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Are creative career pathways a passport to poverty? No Way. Check out these Digital Creative Arts VET courses

Are creative career pathways worth following? STEM careers are all we hear of.

Do not dispair. Creative thinking, social influence, flexibility and agility are all up there in the World Economic Forum Top 10 Skills.World Economic Forum Future of Jobs report

Since 2015 the World Economic Forum  has analysed a significant shift from a focus on:

  • Complex Problem Solving ,

  • Critical Thinking and

  • Quality Control

to a 2027 predicted focus on:

  • Creative thinking,

  • Leadership and social influence and

  • Resilience, flexibility and agility. 

It seems as if there is an emerging trend towards more human skills in the workplace. 

Christopher Rodwell from Barking Gecko Theatre  recently wrote on LinkedIn  that 

 …. the world’s most vibrant cities have arts at their core…and the only way you can achieve that connection with the arts is through introduction at a young age.

He reported that performing arts lead to:

  • 50% improvement in capacity to improvise/sustain creative scenarios (ie problem solving and innovation)

  • 55% expansion in perspectives and interpersonal skills (ie strengthening teamwork skills)

  • 10% increase in hope for the future after one year (ie their perspective on likelihood of performing well at school or graduating)

You can read Christopher Rodwell’s post HERE. 

I began my full time career as an English teacher. My love of creative arts has enriched my life and helped me throughout my working life. I am starting a campaign to celebrate creative arts careers. 

I am collating creative industries opportunities into a poster of career blocks like the 16 Mind Maps for Career Advisors16 Mind Maps for West Australian Career Advisors

One of the Mind Maps will identifiy Digital Creative Arts VET courses.

You can find the Mind Map HERE.

The Mind Maps can be updated so please let me know of any opportunities that I haven’t captured. 

Subscribe to In Focus Careers News to discover career opportunities for West Australian students.

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Give yourself every chance to succeed – ATAR Revision Programs for Senior Students

 Most senior students undertake some form of extra revision during the holidays to give themselves every chance to succeed.

ATAR is still important

Final ATAR results are still important as:

  • final offers are made on actual rather than estimated ATAR results. 

  • courses with lots of applicants for limited places will offer those places to the students with the highest ATAR scores. 

  • academic scholarships are usually based on ATAR results. 

Many schools offer revision programs

  • Your school newsletter will identify revision programs or additional support that your school will be offering. 

  • You can often find semi retired teachers, who have been expert advisors on exam content and style, who are available as tutors. Ask at your front office if they have a list of available tutors. 

  • Some of the best programs are offered by subject specialists who advise on the style and subjects of the exams. Ask your specialist ATAR teachers if there will be an ATAR Exam Information session on their subject.

Private Providers

Several organisations specialise in tutoring students in preparation for ATAR, OLNA or NAPLAN exams.


ECU has run ATAR revision programs in the past. You can find the 2023 program here. 

Academic Task Force    Academic Group     Academic Associates

Academic Task Force Holiday Revision Courses are designed specifically for students looking to revise ATAR course content and practice exam-style questions in preparation for exams.

Students will increase their understanding, receive fresh insights and gain intensive revision of their subject during this short course. Each subject is taught by a  highly qualified and vaccinated ATAR teacher with a strong background in marking and writing exams to increase their performance.

  • Rossmoyne Senior High School 

  • Churchlands Senior High School 

  • Duncraig Senior High School 

  • Perth Modern School

  • Online 

Enrol HERE.


Master Classes are one hour sessions conducted once a week in term time. Each week they reteach, revise and reinforce the topics and areas of study that the students are dealing with in their classes at school.

Masterclasses offer students

  •  Ongoing academic support

  • More confidence at school

  • A better chance of success in assessments

  • Individualised help solving specific problems

  • Small group classes

Find programs for students from Years 7 – 12  HERE.


ReviseOnline offers specifically designed multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions in a range of Year 11 and 12 courses which match the format of ATAR exams.

Once you submit a completed test or exam you’re provided with ATAR-standard sample responses and can evaluate your answers against a fully-worked marking key. All our courses are up to date and WACE specific, so each question you complete is improving your exam skills and ultimately boosting your ATAR!

Check out the courses HERE.

The Exam Experts

Nailing the ATAR and getting the results you are hoping for isn’t necessarily about being the smartest kid in the class. It’s about being well-prepared, knowing what to focus on and understanding what questions are most likely to come up in the exams and how to answer them.

With the help of T.E.E. Consultants’ July holiday intensive exam revision program, Year 12 students can access ten hours of additional teaching per subject, to truly understand the course curriculum and perform better in exam conditions.

Students are invited to enrol in up to five subjects in Week One of the July holiday period. Country students can access heavily discounted, full board accommodation packages which offer safe, secure, supervised accommodation on-site for regional students who enrol in at least three subjects.

Courses are run at UWA and at Murdoch.

Check their programs HERE.


At inTuition, each student undertakes an assessment and programs are customised to meet their needs. Tutors are qualified teachers or experts in their fields.

The office is based in Osborne Park

You can find their programs HERE.

To keep up to date with news for West Australian school students, subscribe to In Focus Careers Monthly News

Email for details.

Save Time Get Better Results with Study Coach

Evangelist for insanely great careers education in Western Australia
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16 Mind Maps for West Australian Career Advisors

16 Mind Maps for West Australian Career Advisors

For some time I have been concerned that I overwhelm people with the amount of information I’m sending out. I have collated information into handbooks, made career events calendars and made Coggle mind maps in an effort to make the information more user friendly.  

A couple of weeks ago Dr Kathleen Franklyn from the Jobs and Skills Centres posted a UK banner on LinkedIn. The banner was of 16 ways to discover your future. 

I took that idea and created 16 categories of information that subscribers to my newsletter find most useful.

Behind each category I have created Coggle mind maps of websites, tools and information that provide a ready reference for West Australian career advisors. 

The resulting poster is one of the best resources I have put together. It gathers masses of information into categories. Users can click on a category and be linked through to a mind map of websites and tools that are useful to West Australians. 

16 Mind Maps for West Australian Career Advisors

I use the Coggle mind mapping tool because:

  • you don’t have to subscribe to use the information

  • I find it easy to update the maps

Each Coggle Map looks like this one that shows Green Volunteering opportunities that I posted last year. 

Green volunteering mind map

If you would like a copy of this poster, they are available HERE. 

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These university accommodation scholarships could help you in 2024

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 costs over $20,000 to stay in university accommodation. See sample fees and charges HERE.

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

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.

Check out these scholarships.

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.

Sign up to Infocus Careers News to keep up to date with West Australian career opportunities

Evangelist for insanely great careers education in Western Australia





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Career Quizzes to help you to find where you belong

Career Quizzes

Career quizzes are a great ideas starter. 

They do not tell you that you should take up tap dancing immediately but the ideas you get will lead you into conversations with your family and friends that could spark curiosity in some careers.

These career quizzes are a sample of career quizzes that you can use as a starting point for your career conversations.

Check some out 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. 

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Planning a gap year? Don’t “waste” your time. Here are 3 gap year stories to inspire your thinking

Once you step off the education treadmill, you will have time to look around and check out the world. 

Here are 3 gap year stories to give you some ideas.

Story 1: Equestrian Centre in the South of France


Ariel finished school with an ATAR of 93. She didn’t know what she wanted to do although she generally liked sciences rather than arts.

When she was in Year 10 Ariel went on a holiday to Spain and France with her mother. She loved travelling and discovering other countries.

While she was at school Ariel made money by babysitting. She had done babysitting for a family of doctors since she was in Year 10. She used the money she made to support her equestrian hobby.

The Plan

Ariel decided that she would take a gap year. Work for 6 months to save money to travel to France where she would work as a nanny. 

What Happened

She signed on to a couple of French sites, like Seek, searching for jobs as a nanny. She got her babysitting employers to write her a reference. While she was searching she found an advertisement for a job working at an equestrian centre in the South of France.

She applied for the job and got it.

She travelled to France and worked for 6 months, earning very little, but learning French, working with horses and seeing lots of the country. 

After 6 months she came back and is currently studying paramedicine.

Story 2: Volunteering Abroad


Chloe studied Certificate II in Hospitality while at school and worked part-time in cafes.

She comes from a migrant background and is interested in other cultures and the struggles that people go through in other countries.

The Plan

Chloe wanted to volunteer abroad. She contacted a couple of the organisations that organise young volunteers abroad and found out what sort of experience she needed and what sort of work she could do. 

Chloe worked several jobs in coffee shops and cafes in the months after she left school and attended meetings to find out more about volunteering requirements and opportunities. 

What Happened

Chloe applied for several opportunities in Africa and Cambodia. After a few months, she was offered a 6-month position working in an orphanage in Tanzania.  

She paid for her own airfare but her accommodation and meals were paid for. 

Meeting the orphans and working with them was fantastic. The workers at the orphanage were friendly and helpful.

Chloe had a single room in a  share house with other volunteers. Her work was mainly caring for children aged 4 – 7 years and cleaning and cooking. She had to walk 3 kilometres to work and back each day and it was hot. The mosquitoes were plentiful. 

During her 6 months, Chloe made friends with other volunteers from the USA. She learned how tough and corrupt life can be for some children. She also got to visit Serengeti National Park on the way home. 

Chloe is now buying a share in a cafe that she is managing.

Story 3: Fashion Design in New York


Georgia finished school with an ATAR of 73. She is very stylish and spent much of her childhood living in a resort that her parents managed.

Georgia has a keen interest in fashion and considered specialising in Fashion Design at Curtin University where some of her friends had enrolled in different courses. 

The Plan

Georgia saw a career advisor and then began working on a plan to work for a family friend in a resort for 6 months, before going to New York to do a 6-week fashion and design course.

The cost of doing the course and of living in New York was prohibitive so Georgia got in touch with the College and they were able to arrange for her to share accommodation with some other students.

What Happened

Georgia got in touch with the students she was to share with and found out who they were and where they lived. She arranged to rent a room in their accommodation. 

She borrowed money from her mother as a safety net, then flew to New York a week before the course started. 

The course was fantastic. New York was fantastic.

She met people she could never have met in Australia and learned about the New York fashion industry. She also learned practical design skills and about marketing in the fashion industry.

She had a brilliant time. 

Chloe returned to Australia and began working in a holiday resort again to pay back the money she borrowed from her mother.

She has completed a Diploma in Hospitality and has credits to do a Hospitality Degree. 


Teachers who want to help West Australian students to discover career opportunities need In Focus Careers News

My quest is to democratize career opportunities in Western Australia by broadcasting opportunities and advice to all who will listen. You can tap into my work. 

To subscribe email me: 

Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers

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It’s Career Expo Time – Don’t sign anything! 3 tips for the Career Expo

Tip 1: Don’t sign ANYTHING

Many visitors sign up for thousands of dollars worth of training based on a noisy 5 minute discussion in the crowded Convention Centre.

The Careers Expo is great fun. There are lots of giveaways. There are glossy brochures and high-tech displays.

People on the stands are friendly and helpful.

Of course they are!

You aren’t going to buy something from someone grumpy. 

The biggest, most professional-looking displays, closest to the entry, with the loud music and happy staff, are investing a lot to get you to sign up for their products.

Tip 2:

Don’t wait until you get to the Expo.  Find the exhibitors on the Expo Page before you go.

If you are interested in having a Gap Year check out which exhibitors will have information that will interest you.

If you are interested in Trades, check out the ones that will be of most interest.

Make the decision about which ones to visit and what you want to know. 

You could also ask….

  • How much will it cost?

  • How long the course will take.

  • What are the entry requirements.

  • How long it takes their graduates to get a job in the industry?

  • What sort of work do graduates get?

Tip 3 See your career advisor after the expo

If you don’t know a career advisor, go to a Jobs and Skills Centre and talk with them or make an appointment with a uni-based career practitioner. It’s FREE. The Jobs and Skills Centres are usually based in TAFE colleges, they also have information about unis.

Each month In Focus Careers News helps West Australian teachers to guide their students towards career opportunities. You can subscribe HERE.

Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers

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If these are the 25 Jobs on the Rise in 2023, how to you get these jobs?

The LinkedIn 2023 Jobs on the Rise report shows the jobs with the highest growth.

As many of these jobs are new, I wondered how you would get into them. I’ve done a quick summary of pathways to each job.

In many cases I recommend starting with a VET course, to find out more about how the industry is changing, before moving on to specialising through higher studies. 

  • Eleven of the jobs require significant IT skills. 

  • If you are interested in IT, get started in TAFE with a certificate and find what part of IT you like. Then go to uni using your VET credits to study the course that best suits your interests. 

  • There are substantial subsidies for VET courses making courses free or low-cost. You can use the money you would pay on uni fees to buy a car.

LinkedIn Jobs on the Rise in 2023

How to get started on the road to this job

1.     Technical Program Manager

Check out different courses in IT and IT Systems at your closest TAFE or uni. You can gather “manager” skills through different jobs and further study. 

2.     Clinical Exercise Physiologist 

The Health Industry is our fastest growing industry. Check Clinical Physiologist on MyFuture for information about jobs and qualifications. Check out health industry courses at your local TAFE college or university. 

3.     Site Reliability Engineer

You need qualifications in IT Systems and you need to grow your knowledge of risk and project management. All of these can be learned through VET courses which lead to degrees.

4.     Sales Development Representative

There are a range of degrees emerging that develop innovation, entrepreneurship and business skills as a combined degree.

This role will require industry specific knowledge. Whether you are selling iron ore or pharmaceuticals, you will need to know about your industry in order to identify development opportunities.

Interpersonal skills, negotiation and communication skills will be an advantage. It will also help to be nice. People want to buy stuff from people they like.

5.     Platform Engineer

To engineer a platform, you need IT skills and you also need to understand the intended purpose of the platform.

If you are maintaining and improving an existing platform you need to have the concentration of a saint and brilliant analytical skills.

6.     Growth Specialist

Creativity combined with solid knowledge of how to engage social media for a particular audience will important in this role.

Because social media is changing so quickly, you could start with a VET certificate or diploma in marketing then increase your qualifications through uni or  short courses as you start to specialize your skills.

7.     Claims Adjuster

As insurance claims surge due to climate change, the demand for claims adjusters will grow. This is a well-paid job that you can start working towards with a VET qualification in Financial Services and Banking.

8.     Machine Learning Engineer

As artificial intelligence becomes more embedded in machines, machine learning engineers will be responsible for designing systems and processes that make predictions.

Knowledge of IT is required so that the Engineer can communicate across IT and sales teams to create predictive tools.

9.     Sustainability Manager

A job for environmentalists, agricultural and forestry scientists, aquaculture farmers and electricians. Anyone who is responsible for managing the sustainability of the planet.

You can start with a VET qualification in agriculture, or land management and specialise in areas like regenerative agriculture.

Electricians have a great future as sustainable energy is used to power our lives. 

10.  Enterprise Account Executive

If you are responsible for the accounts of an enterprise, you need to have a strong business and financial services background.

You could start with a VET business degree but most people in this position have at least one university degree.

11.  Cyber Security Analyst

Start with a VET course in cyber security. Learn the basics at a college then move on to an area you are interested in and specialise in that. You can be making good money as you get a degree specializing in a field of interest. All arms of the defence forces and well equipped with cyber security experts who are among the best in their field.  

12.  Crime Analyst

You are more likely to be chasing a money launderer than a robber of your local bank.

Casinos are hot spots for money laundering. Then there are always those who are trying get-rich-quick schemes.

Law and criminology courses would be the gateway to this career.

You could also go into the police force and take opportunities for further study and promotion.

13.  Data Engineer

In a world where data is king, Data Engineers will be the rulers.

Start off with an IT course. You can start by doing a VET course where you will find out more about the industry, then specialize in a field that will lead you to engineering data to improve systems and user experiences.

14.  Job Coach

This job is associated with Human Resource Management.

There are a million gurus on the internet who have years of experience in business management and move on to Job Coaching. A degree in business, finance, human resource management or career management would be the entry point for this job.

15.  Cloud Engineer

I think Cloud Engineer and Platform Engineer require the same pathway. Both require high-level IT skills, knowledge of the industry and the ability to engineer a  platform that makes the industry more effective. Most platforms will need to be cloud-based. 

16.  Customer Success Manager

This requires marketing skills, knowledge of business systems and the ability to apply industry knowledge to maintaining relationships with customers.

Start with a marketing certificate and discover what part of marketing you are most interested in. Then focus on that through work and further study.

17.  Client Associate

This job will probably be in banking as they attend to customers’ accounts. It would be more focused on financial management than a Customer Success Manager (16 above).

18.  Business Development Representative

Business development requires creativity and business skills.

Business development representatives are often specialists in their industry, like mining engineers, training consultants, or medical specialists.

19.  Health Assistant

Health assistants can come from a broad range of specialist health professionals.

They use their specialist skills to contribute to a team of experts who care for a patient.

20.  Service Desk Engineer

These are pivotal roles in a big organisation.

They are called on by staff in every role to come and fix problems. When they are not fixing problems they are designing systems and solutions to make the organisation more effective so that there aren’t as many calls to the service desk.

21.  Delivery Consultant

Sound project management skills in any field are required to ensure the delivery of identified outcomes for the organisation. The Delivery Consultant does not necessarily need to be an expert in the field, but they need to be quick to learn and careful to make sure they have the right information before they design their solution.

22.  Cyber Security Engineer

Once you have sound cyber security skills you can move on to engineering cyber security systems for organisations. Current weaknesses in systems have been due to not anticipating human weaknesses, so cyber security engineers need to have outstanding awareness of the way that people work.

23.  Finance Associate

I think this is a field that the application of artificial intelligence will impact.

Gathering the correct data to assist organisations to make sound financial decisions will require the ability to ask the best questions based on sound financial management skills

24.  Product Designer

A mix of IT skills with marketing skills would be a good start for this role which would most likely be in media or business service products.

25.  Technology Project Manager

Start with your IT skills. You can kick start your learning with a VET certificate as you learn more about the different opportunities for IT careers and decide where you want to belong.

As you become more expert, you will undertake project management courses and start managing increasingly bigger projects.

Given the emergence of new jobs, going to TAFE to find out about the industry might become a logical first step before going to uni. 

I will keep an eye on this to see if it becomes a preferred pathway. 

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Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers

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Get AUKUS – ready. My best guess on opportunities that will be available for WA school students

Industry Engagement

WA Industries will gear up to be AUKUS ready.  There will be skills shortages and they will be open to connecting with schools through work experience, guest speakers, and partnerships which will help schools to connect with emerging opportunities.  

To get good information about what the West Australian defence-related industry is up to, LinkIn with Serge Desilva-Ranasinghe. He frequently promotes research documents and advertises conferences and information sessions, and he is a good link to the industry. 


In 2022 South Metro TAFE won the National Training Award as Australia’s best defence trainer. That is a great place to start.

All of the TAFE colleges run computing programs that are excellent and already in high demand. The demand for IT skills will increase.

There is no current nuclear energy course being run in Western Australia.

I anticipate that on-the-job knowledge of the application of skills in the defence industry will open up opportunities around the world. That will apply to all VET skills, from trades and business people.


Curtin University has a reputation for being industry-focused, but then all of our universities run world-class computing and engineering courses.

Again, all courses will have applications within this project, even urban design!

For the academic superstars, there will be a boom in opportunities to do applied research.

Normal students will have increased opportunities to work across defence and large projects around the world.

I anticipate new scholarships, internships and opportunities to study overseas.


I have been in touch with Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre which had not begun any research on implications for the WA economy of the initiative. They are going to seek out any research that is underway and pass it on. 

Find how to connect with opportunities for WA students. Subscribe to In Focus Careers

Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers


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ATAR revision programs help you to get to where you belong

If you want to do well in your ATAR to get to where you belong, these ATAR revision programs will support you to achieve your goal.

Check them out. Some run during the term, and others only run during holidays. 

Revise Online 

Revise Online

ReviseOnline specialises in providing online education. ReviseOnline offers specifically designed multiple-choice, short answer and extended response questions in a range of Year 11 and 12 courses which match the format of ATAR exams. 

This was one of the first to offer online revision programs.

Find information HERE


ATAR Master Classes Revision Courses

Master Mind Australia intensive revision of the syllabus and assessment preparation, including effectively modelling answers to ATAR-style exam questions.

Master mind

They run small-group tutorials for year 11 and 12 students throughout the term and holiday tutorials.

Find details HERE.

Academic Task Force /Academic Associates /Academic Group

This group runs Holiday Revision Courses in April, July and October at:

Find details HERE. 

The Exam Experts

Enrolments for the July Holiday Intensive Exam Revision Program are open. Classes run from July 4-8.

Find details HERE.


Intuition delivers small group classes in most WACE classes, exam preparation and study skills.



Many semi-retired teachers continue to tutor in their specialized subjects.

These teachers have a lifetime of knowledge of their subject, what examiners are looking for and tips for success.

Some schools have started to run holiday ATAR revision programs that employ these experts. 

Ask your school front office to see if they are running a program or know anyone you can contact.

ECU ATAR Free Program

ECU ATAR science-focused revision programs are run during the September holidays at the Joondalup and Bunbury campuses. 

These are free services to Year 12 students. They are scheduled later in the year. 

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I have found your material invaluable.  The information you have put together is thorough – a one-stop-shop in a sea of information that is out there.  I have utilised this information on a regular basis with others throughout the school.

(South Metropolitan Government High School.)

M: 0434 056 412