willingness to challenge her own ideas and prejudices. Sabrina encouraged the class to create a social media awareness campaign for their Personal Development Skills project.
Sabrina’s outstanding efforts have resulted in great academic success, and she continues her VCAL studies in 2021 at Intermediate level, aspiring to have a career in real estate.
Foundation Personal Development Skills
In 2019 Thomas began his VCAL journey in Foundation VCAL, which continued into 2020.
Thomas is a gregarious, friendly young man who loves to help. In 2020 he was School Captain and proved to be a wonderful role model to the other students. Last year was challenging for all students, especially when it was combined with the challenges of Year 12 and a school-based traineeship. Thomas undertook a Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care), with classes beginning six weeks into the school year. He began his studies in face-to-face classes with a new group of students and an unfamiliar trainer, then training changed to online studies with COVID-19 restrictions. Thomas demonstrated impressive resilience as he continued his training online while also juggling the demands of his VCAL studies.
During the 21 weeks of remote learning, Thomas was able to keep up to date with all four VCAL strands, completing projects for Personal Development Skills and Work Related Skills, as well as tackling Literacy and Numeracy work via video conference. His teachers were impressed by his ability to cope with this new and challenging environment without their direct support, and his demonstration of excellent organisational skills. The other challenge faced by Thomas was the shutdown of workplace training for the majority of the year. It is exceedingly difficult to learn about caring for the elderly when you are unable to demonstrate your understanding and knowledge in the workplace. He was delighted with starting his placement at Martin Luther Homes in November.
Thomas has shown outstanding achievement in all areas of VCAL under extreme adversity. Not only has he gained his Foundation VCAL certificate, but he has demonstrated his compassion, empathy and skills in a demanding environment. When he interacts with the elderly residents Martin Luther Homes, he demonstrates compassion, patience and care, and a maturity beyond his years.
Intermediate Outstanding Achievement
Rosie embodies all things VCAL. She is enthusiastic, hard-working and incredibly committed to the program. She leads by example and is the first to volunteer her time to organise events, and assist peers and teachers. During remote learning, her enthusiasm and happiness were infectious. She played an integral part in maintaining the health and wellbeing of her peers through student voice, organising and participating in online challenges and projects. She also encouraged others to participate and be involved. These achievements include:
- being awarded VCAL Student of the Year 2020
- receiving multiple excellence awards in Literacy, Numeracy and Personal Development
- being VCAL student representative for Student Voice
- completing a Certificate III in Fitness at the Victorian Fitness Academy
- organising Year 11 students to participate in the Year 11 VCAL Catwalk Challenge during remote learning
- taking part in the ‘Thanking The Frontline Workers’ video
- being Return to School Activity Team Building Leader
- producing the Student Voice Advocate Video
- taking part in a COVID-19 Advertising Campaign that connected to peers.
Rosie was appointed one of four College Captains for 2021 as she continues to pursue her Senior VCAL and ultimately a career in the outdoor education industry. She is an outstanding role model and has made a significant contribution to the college, the community and to the positive reputation of the VCAL program.
Will demonstrated resilience and leadership during a very challenging year. As a new VCAL student, he mentored three Indigenous students from a small community in Western Australia, taking them under his wing, helping them with their classroom learning, ensuring they got to know other students, and encouraging their participation in the Athletics Carnival and School Formal.
This example of leadership is not a singular one. Will also led his house in various school events, assisting others in the classroom, modelling appropriate learning behaviours, and proudly representing the school’s VCAL program. He was ultimately awarded the position of Applied Learning Captain.
Will was keen to develop his leadership skills, regularly seeking out opportunities to improve and develop by talking to different groups in the school about applied learning and Structured Workplace Learning, including at the virtual subject information evening. Will helped to plan the annual ‘VCAL for a Day’ program, where Year 10 students get to experience the VCAL program, and also mentored a small group of students.
He made significant contributions to various VCAL community projects, demonstrating interest and empathy towards those he was helping, including constructing nesting boxes for animals affected by the bushfires, and working with the Food Security Network, growing vegetables for donation to Fare Share.
This led to his most significant achievement. When students decided to implement a community project that would have a positive impact on a community group or organisation impacted by COVID-19, Will thought it would be good to host Mentone Grammar’s inaugural Ice-Bucket Challenge in support of research into motor neurone disease (MND). He wanted to raise awareness of MND and support the work of MND Australia by running a fun school event, especially as the annual Big Freeze event at the MCG was cancelled. He went about meticulously planning, liaising with the fundraising team and leading a small group of students to create promotional posters, make beanies to sell and organise a free dress day. He spoke about MND at various year-level and house assemblies, and encouraged students and staff to get on board.
On a chilly winter’s day, more than 40 staff and students from Years 9 to 12 braved the cold to be splashed with icy water in front of a cheering socially distanced crowd. The event went smoothly and Will raised more than $3000 for MND, inaugurating what is now a significant annual fundraiser at the school.
Intermediate Team Achievement
The Intermediate VCAL team, Mini Me Sustainable Crafts (Sarah Mason, Alessia Lauretta, Charlotte Large and Grace Demarte) noticed that some Year 4 students were more unsettled during lunchtime. As part of their Mini Me Teach It Sustainability Task, the VCAL students decided to create some engaging activities for the Year 4 students on Friday afternoons.
The VCAL students came up with four activity ideas using recycled materials, and wrote a proposal for each one. These included full occupational health and safety plans, schedules, teaching instructions and models.
The girls surveyed the Year 4 staff about which activities might work best, the best day and time, and any issues they needed to be aware of. They then surveyed the Year 4 students to find out which activities they would like to do from a range of options, including Mini Olympics, Real World Among Us, Gardening and Sustainable Crafts.
The VCAL students created a dossier on each Year 4 student, noting their choice of design and thread colour, and any issues that arose. They also kept a record of the Year 4 students’ progress, with photos and interviews. The VCAL students took steps to help those who needed more assistance, even working out the necessary lengths of thread required. They also created multiple models to copy or use as inspiration.
Using a shared document, the girls kept track of all the work and were able to share the load equally among them. When there were problems, they would rally each other to ensure everything stayed on track while it was completed to the highest possible standard.
Another purpose of the task was to show their peers that VCAL is a viable option and career pathway. In this they were successful, as more students wanted to take part.
During the activities the girls would explain the task to each Year 4 group, while engaging them and discussing how small changes in behaviour would demonstrate to the school how mature they were becoming. The Year 4 students raved about the tasks, and how much they wanted to be like the girls and do VCAL when they were older.
Positive reviews from the students and teachers involved in the project meant that the girls’ confidence grew. The team managed occupational health and safety, sourced the required materials, scouted for locations and sought permission as needed. They demonstrated diligence, commitment, organisation, creativity, resilience, communication and leadership as they planned, organised, completed and reviewed all their work to an almost faultless standard.
As part of Personal Development, students at Mater Christi College worked closely with the St Vincent de Paul Society to help raise awareness and provide support for the issue of poverty within the local community. After talking to a St Vincent de Paul volunteer, the students became aware of a need for nutritional dessert options that St Vincent de Paul volunteers distribute from their soup vans to rough sleepers. Another issue they were keen to address was reducing the number of plastic bags that were being used by the volunteers when they handed out the food.
The students worked as a team throughout Term 1 and 2, coming up with ideas to combat the two problems by creating healthy dessert products and producing sustainable recyclable bags. The students also contacted Spotlight to source fabric that could be donated for the project. Throughout the unit the students worked on a range of recipes that would be suitable to transport from Belgrave to the city, as well as considering food products that lasted for longer than a day and did not have to be refrigerated.
Unfortunately during this project COVID-19 restrictions prevented the students from undertaking many of the tasks they had planned to do. They were no longer able to donate food products to St Vincent de Paul, which meant they had to re-evaluate what to do with their project.
The VCAL students understood first-hand the effects of the stress caused by the pandemic and were determined to continue their work to help the people in need. The students decided they would instead hold a bake sale within their school community and raise money to purchase $500 worth of food vouchers for the Society. The students also learnt how to make cloth face masks and sold them to school staff and in the local community. The money raised contributed to the purchase of food vouchers for St Vincent de Paul.
The students also created a list of questions about the charity and interviewed a volunteer from its soup kitchen. This was an excellent opportunity for the students to develop a deeper understanding of the need for community support.
Intermediate Work Related Skills
Over the course of his VCAL journey, Adam has developed from being a shy student who was unsure of his skills, into a young adult who is fully prepared for employment. He has shown a mature understanding of the importance of developing employability skills, along with the knowledge and attributes valued within his community and work environments. Adam committed himself to working in several vocational contexts, gaining experience in Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) at Kyabram Paint, Panel & Restorations, the AFL High Performance Community Umpiring Talent Academy, the school’s VCAL Cafe business and the Kyabram Bakery, where he has provided exceptional support and service to his peers and customers alike.
Adam’s acceptance into the AFL High Performance Community Umpiring Talent Academy reflected his efforts in previous seasons and potential to further his umpiring career. At the academy, Adam was trained in technical areas critical to the success of an umpire at State League level by AFL-listed umpires.
Adam was fondly known as the ‘go-to’ for most things VCAL Cafe–related, and students and staff would frequently call on him for his advice. Adam is helpful, caring, resourceful and happy to offer service no matter what the task. His quick wit, attention to detail and loyalty to the College and community have endeared him to his peers, teachers and employers.
Adam has provided mentoring within the VCAL cohort, showing students how to juggle the ups and downs of life and inspiring his peers to never stop trying. He has developed his interpersonal skills through Work Related Skills and associated placements demonstrating leadership qualities and inspiring others to work collaboratively.
During the lockdowns of 2020, Adam maximised his potential, taking on a large project of fully restoring a Volkswagen Beetle at Kyabram Paint, Panel & Restorations. He fully applied himself on a steep learning curve to ensure he met the needs of his customer. This dedicated work secured Adam an apprenticeship with the business in 2021.
Adam focuses on the best outcome for the group rather than himself, and has continually reflected on the progression of his skills, knowledge and attributes related to work. Through his development and enthusiastic engagement in Work Related Skills, Adam now excels in problem-solving, planning and organisational skills at the very highest Intermediate level.
Koorie Student Achievement
Steven comes from a proud Koorie tradition with strong ties to his culture, attending Indigenous boys’ camps and working alongside his uncle to foster Koorie relationships in regional settings as he was growing up. He eventually wants to work in an industry that promotes Koorie culture. However, he found school a challenging environment and has struggled at times to build trusting relationships with his teachers.
The local Australia Post outlet offered Steven a position through its Indigenous School Based Traineeship (SBAT) pathway. This allowed him to remain at school until Year 12, maintaining his school studies while participating in a program he found worthwhile.
It did not take long for Steven to fit into his new role. His new role gave him the confidence to succeed. Both his academic performance and attendance improved once he had the opportunity to engage in applied learning and meaningful work. His supervisor praised his ability to work closely with team members and customers to provide an excellent service experience. She noted how mature Steven was when responding to the needs of customer of all ages and from a range of backgrounds. Steven attended Australia Post NAIDOC Week event alongside regional managers, presenting the Welcome to Country for the event. He also attended other divisional operations of Australia Post and was able to network with other Indigenous employees.
Steven has attended his SBAT weekly, despite facing considerable personal challenges along the way. Australia Post provided Steven with pastoral support when he returned to work after the sudden death of his father. In 2020, many workplaces had COVID-19 restrictions; Australia Post classified Steven as an essential worker, so he was offered employment throughout the pandemic. He took great pride in being authorised to attend work, adhering to strict COVID-19 protocols and offering guidance to customers facing anxiety during this time.
While Steven is still deciding where his career with Australia Post will take him, he is excited to be offered a full-time position on completing school.
Steven successfully completed his VCAL certificate in Year 12. His story has inspired his siblings, as well as other Indigenous students at his school, to overcome personal challenges and work towards achieving their dream. He has helped reinforce the benefits of continuing education, and having a meaningful career that supports his community.
Maddy mentors and advocates for the students in her school, because she wants young people in communities to have a dream and follow their passions. Maddy encourages her peers to believe in themselves and to give things a go, and that sometimes, the first go at something will not necessarily be what they thought it would be, but that is okay.
She is proud of what she has been able to achieve as an Indigenous youth, through the opportunities presented to her, where she has shown that hard work, passion and dedication can reap rewards. As a VCAL student undertaking an SBAT, her leadership roles have provided many forums to speak of her journey, career choice and benefits of vocational training.
As School Captain in 2020 Maddy had the opportunity to promote vocational learning. This role has also given her a platform to share the culture and history of her Indigenous people. As a member of the Student Representative Council (SRC)in 2020, Maddy was able to represent other students, on a platform of equality and inclusion.
In 2020, Maddy was invited to speak to the College about what NAIDOC week means to her as an Indigenous youth. She led many of the NAIDOC activities with drawing footprints to form a mural of the Aboriginal flag, and wrote pledges to tie in with the year’s NAIDOC theme of Always Was, Always Will Be.
As part of the Journey Tracks working group, Maddy had a say in tailoring the Welcome to Country to make it specific and meaningful to her school community.
Maddy worked remotely for Victoria Police throughout the lockdowns in 2020. Her supervisors have been very happy with her progress and her ability to work remotely on assigned tasks with very limited supervision. Maddy completed her Certificate III in Business in 2020.
Maroondah City Council invited Maddy to be part of ‘We Know Your Name But Not Your Story’, a mini-documentary in which Maddy discussed diversity, school, work and hardships experienced in 2020.
Maddy want to be an example of how educational pathways have given her the opportunity to follow her dream.
Aisha has shown herself to be a dedicated and extremely hard-working student with a great commitment to her studies. She is also driven to help her school community, becoming an advocate for encouraging other female students to consider male-dominated careers. In her final year she successfully balanced the demands of her role as a Student Representative Council leader and School Captain, while also navigating her Head Start apprenticeship, TAFE and Senior VCAL studies.
Aisha excelled in her VCAL studies despite spending three days at work and TAFE, where she studied a Certificate II in Plumbing, and attending school for the other two days. During 2019, as part of an Aiming Higher Mentoring Program, Aisha and a small group of other female students chose a project to work on throughout Terms 2 and 3, which also linked to Aisha’s Personal Development Skills Outcomes. The project involved an all-female discussion panel aimed at girls in Years 9 and 10 so they could hear from females working in, or training to work in, careers that were traditionally male-dominated.
As a female student completing a Certificate II in Plumbing, Aisha was the driving force behind this project because she is passionate about empowering young girls to choose whatever career interests them.
The project was totally student-driven, requiring Aisha and her team to submit a project plan, develop promotional material, run whole-year-level assemblies for Year 9 and 10 girls, and organise the discussion panel.
Aisha and her team ran a highly successful event with an all-female discussion panel made up of Aisha, a software engineer, an Australian Football League Women’s (AFLW) player and apprentice landscaper, a lawyer, the Headstart school representative and a mixed-martial arts fighter.
One of the organisations approached by the students was so impressed by their work that they sponsored the event, featuring an article about the project and the girls on their blog, social media and national employee newsletter.
Aisha has been an outstanding VCAL student, leader and role model. She has displayed a strong work ethic, a great attitude and amazing success in her school-based apprenticeship.
Senior Outstanding Achievement
Mikaela excelled in all areas of her Senior VCAL program, remaining positive and self-driven despite the year’s challenges. She motivated her peers to collaborate and create final products for all four strands of VCAL, modelling excellent communication skills and resolving group conflicts when they arose. She was an active participant in group discussions, expressing her opinions appropriately in all of her VCAL subjects.
Mikaela successfully completed her VET studies in Certificate III Early Childhood Care and Education, as well as a Certificate II in Sampling and Measurement, while also working at an early learning centre.
As part of her studies, Mikaela:
- designed a ‘Schoolies Road Trip’ in her Numeracy Skills unit
- worked out a balanced diet and exercise program for students to use during lockdown
- led team-building activities with younger students in Personal Development Skills
- initiated several activities for a whole-school RUOK? week, including writing haiku poems and constructing a Spoonville (a village of decorated wooden spoons)
- organised students in the VCAL program to send care parcels to a person who is special in their lives
- worked with her classmates to design and sew fabric face masks.
In addition to her studies Mikaela was involved with the following projects:
- taking part in Montmorency Secondary College’s ‘Dress to Impress’ mock job interviews online
- organising a ‘Footy Colours Day’ as part of her Work Related Skills strand, setting up a class Action Team online
- participating in a couch choir project in Personal Development Skills
- photographing each VCAL student to contribute to a Yearbook
- creating an end-of-year video to share with her VCAL peers at the end of Senior year
- initiating installation of a fishpond and a native garden bed
- maintaining the school’s vegetable garden
- installing two worm farms for the Food Technology area and the canteen.
In Term 4, Mikaela and her friends participated in a virtual baby program over three nights. Despite being exhausted from a crying ‘baby’, Mikaela worked with two school staff to coordinate 25 senior students in meeting their VCAL and VCE outcomes. She collated student data and created an Excel spreadsheet on the program.
Throughout the year Mikaela maintained immaculate workbooks and visual journals, demonstrating a flair for design when presenting her written work.
Mikaela has been an uplifting ambassador for VCAL in the school community and inspired other students to strive to reach their full potential. Recognised by her school for her consistent and energetic contribution to whole-school activities, Mikaela received a ‘Personal Best’ Achievement award at the school’s Senior School Graduation Day.
Senior Personal Development Skills
Tia has demonstrated great community spirit throughout her years at Monbulk College. As a senior student she worked with Year 7 students adjusting to secondary school, helped set up displays for Japanese and Art, conducted school tours on Open Night, assisted with badge ceremony morning teas and volunteered in the canteen. Tia has also been involved with the choir, the school band and the cheerleading team, participating in competitions, concerts and displays within the College and in the community.
For her Senior Personal Development Skills project, Tia set out to make sure no one felt alone in 2020 and ran many events to engage a wide variety of people. She began her Senior Personal Development Skills year with a project on homelessness, identifying strong links between homelessness and isolation. Tia started a program of writing to vulnerable people who may have been experiencing loneliness. These letters were widely appreciated and started a trend that Tia hopes will continue.
Outside school, Tia is very active in her youth and Scouts groups, working with children on projects at Puffing Billy, gardening and painting projects at stations. As a Venturer Scout Leader, Tia started an online origami program during lockdown.
This led Tia to think about artists suffering during the lockdown period, so as part of her Personal Development Skills project she set out to interview as many artists as possible to investigate how she could help them. She created online profiles and a display of local artists and started a ‘re-create art form’ project, where people in the community can re-create an artwork in their home.
Tia has also completed two school-based traineeships, one in companion animals and one in hospitality, putting these skills to good use in her Senior Personal Development Skills project, which highlighted the importance of pets for those on their own and cooking food for those who are homeless or in need of support.
While Tia was not able to hold a major event for her Senior Personal Development Skills unit, her efforts in trying to connect with those struggling during 2020 were courageous, adventurous, inclusive, determined, and continuous.
Tia’s excellence and efforts have been recognised at school with academic subject awards, the Caltex All-Rounder award, and the atEAST Most Outstanding School Based Trainee award. At the school valedictory night Tia received the Rotary Citizen of the Year Award.
Tia’s activities and endeavours have brought a smile to so many, a testament to her efforts in achieving her Senior Personal Development Skills unit goal for 2020 – to make sure no one felt alone.
Senior Team Achievement
With 2020’s first lockdown looming and concerns about the mental health and wellbeing of Year 11 and 12 students, School Captain Jastehana Ngatokoa came up with an idea. It was brainstormed at a team meeting and named P–12 Stay Connected. Year 12 students were worried about the isolation, missing out on rites of passage, and that the year would pass by without acknowledgement of their achievements. Year 11 students were equally distressed by the situation.
The P–12 Stay Connected Team swung into action, devising numerous platforms to keep students connected. A peer support network where students to support one another helped them avoid feelings of isolation and despair. Year 11 and 12 students were surveyed to establish friendship groups, with a teacher allocated to each group. They would check in regularly with two members online to chat about schoolwork, home, stresses, how their friends were coping and if they required any help.
Students would text one another to see how they were and if they needed human interaction. The team members were aligned with specific mentor groups to communicate areas of need to support students. The program had a huge impact, with Year 11 and 12 students reporting how supported they felt from this group mentoring – more so than other year groups at the school.
During the first lockdown, the team devised a ‘TikTok challenge’, asking teachers to film themselves doing something silly. The students loved it and responded with dance challenges for the staff to match.
The team planned and prepared for an online Multicultural Day, but students were able to celebrate it at school. Khkoley and Susan organised COVID-safe food, competitions and activities. All Year 12 students had a COVID-safe blast!
During the second lockdown, the team organised weekly online events: a Catwalk Fashion Parade with student or teacher models, with the school community voting to select a winner, and The Masked Singer, featuring vocal performances from five teachers and students.
The Stay Connected team also created the first-ever Narre Warren South P–12 College Year Book, a pictorial record of the year for the students and the school community. Just prior to exams the team presented all graduating students with a memento of the year – a coronavirus teddy bear, a P–12 face mask and a ‘congratulations’ sash for each student.
Lorne VCAL students decided to document the experiences of 2020 to inform future generations about the events of the year, and bring the community together. Students created a 2020 time-capsule that was both a digital record and a physical photographic/document trail to be presented as a photographic exhibition. The students partnered with the Lorne Historical Society and received assistance from organisations and committees in the local area.
The Tales of a Local Lockdown (TALL) project was carried out remotely with appropriate social-distancing measures. Much of the planning took place via video conference, emails, phone calls and letter writing – a novel experience for many students. This was an opportunity for VCAL students to think laterally, and to use their leadership skills within strict occupational health and safety guidelines to successfully complete the project. The students’ outcomes were met in a meaningful way with a focus on community.
The students began by interviewing people in their own town before making their way around the country to gather information on other people’s experiences of 2020. An Arizona-based project called ‘A Journal of the Plague Year’, invited the students to be a part of their information-gathering team. The VCAL students presented their time capsule to Professor Andy Way, University of Melbourne, the Australian connection to the project.
VCAL students wanted to acknowledge that the pandemic was affecting all generations and cultures, from the younger members of the community to students and people on working visas who became unemployed and were stranded in the town. They wanted the town to know that they were ‘all in this together’ and to capture the best and worst of the global epidemic, sharing and recording how people dealt with it, how businesses coped and how people felt about the future.
The students worked with community experts, setting up a platform to gather information. With the Lorne Historical Society, they have created a legacy that will not only continue the global connection this pandemic has started, but foster empathy and compassion from the current and future generations.
An exhibition (in both digital and analogue form) showcased the stories, both local and Australia-wide, of hardships and celebrations. It included photographic, written, posters and artwork. A printed copy, and the digital record of the community’s response profiles, will be displayed at the Lorne Historical Society.
Senior Work Related Skills
Ella has demonstrated maturity and commitment to all aspects of her VCAL program. In Year 11 she completed a school-based apprenticeship and traineeship in early childhood education and care and received glowing feedback from both her trainers and employer at Good Start Early Learning.
In her final year, Ella studied Certificate III Allied Health Assistance auspiced by Australian Catholic University (ACU) as part of her VCAL program. She secured a work placement at the Royal Women’s Hospital and was able to continue her placement for the entire year, despite Stage 3 and Stage 4 lockdown restrictions. The staff at the Royal Women’s Hospital valued Ella’s contributions so much that she was deemed an essential worker by the hospital and given permission to continue her placement, with the employer signing off on necessary paperwork to permit her to work during Stage 4 lockdowns.
Ella has always been dedicated to a pathway into nursing and has taken every opportunity to create networks within the health industry. She received outstanding feedback from the assessors at ACU who visited her during the placement and noted that she answered questions and demonstrated initiative beyond her age (17 years).
Within weeks of finishing Year 12, Ella had interviewed for and secured a part-time position at the Royal Women’s Hospital. She is now working at the hospital three days a week.
Ella is applying to study for a Diploma of Nursing at ACU with the hope of eventually studying for a Bachelor of Nursing.
Despite the events of 2020, Ella took every opportunity to learn new skills and jumped at the opportunity to study units from the Certificate III Business Administration offered by Business Integrity College, in partnership with the St Columba’s College. Ella managed her VCAL studies, work placement requirements, Allied Health VET studies and completed six units of the Business course during remote learning.
Ella’s achievements demonstrate the many benefits of VCAL and the pathways it can offer young people.