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University Open Days Tips for Years 9 -12 students

In years 9 – 12? Go to uni open days

University open days are starting in March this year. 

Curtin University 3 April 2022

ECU South West 27 March

ECU Joondalup 10 April

ECU Mt Lawley including WAAPA 1 May   

Murdoch 19 March 2022

UWA 27 March

Going to a uni open day is like going to a show. There are food vans, exhibitions and demonstrations and interesting people to meet, who WANT to convince you that their course is fantastic.

Curtin University Open Day

Check out the Worksheets at the bottom of this post.

Year 9 Tips

Start learning about life at university in Year 9. Check out the food vans. Listen to the music. Go into buildings and see the latest tech tools, computer games and research. See what workshops are on. Find the library, the shops and the toilets.

Year 10 Tips

Explore and Experience Try stuff. There will be people inviting you to engage with practical experiences in their subject. It could be VR. It could be checking out the latest medical research, making a short movie using their studio. All faculties will have practical experiences for you to engage with.  Do it now.

Year 11 Tips

Get an authentic experience. Engage with current students. Build on what you have learned in years 9 and 10 visits by asking questions of both students, academics and staff.  Check out presentations and exhibitions to see what you will gain most from and register for them, or just make a schedule of where to be and at what time.

Year 12 Tips

This is it. You need to be able to build from your other Open Day experiences. You will know what faculties to visit, and you will have a range of questions to ask. By now you should have narrowed down your options and you will be able to ask specific questions about subjects, industry engagement opportunities, mentors, support programs etc. You will know which presentations and demonstrations you need to revisit.


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Get on track for uni in WA for 2023

Get on track for uni in WA 2023 is designed for parents of Year 12s so that they can help their kids to get into the right course, at the right uni, and make a smooth transition from school.

It is divided into 5 clear steps:

Step 1: Making the right career choice

Step 2: Which uni is best for you?

Step 3: How to apply to university

Step 4: Money Matters

Step 5: Give yourself every chance to succeed


  • A poster of Senior School Language
  • A Year Planner with a month by month To Do List
  • Tables of easy to read information with links to the right website for more details
  • Appendices of more information.

Get on track to uni in WA 2023 is designed to support you through you path to the right course in the right university in 2023.

You can get a copy HERE.  

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Senior School Language and High School Language career infographics for 2022

Senior School Language 

Not understanding what people are talking about as you make the leap from Year 10 to Year 11 may cause you some anxiety. 


Download this Senior School Language chart to help you to understand what is going on.










Understanding High School Words

Parents and Year 7 students may stumble over high school language.

This simple infographic captures some of the key abbreviations that will help you to Understand High School Language.

You can download it HERE. 

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Do you want to study medicine in WA?

Medicine student

In Western Australia, three universities offer medical degrees.

Post Graduate Medicine at UWA and Notre Dame

The University of WA and University of Notre Dame offer postgraduate medicine. You have to do one degree and get outstanding results in order to qualify to apply.

The advantage of postgraduate medicine is that you have two degrees, and these can enhance your career prospects. For example, if you studied pharmacy or physiotherapy before undertaking medicine, you would have additional skills and knowledge when both studying medicine, and later when practicing medicine. With the huge competition for places for medicine, it’s critical to think about your first degree being an area you would want to pursue. For example, if you were genuinely interested in pharmacy or physiotherapy, and did not gain entry to medicine, you’d have a career path that you were already qualified and interested in.

To be competitive for postgraduate medicine, you need to choose an undergraduate degree where you can achieve top grades. Most postgraduate medical programs list the ‘grade point average’ (GPA) you need for entry. For example, UNDA requires an overall GPA of 5.4 or higher. Postgraduate entrants come from a broad range of discipline areas, not just science-based programs.Medicine studentUndergraduate Medicine at Curtin

Curtin is the only uni in Western Australia to offer undergraduate medicine. You apply to go into Curtin medicine straight from school. 

Both post graduate or undergraduate pathways have additional testing and interview processes to narrow down the field to those who are accepted as outstanding candidates. Getting into medicine is competitive, in 2022 Curtin had 2700 applicants for 100 places. 

In Australia, most applicants for medicine apply across the country to attempt to gain a place, often relocating to undertake their studies.

There are significant cost advantages to an undergraduate entry to medicine. You finish your degree in five years, and have a student debt for five years (not 7 or 8 years). Overall, that cost difference is in the vicinity of $20000 (5 years vs 7 years). You are also working two years earlier, so have an income sooner.

Find out more about medicine at UWA HERE.

Find out more about medicine at Notre Dame HERE. 

Find out more about medicine at Curtin HERE

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Keep up to date with emerging career opportunities in Western Australia.

Subscribe to In Focus Careers News and share the information across your school community. 

Cover of February 2022


The annual subscription rate for an organisation in 2022 is $299.

Individual subscribers are welcomes at a significantly reduced rate. 

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Is that all there is? The changing world of work.

Is this all there is? Case Studies

There was a profound shift in our work life in WA in 2021. Relationships with our family and colleagues have reframed how we work.

Career Teachers Lead the Change

Towards the end of 2021 I became aware that 11 outstanding, knowledgeable, long term career educators were resigning. The loss of their intellectual capital and tacit knowledge will include the collapse of a rich repository of networks that have supported kids to overcome barriers and find their pathway to where they belong as they leave school.

The overwhelming reason for leaving that I heard, was that their knowledge, experience and expertise was not being valued.

They decided to walk.

They will take their knowledge, wisdom and networks with them.

Tradies Make the Change

I have a relative who has been a leading painting and decorator in Western Australia. The challenge of chasing payments has lead to him winding up his business and taking a job as an employee driving trucks. His boss loves having an employee who understands the complexities of running a business. He is well paid and valued.

I heard of a 38 year old guy who had his own ceiling fixing business. His body was already starting to struggle with the physical challenges of his work. He is now working as a personal care assistant in a regional hospital. He loves his regular pay, sick leave and long service leave entitlements.

Health Care Workers

Money is having a variable influence in career decisions.

I heard of a nurse in the Gascoyne who was burnt out from the pressure of working at a regional hospital. She is driving a truck on a mine site where she is part of a team and earning more.

My Mum has aged care workers who come each day from Silver Chain. One of them told me she left nursing to do aged care work as it is less stressful and she is appreciated more in this line of work. She is earning less than she did as a nurse.

I was at a birthday party recently where a former teacher told me he had moved to work in National Disability Services. He said he had some discretion about who his clients are and he gets to work with people who he gets along with and who appreciated his efforts. He is earning less than he did as a teacher.

What is the takeaway? 

As a feminist in the 80’s I knew that the arrival of a baby in a home was expected to have no impact on the lives of fathers who were in the workforce.  Whereas, changes in the workplace would be made with no consideration of the family responsibilities of workers.

“Work – Life Balance” was chanted in an effort to get people to value their “Life” as much as they did their “Work” as if these were two different things.

The pendulum is swinging back to a more holistic approach. We have seen moves to address some shocking workplace practices, particularly in horticulture. Sexual harassment is being addressed to make mine sites safe for women. Employers asking “How was your weekend” has become a game changing consideration when measuring quality of work environments, particularly for young people.

My Ideal

My ideal workplace would be a place where we belong to a community who value our contribution.  The arrival of a baby would be celebrated and supported. Demarcation between home and work would become blurred with family being valued by the workplace.

My hope for 2022 is that workplaces continue to be reframed to become places where people are supported to grow into who they can be.

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Furniture Trade Taster for West Australian Year 9 Students

The first Furnishings Trade Taster program is complete!

13 Balcatta Senior High School year 9 students attended four days of a new Furnishings Trade Taster.

This program aims to increase awareness of careers in the furnishing sector and to promote apprenticeships and training.

It was coordinated by the Food Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council in partnership with:


The project included two days at TAFE learning the cabinet making, and furniture finishing trades. Students also spent one day earning their White Card.

On the fourth day, the students met with employers including:

Lounge Innovation

Lounge Innovation – West Australian furniture makers


Jamel Industries


Artifex Australia

Styleside Cabinets

Construction Training Fund

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Construction Futures Centre – Belmont

Students were also taken through self awareness activities and spoke about how their school performance relates to career opportunities. All 13 students completed the project.

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Balcatta High School Students

If you would like to find out more about Furnishings Trade Taster programs contact at the Food Fibre and Timber Industries Training Council.

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Evangelist for insanely great careers education in Western Australia



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Gap Year Ideas for 2022

West Australians school leavers are checking out their options before they make long term plans. You may have read the Year 12 Gap Year Ideas and Tips for 2022.

Omio has sent me a link to their Gap Year Guides which delivers great resources to prepare for a Gap Year

The guide contains detailed information on:

  • The benefits of taking a gap year
  • How to organize a gap year step by step (e.g., accommodation, transportation, entry requirements & travel restrictions)
  • Itinerary suggestions and tips for traveling in Europe on a budget
  • Volunteering in Europe (10 suggestions)
  • How to successfully find and apply for an internship in Europe

You can find all the articles here:

Good luck with your plans for 2022.

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Evangelist for insanely great careers education in Western Australia
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Leaving Year 12, free at last

Year 12, free at last

School leavers, you are diving into a magical, wonderful, scary world where you have the freedom to make big decisions that will change your life.

As the rest of your life stretches out ahead of you with no one telling you what to do, be gentle on yourself, no doubt, things will turn out okay.


Listen to your dreams, they know the way

Trusting yourself after all those years being guided through school, takes self-confidence. It is easier to rush around, fill your time, play computer games and give yourself “shoulds”.

You should do more around the house. You should visit your grandmother. You should get fit.

Your dreams will have whispered the way to go, but they are difficult to hear amid your fears, busyness and noise from others telling you what to do.

Give yourself space to hear your dreams.

Three pathways. One choice…. for now

As you leave school, there are really only three pathways to choose from:

  1. Uni: You can go to uni. Most of you who do not have an apprenticeship or traineeship will go to uni.  See Is the uni bus right for you?
  2. VET: You can get an apprenticeship of traineeship or enrol in a technical skills course at a college. Check some possible technical courses here.
  3. Gap Year: Your gap year can be the most exciting choice. You may come to understand your authentic self with no one telling you what to do all the time. See Gap Year Ideas.

Check practical suggestions at What Happens when I leave year 12.

Stand on the shoulders of giants

This is the first time you have left school. Mentors and career counsellors have helped many school leavers who have gone before you.

Find a wise person and talk with them about your choices. Make it someone who has time for you. Unearthing your authentic self will take time. Find mentor suggestions HERE.

Talk with them. Think about your discussions. Write in a journal. Go for walks.

Finding your authentic self is a life journey. You will start down lots of paths and changing direction isn’t easy.

Nurture your strengths and when you find good paths, build your resilience for the tough times, which will surely come. See What Matters to You? the resilience project.

Have a wonderful time finding the best possible you.

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Bullies 0 v Wheatbelt 10: What workers value in the new world

Bullying at Work

If you are being bullied, overlooked or discounted at work in Western Australia, you are probably looking for a new job where you will be valued.

Employers who treat their workers poorly, are losing them to better employers. In the USA it has been called The Great Resignation, and it’s happening in Western Australia.

The Value of Being Valued

Western Australian grains industry | Agriculture and Food
West Australian Wheatbelt

As worker shortages in WA are at critical levels, wheatbelt employers hope they have an edge by showing how much they value their workers.

Wheatbelt employers are part of the community. If they treated workers badly, the word would spread like wildfire.

Hutton and Northey Story

Hutton and Northey is an Agricultural Machinery Dealership with outlets across the wheatbelt which employ 65 staff.

Their critical edge in attracting workers is that they value their employees.

  • It employs apprentices and trainees and provides continuous training to employees so that they maintain their expertise.
  • They have been operating for 45 years and have one employee who has been employed for 33 years and another for 28 years, many have been there for 15 years.  
Hutton and Northey Agriculture Machinery

Workers stay because:

  • they are being treated as humans, not just workers
  • they are keen to engage with industry innovation and technological development
  • they can participate in agricultural research projects
  • they deliver expert advice and
  • they take part in and coach sports teams and engage with the whole community.

It isn’t just about money

Hutton and Northey is one of the many businesses trying to attract new workers against a background of the mining industry attracting workers by offering big dollars.

By valuing workers Hutton and Northey is attracting and retaining workers who don’t want to leave home for a tough FIFO life in mining camps.

Check out jobs in the wheatbelt

Being treated badly in the workplace, and not having anyone listen to you, is driving workers to jobs where they are a valued part of the community.

If you are looking for a lifestyle and workplace where you are treated like a human, not just a worker, contact Hutton and Northey for information about their career opportunities.

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These university accommodation scholarships could help you in 2022

Staying in uni accommodation on campus is brilliant. You meet new people. There are mentors to tell you what to expect. There are tutors and counsellors and you don’t have to fight for parking on campus or catch a bus.

It minimises….

the daily hassles of cooking and cleaning, allowing you to have the best university experience possible. (St George’s)

It costs $350+ per week to stay at university accommodation. These scholarships will make uni accommodation more affordable.

Regional Scholarships

The cost of travel and living in the city stop students from the country going to university. This isn’t news. There is lots of financial support available to help overcome this problem. Check out the financial support listed here.

Relocation Scholarships

The Commonwealth government supports students who need to relocate to undertake further study. Find more information HERE

Country Education Foundation

Country Education Foundation (CEF) helps rural and regional youth access education, training and jobs through grants, scholarships, support services and resources.

You can find it’s Scholarship Guide HERE.


Curtin Regional Accommodation Scholarships 

The purpose of this scholarship is to support regional students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who are experiencing financial hardship and have contributed to their local community. 

Check the Curtin Alumni Regional Scholarship HERE. Closing Date: 26 Nov 2021

Curtin Harry Perkins Memorial Scholarship 

For students who need to relocate from a regional or remote area to commence an undergraduate degree at Curtin University, who are from a low socioeconomic background and are experiencing financial hardship. Find more at  Harry Perkins Memorial Scholarship.

UWA Regional Accommodation Scholarships

The Convocation of UWA Graduates and The University of Western Australia (‘the University’) are providing a scholarship to assist an eligible regional or remote student with the cost of accommodation at University Hall or other college affiliated with the University.

Find more at Convocation Accommodation Scholarship.

UWA has a range of scholarships. Check them out HERE.

UWA Harry Leaver Scholarship

The UWA Harry Leaver Scholarship assists eligible regional or remote students, preferably from Moora or the Mid West region, with the cost of accommodation while they commence and pursue a Bachelor of Science at UWA.

The UWA Harry Leaver Scholarship provides $15,000 per annum to support accommodation fees at University Hall, and is administered and awarded by the University of Western Australia

ECU Regional Accommodation Scholarships

ECU provide scholarships which have been established specifically to assist students who normally live in a rural, regional or remote area of Western Australia, or in some cases Australia wide, who are having to relocate in order to study at University.

These include the following scholarships for undergraduate students:

You can visit ECU Scholarships to find information on opening and closing dates, or to search for other available scholarships.

Murdoch Regional Accommodation Scholarships

High achieving regional students are encouraged to apply for a scholarship that will help them with their living costs when they move to the city to study at Murdoch University.

The George Alexander Foundation (GAF) is offering six scholarships to the value of $24,000 which successful applicants can use towards the cost of their living and accommodation expenses while in Perth.

Notre Dame University Accommodation Broome

Notre Dame has limited accommodation support for any students wanting to study nursing in Broome.

Find out more HERE.

I will research all accommodation scholarships at West Australian universities and write them up in a separate post.

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