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Student Achievement Award Winners

Foundation Outstanding Achievement

Jacob Herra

VCAL Provider – Narre Warren South P–12 College

Jacob has a range of outstanding qualities, which he demonstrated during his Foundation VCAL year. These have included excellent leadership skills across a range of student activities and a high aptitude for learning and for supporting his peers in a consistent and friendly way. Jacob is very generous with his time, assisting and supporting other students after finishing his own work in class. On every occasion, Jacob displays positive values, high morals and a passion for improving community outcomes.

At the school’s Central Australia camp Jacob was applauded for his peer-teaching abilities, maturity and his constant willingness to act as a facilitator. He guided his peers on how to set up tents and protect themselves from hazards while climbing. He also took on the duty of a leader in group activities for high-risk projects.

Jacob proved to be a great role model for Year 5 and 6 primary students at Lightning Premiership, demonstrating his umpiring skills, and encouraging and supporting both students and adults, as noted by the schools in the Primary District. He was also Sports Captain at the Swimming Sports Day, in which he fully participated, ran activities and assisted with the set-up and pack-up of all equipment.

Overall, Jacob has been involved in a range of student activities to help Year 10 and other year levels succeed, including his immediate Foundation VCAL class. He has frequently represented the needs of his peers as a Student Voice liaison, acted as a mentor for younger peers through reading, and shared his personal folio of work as a sample for his peers to work from. He has exceptional skills in researching current issues, such as domestic violence and binge drinking, working with his teammates to project his concerns. Jacob is confident in challenging the opinion of the status quo and expresses his thoughts in a respectful manner. He takes a dynamic approach to reading, making it an interesting task for other students who are not so engaged. He takes pride in seeking feedback about his work and pays attention to detail in his workbook.

In 2019 Jacob received an Excellence Award for Literacy, having completed all outcomes to a high standard. He represents the college’s ethic of PRIDE – perseverance, respect, integrity, dedicated teamwork, and excellence – to a high standard. Jacob has sustained excellent attendance and a commitment to working with his employer.

Foundation Personal Development Skills

Sarah Morgan

VCAL Provider – MacKillop Specialist School, Geelong

Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan

Sarah took part in the highly successful Pop-up Soup Kitchen Project, run by MacKillop Specialist School, Geelong in association with Feed Geelong. The day was held as part of a subject focusing on homelessness in the local community.

After attending a ‘Seeing is believing tour’ with Feed Geelong, where students learnt about homelessness and emergency food relief, Sarah and her fellow VCAL students took part in a Soup-Making Master Class with Chef Belle at Northern Bay Trade Training Centre. They were then given the opportunity to run a Pop-up Soup Kitchen (PUSK) at Bellarine Living and Learning Centre in conjunction with Feed Geelong.

Sarah demonstrated excellent teamwork skills and led by positive example at PUSK. She was instrumental in organising transport of the school’s cafe equipment to the centre and helped to encourage the other students to stay focused, work hard and contribute to the day. Sarah connected positively with the local community members and ensured that everyone had a bowl of soup, a toastie and a hot drink. She also chatted to the community members and shared stories and laughs, creating a space for social connection and inclusion. PUSK was a huge success and students fed more than 70 people from the local community who were in need of a hot meal. All money raised on the day was donated to the Give Where You Live Foundation to support feeding homeless people in the Geelong region. Feedback from staff and volunteers at the centre was extremely positive and they were very thankful for Sarah’s contribution.

Many of the students at the school come from backgrounds of trauma, often with accompanying mental health issues and challenging behaviours that make it difficult for them to focus on learning without intensive, adjusted support. Sarah helped to support some of the students suffering from anxiety to successfully re-engage in the events of the day, including one student who was having a particularly challenging day.

As part of the PUSK Project, Sarah learnt about planning, teamwork, organisational skills and giving back to the community. She learnt to creatively problem-solve and incorporate hands-on practical learning experiences. Sarah’s demonstration of giving back to the community and her sense of social justice within the program was exceptional.

Foundation Team Achievement

Dylan Charter, Jade Hillas, Andrija Prebanda and Brandon Stevenson

VCAL Provider – Narre Warren South P–12 College

The Foundation VCAL team (Dylan, Andrija, Jade and Brandon) wanted to run an activity as part of their Personal Development Project, and decided on a Year 10 Wellbeing Day in response to student interest and concerns. Students at the college come from a variety of cultural backgrounds and have many different needs, so student wellbeing is of paramount importance.

The four students invited the Wellbeing teachers to meet and discuss ideas, then ran a survey to establish what activities the Year 10s were interested in, with final ideas including guest speakers, yoga and sport. The survey results were used to create the Wellbeing Day program, in coordination with the Wellbeing teachers.

Once the program was finalised, the students worked with the Wellbeing teachers to book guest speakers, rooms and equipment; assisted with distributing and collating Year 10 student selections; and organised a barbecue lunch and ‘staff versus student’ matches.

The students developed a running sheet of the selected activities for the day, each nominating activities and jobs they would assist with. A range of workshops were developed, including Sparta, Growth Mindset, Drugs and Alcohol, and Stress Management. During a numeracy lesson, students discussed the finances of the day and worked out the budget costs for the workshops and student barbecue.

On the day, the roles undertaken by the students included:

  • acting as runners between the different home groups during activities
  • coordinating roll-marking for each session
  • informing staff of any changes in activity times or locations
  • retrieving equipment from storerooms
  • setting up and packing up, including the obstacle course and rooms for guest speakers
  • picking up the purchased goods for the barbecue
  • cooking, while fulfilling the requirements of safe food handling
  • distributing food to the Year 10 students
  • liaising between college administration staff, teachers, students and parents.

The VCAL students did an exceptional job of making the day run smoothly, working tirelessly and diligently as a team to ensure the aims of the project were met. They were inclusive and collaborated to deliver a program of exceptional quality, ensuring that Year 10 students had a memorable day. After the event was over the students developed a process for student feedback on how effective the day was.

The school is very proud of their efforts as this was a significant undertaking for the year level in addressing a very real issue for young people in the community.

Intermediate Outstanding Achievement

Madeline Pangrazio

VCAL Provider – Kyabram P–12 College

Madeline Pangrazio

Madeline Pangrazio

Maddy is a highly motivated and self-driven student, whose ambition is to become an electrician. When she began her VCAL Intermediate Certificate, she set herself high goals, which she managed to attain, in some areas surpassing the expectations of both herself and others.

Maddy is a highly motivated and self-driven student, whose ambition is to become an electrician. When she began her VCAL Intermediate certificate, she set herself challenging goals, which she managed to attain, in some areas surpassing the expectations of both herself and others.

Maddy completed her Intermediate Work Related Skills courses to a high standard, not only working on her own practical work and documentation, but also assisting others and helping to identify worksite occupational health and safety issues that others had neglected.

Her desire to become an electrician has seen her break down boundaries in a male-dominated industry within a rural community. After eventually finding an employer, she performed admirably in her work placement. Maddy also excelled in her VET Building and Construction course, where she learnt skills that she will be able to use in her career as an electrician.

Although Maddy has struggled with literacy in the past, she managed to complete her work in this area earlier than required and to a high standard, also completing a large amount of her Senior Literacy work for the following year, to allow her to finish earlier and have a better chance at gaining an apprenticeship. She also took on the challenge of completing VCE General Mathematics, working hard in her own time and with help from her teacher to ensure her success.

While excelling in her own projects, Maddy has also helped many others complete their work when she has seen they are struggling. She was a driving force in constructing and installing the stud walls and bookshelves for the Kyabram and Community Book Swap, a project initiated by a team of VCAL students. She also took the lead in planning and following through on stormwater plumbing, which captures water in the school from four large buildings. This enabled the revitalisation of a neglected part of the school, so that she can leave a lasting legacy for the college.

Over time, Maddy has developed empathy and patience with her peers, along with a really strong sense of leadership. This combination enables her to work well with others in teamwork situations and helps to bring out their best qualities. Maddy’s initiative and leadership set her apart from her peers and indicate a great future for her.

Caleb Rolph

VCAL Provider – St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre

Caleb Rolph

Caleb Rolph

Caleb has undergone a remarkable journey since he first joined St Joseph’s Flexible Learning Centre in 2017 as a 17-year-old. Having struggled with challenges in his learning and development that prevented him from engaging in a mainstream curriculum, he has applied himself with great energy and dedication to become a respected leader of the school, assisting students and staff, and organising several events.

Despite an initial lack of confidence in his literacy abilities, Caleb successfully completed all Literacy Learning Outcomes, and had some of his writing published in the School Yearbook. In 2019 he entered the ABC Heywire competition with a story on how surfing improved his mental health, which has since been published on the ABC website.

After successfully completing a VET Certificate II in Sport and Recreation, and a VET Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation, Caleb used his acquired skills and experience to volunteer as an assistant in the Outdoor Recreation classes. He helped younger students learn skills in snorkelling, bike-riding, bushwalking, outdoor cooking and surfing. He completed the Safe@Work unit, white card training and a first aid course to show his continuing commitment to working safely.

In Term 3, Caleb began a Structured Workplace Learning placement with the YMCA Anglesea Recreation Camp at where he demonstrated leadership, independence and commitment to his workplace, as well as being a strong team member. He has since been invited to apply for an Outdoor Recreation Traineeship at the camp. He has also taken on a casual position with Outside The Box Education running activity programs for children with disabilities.

As part of the Personal Development Skills Strand, Caleb organised a camp to Tasmania with other students in celebration of the life of a former classmate, who has since passed away. Caleb then used this experience to help plan, organise and run a successful VCAL road trip to Sydney and Canberra. On this camp he showed excellent leadership skills, supporting staff in maintaining campsites and helping other students, as well as being responsible for coordinating the packing and unpacking of gear at each stop.

Caleb then decided to organise an independent project, and single-handedly researched a safe go-kart program – a long-awaited wish of the student body. He prepared a budget, wrote a proposal for the principal, and planned and coordinated the trip for the student group.

Caleb’s current success is testament to his hard work and commitment to self-improvement.

Intermediate Team Achievement

Celeste Curcio, Sophie Foster and Scarlet Petti

VCAL Provider – Our Lady of Mercy College

Celeste Curcio, Sophie Foster and Scarlet Petti

Celeste Curcio, Sophie Foster and Scarlet Petti

Celeste, Sophie and Scarlet formed a team of three to tackle a project they named ‘Backyard Bell’, as part of a VCAL community partnership project. The project stemmed from a study on how best to help tackle homelessness in the local community.

The school became aware of the West Heidelberg Housing Project, where local houses earmarked for redevelopment are made available for families that have been homeless or lived in refuges. A team of local volunteers work on the houses, donating goods and renovating them to a secure standard.

The purpose of ‘Backyard Bell’ was to beautify the garden of one of the properties, which had become home to a sole parent and her young daughter. Their aim was to create a safe and attractive outdoor living space featuring plants, outdoor furniture, play equipment and a fairy garden for her daughter to play in.

The three students created an ideas board, before visiting the property and talking to the resident, to get a better idea of what she wanted. Their first impression of the backyard was a little daunting, as they realised the sheer amount of work it would take to make their dream of a creative and appealing space a reality.

After undertaking the massive task of weeding, they measured up and planned the garden. Working to a budget, the students sourced the plants and play equipment, sketched a plan, did all the measurements and calculations, and produced a formal written proposal for the works. The hard physical labour of creating the garden took place over three days, during which the three students transformed the backyard into a lovely living and playing space for the family to enjoy.

Through their involvement in this partnership, the three VCAL students demonstrated creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, persistence, communication skills, motivation, initiative and leadership. The girls embraced the opportunity to work as a team to plan and deliver a project for a specific cause, gaining a better awareness and understanding of issues that affect their local community.

Intermediate Work Related Skills

Jordan Fraser

VCAL Provider – Copperfield College

Jordan Fraser

Jordan Fraser

Jordan is an outstanding Year 11 VCAL student who has excelled in developing Work Related Skills to a high standard while completing Intermediate VCAL studies and meeting the demands of a first-year Head Start apprentice with Westside Cabinets. His excellent work ethic, industry knowledge and employability skills emerged over the course of the year in his workplace, at school and while studying a Certificate III Cabinet Making at Victoria Polytechnic. His exceptional qualities as a high achiever have already resulted in a Copperfield College Achievement Award for 2019.

Through his Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) and commencement of Head Start, Jordan demonstrated an exceptional ability to develop and exercise the full range of work-related skills (communication, teamwork, planning and organising, self-management and learning, problem-solving, initiative and enterprise) in a variety of contexts.

Jordan impressed his workmates by always arriving on time at 6.30am to join the team for a friendly chat and a ‘cuppa’ before their 7am start. He was highly motivated, organised and prepared for each day, never complaining if there was a late finish with on-site installations. He made sure he conscientiously followed safety protocols and procedures.

His employers were very impressed by his capacity to follow instructions and learn quickly on the job (only needing to be told once how to do something), his positive outlook and obvious pride at doing a job efficiently and to a high standard.

As a Head Start apprentice, Jordan has displayed a high level of self-management and self-belief skills. He manages a busy weekly timetable, combining his studies with football, basketball and a ‘get-it-done’ attitude. He confidently met all study requirements to a high standard despite missing one day a week of college to attend TAFE.

Jordan was able to adapt to a new learning environment with great confidence, doing whatever was necessary to pursue his dream of becoming a carpenter. At one point he had to change VET provider, from a school-based VET program delivered at Keilor Downs College, to attend Victoria Polytechnic’s Sunshine campus to complete a Certificate III in Cabinet Making. As a TAFE student, Jordan excelled in taking on a new and adult learning environment, showing aptitude for vocational learning, initiative and enterprise.

Jordan is a high-flying Head Start student.

Koorie Student Achievement

April Kille

VCAL Provider – Cranbourne East Secondary College

April Kille

April Kille

After beginning her senior secondary years studying for her VCE, April moved into VCAL for Year 12 as she felt this was the pathway that would best support her goal for a future career in early childhood education. April worked extremely hard to complete all her VCAL subjects to a high standard and always put 100% effort into everything she did. As well as ensuring her own success at school, April also supported her peers to achieve success. April played an integral role in several VCAL cross-curricular projects, including:

  • promoting Indigenous Culture on Harmony Day in 2019, when she organised and ran an Indigenous Cup Cake Decorating and Indigenous Art stall
  • making weekly visits to a local retirement village, where she interacted with residents in various activities she planned beforehand, creating a story of their life
  • being a member of the Year 12 Year Book Committee where she helped to create one of the best year books the school has seen, and the money raised from sales was donated to the family of one of the Year 12 VCAL students who was experiencing difficulties.

During the year, April participated in an in-school workshop with other Indigenous students, where they discussed their future careers and aspirations. This was run in conjunction with an external company and with Koorie students from two other secondary schools. April was instrumental in her contribution to discussions, offering useful insights and maintaining conversation flow. During break times, she chatted to younger Koorie students about their struggles with identity and culture in an honest and powerful way, displaying maturity and leadership qualities.

April overcame adversity through her sheer determination to achieve her goals. When her family moved to Wodonga in Term 3, April organised alternative living arrangements so she could continue at her school and successfully complete Year 12. As well as successfully completing all VCAL subjects while working through a dyslexia diagnosis, she also successfully completed a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at Chisholm Institute and is continuing with further studies, enrolling in a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care at Wodonga TAFE. As a positive role model, April has made a significant impact on her peers and teachers, and will be missed by the school community.

School-based Apprentice/Trainee

Kevin Tregoning

VCAL Provider – Essendon Keilor College

Kevin Tregoning

Kevin Tregoning

Kevin has had a life-long passion for motorcycles, working on them with his father from a young age while looking forward to the day when he could ride his own. He began studying a School-based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (SBAT) through Intermediate VCAL in 2018 as part of his goal to work in the motorcycle industry.

Kevin worked extremely hard at his VCAL studies, finishing all his work on time and meeting the subject outcomes. He also demonstrated leadership qualities by participating in all the hands-on activities, such as the VCAL gardening project.

To complete his training, Kevin had to manage a significant time commitment, attending college three days a week, then work placement for two days, and TAFE during the school holidays. While it was a challenge at first, he was able to successfully juggle his different commitments due to his determination and commitment.

At Kangan Institute, Kevin completed a Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology, demonstrating a strong level of commitment and dedication to his studies. Kevin completed work quickly, while paying attention to detail, and demonstrated competency in the practical components of the study. Demonstrating positive interpersonal skills, Kevin got along well with his fellow classmates and teachers. He was always keen to share his knowledge and help classmates if needed.

When Harley Heaven agreed to support Kevin’s SBAT and offered him a work placement, Kevin was ecstatic. He was enthusiastic at work and impressed his employer, who believes the pathway Kevin has chosen is the perfect fit for him.

Kevin’s personal attributes were noticed by Kangan Institute and he was nominated by his TAFE teacher for the Kangan Institute School-based Apprentice and Trainee of the Year Award, which he won.

Kevin’s conscientious and positive attitude to study and work has enabled him to successfully pursue his goals.

Senior Outstanding Achievement

Elaya Carbone

VCAL Provider – Monbulk College

Elaya Carbone

Elaya Carbone

After winning Intermediate Outstanding Achievement in 2019, Elaya has continued to demonstrate the outstanding qualities and depth of character that have set her apart from her peers.

Despite a busy schedule, Elaya ran school achievement ceremonies, sporting events and assemblies, conducted school tours and represented the college at local events and forums involving a student voice. Underpinning Elaya’s leadership is her inherent drive to do her best and help people along the way, as highlighted by her running of the Year 7 and 12 Buddy program, and her attendance and assistance in leading the Year 7 camp and student orientation days.

Elaya’s school experience with VCAL has extended beyond her own obligations as a Second Year Commercial Cookery SBAT, with her achievements and contributions to the Monbulk College community. As well as being chosen as school Vice-Captain, and being the first VCAL student to do so, Elaya was also nominated for and won the following accolades:

  • Academic Excellence VCAL awards for VCAL strands, both at mid-year and end of year
  • 2019 Monbulk College Leadership Award
  • 2019 Story Writing Award
  • OELLEN Most Outstanding VCAL Student for 2018
  • Caltex All Rounder Award, acknowledging a student who makes a meaningful difference in communities to improve the lives of all Australians.
  • Outside school, Elaya’s demonstration of involvement, dedication and consciousness to community is unrivalled. Her community footprint includes:
  • coordinating the local market stall, Bike ’n’ Blend Smoothie, to raise awareness of mental health
  • being involved in the ‘Level Up’ school holiday youth programs as a volunteer, planning and organising relevant and exciting events for the 50-plus participants, including cooking to feed the group of hungry students.

Elaya’s TAFE results continue to be outstanding and superior, and she has now become a full-time apprentice at Sky High. At TAFE, Elaya received the following awards in 2019:

  • 2019 Apprentice Award, The Savour Australia Awards for Excellence
  • Best Second Year Commercial Cookery Apprentice
  • atEAST Recognition Award
  • Best Overall Second Year Apprentice for 2019
  • Most Outstanding School Based Apprentice 2019, the first time a student has won this award in consecutive years.

Elaya makes the most of every opportunity available to her, offers her services to support major food events, and creates food dishes described as ‘innovative in design and delightful to taste’. Elaya has a promising future as a chef.

Jack Ramsay

VCAL Provider – Broadford Secondary College

Jack Ramsay

Jack Ramsay

Jack’s story represents the success of the VCAL program. In the early years of high school Jack became disengaged, believing that school was of little value to him. However, in Year 10 Jack’s work experience at a local bakery led him to rethink his life goals. He joined the VCAL program in Year 11, where his confidence began to grow as he was able to express himself appropriately, and his interactions became more positive.

After completing a barista course and food-safety certificate, Jack started the VCAL Café. He would arrive at school at 7.30 am to heat the coffee machine and set everything up for service. He designed order forms and trained up other VCAL students, managing the cafe for two years.

Jack was able to connect with a range of other students and staff. He took on the responsibility for organising and overseeing the school parent–teacher interview functions.

When Jack began Year 12 he decided to work with the local primary school to improve relationships and the transition to high school. He formed a small team of senior students, held meetings and developed a plan, which he then presented to the school’s principal. Within a short space of time, Jack single-handedly established a relationship with the school.

On several occasions Jack gave engaging presentations in front of the whole school, and also took tours of prospective parents and students at school open nights, sharing his knowledge and passion for his education. He was always positive and encouraging.

Jack also organised fundraising events for the VCAL crew, participating in the Big Winter Sleep Out. At the event, Jack was actively engaged and assisted with cooking the soup for the family meal before everyone slept on cardboard boxes for the night.

With an ambition to become a park ranger, Jack has enrolled in a Certificate IV in Parks and Gardens, working with Parks Victoria in a traineeship. He has become a mature young man, who loves a challenge, enjoys working as part of a team, displays outstanding leadership qualities and is an active member of the school community.

Through his VCAL program Jack has re-engaged with both his education and his community.

Senior Personal Development Skills

Kellie Wood

VCAL Provider – Lavalla Catholic College

Kellie Wood

Kellie Wood

Kellie set herself a major personal challenge in 2019. After her grandmother and uncle died from motor neurone disease (MND), she decided to raise awareness of this disease with a goal of fundraising at least $1000 for people with MND. To add to her challenge, Kellie also uses bilateral hearing aids, and experiences acute shyness when speaking in front of any audience, as well as a lack of confidence due to her hearing impairment.

When it came to the challenge, however, her passion for the cause took over and she eventually gained support from the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA). Kellie set up a fundraising webpage and began educating the school about the disease.

Kellie drew on her growing confidence to present not only once but on at least four separate occasions, initially to 80-plus VCAL students, as she sought to bring on board like-minded students to be part of her community team. Kellie then spoke in front of the whole school to ask for their support and engagement in a series of pop-up food stalls, asking students to purchase MND wristbands and cornflowers, and calling for volunteers to join her and her team in the Ice Bucket Challenge.

In each presentation, Kellie sensitively educated the school about the number of people who are affected by MND and the impact of the condition on their lives and that of their families and carers. She also spoke about how her own family had been affected by the disease.

Participants in the Ice Bucket Challenge were encouraged to acknowledge and remember dear friends and family who had died from MND. When Kellie participated in the challenge she removed her hearing aids with dignity and confidence, letting out an enthusiastic and heartfelt bellow when the bucket was tipped over, signifying the achievement of a magnificent goal.

A representative from MNDA came to the school to commend Kellie’s efforts in front of her Year 12 peers and staff. He acknowledged that she had raised the highest amount of any school group.

At her graduation evening Kellie received the Rotary Club of Traralgon Monsignor O’Mara Award for her outstanding commitment to studies over the year, marking a fitting end to an outstanding year for her.

Senior Team Achievement

Brittney Garvey, Hayley Irwin, Tommy Soeun and Jett Walter

VCAL Provider – Cranbourne East Secondary College

As part of Personal Development Skills (PDS), students of Cranbourne East Secondary College were visited by the Centre Against Sexual Assault to learn about the extent of family violence in the City of Casey. Following a classroom discussion, a group of four students – Brittney, Hayley, Tommy and Jett – decided that they would like to raise awareness and money for the cause, and so embarked on a plan to create a suitable project.

The students worked tirelessly as a team for more than 10 weeks, coming up with ideas to hold a fun run, a barbecue and various other awareness-raising events within the school and community. Teams were organised to deal with each aspect of the project.

The six-hour fun run involved a mixture of students and teachers running in three groups of five members each. The rules stated that the team would start running at 9am and keep going until the end of the last period, with a member of each team moving at all times. The groups raised more than $800 worth of sponsorship, which drew the attention of students across the school and the local media. Collectively the three groups ran approximately 250 km for the day.

In addition, the students organised a barbecue, and sold white ribbons made by students and white chocolate frogs. Students researched and created posters for display. During a whole-school assembly the four team members spoke about their fundraising efforts, the fun run and the issues of family violence faced by the local community, highlighting statistics and concerns.

The four students worked together effectively as a team and exhibited strong leadership skills. They also learnt about resilience and the importance of not giving up in the face of adversity. As one student advised a very tired and weary team during the run, ‘We can’t give up. For many people in family violence situations, giving up is not a choice.’

The students won the Senior Teamwork project at the annual Community of Practice Awards for the City of Casey. Jett also won the school RSL Community Spirit award for his involvement in this and other community projects.

The project will now continue as an annual fundraiser and awareness-raising campaign for the school.

Senior Work Related Skills

Courtney Waugh

VCAL Provider – Saint Ignatius College Geelong

Courtney Waugh

Courtney Waugh

Courtney has a passion for furniture design, along with a sharp eye for detail and marketability, which she put to great use when completing the Work Related Skills (WRS) Strand of her senior VCAL program.

One area of focus in Courtney’s WRS Strand was to create a small business enterprise. As a VET student completing a Certificate in Furniture Making Pathways, Courtney decided to create a furniture-design business called Evergreen Furniture Creations. After initial market research and analysis, Courtney created a Shark Tank–style pitch for her custom wooden pet-feeding stands. The ‘Sharks’ clearly believed in the value and potential of her product; Courtney was granted a $50 business loan to start production.

Courtney made sure she was compliant with occupational health and safety, creating policies and procedures before she started production, including relevant hazard analysis and job safety analyses. Her drawings, business plan and marketing material were all completed to an excellent standard, while the final product was of a high quality and featured a unique design. At her business launch, held at school, she took orders from staff and worked hard to deliver a high-end product.

Using her time management skills, Courtney completed her work accurately and on time, while giving herself time to plan and project her business future. She also created a creative, informative and highly detailed VET display as part of the unit. Students were visually engaged by the detail and variety of works on offer.

As a part of the WRS curriculum, students investigated local organisations, including not-for-profit organisations; Courtney demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of innovation and business enterprise.

Courtney undertook Structured Work Place learning at Bespoke Furniture, where she demonstrated her dedication and attention to detail. She was commended by the company on her high personal standards and patience, which ensured that jobs were completed to a high standard.

Overall, Courtney has had a highly successful year and is now focusing on growing her business Evergreen Furniture Creations, which has become the focus of her attention upon leaving school. There is no doubt that the skills she has developed through the VCAL program will hold her in good stead for her future.