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In Focus Careers May Issue: Connecting you to trends, people and ideas for the future

As students and teachers went on holidays and started to overcome the COVID disruption of Term 1, all West Australian universities opened their doors for 2023 applications on 4 April.

Career advisory services cranked up at universities, and course information sessions were run throughout the holidays.

In Focus Careers News


April and May bring the Noongar season of Djeran, which brings time to get ready for the next season. 

Careers Week

Careers Week in WA kicks off in mid May with the Career Expo  followed by the Construction Futures Centre Open Day on the 17th May.

So you want to be a doctor

Notre Dame and Curtin universities have scheduled their Medicine Information Sessions for May and students who want to apply for medicine for 2023 need to apply for UCAT exams

Main Roads Jobs in the Bush

In an effort to return full time jobs to the bush, the Department of Main Roads is bringing road construction and maintenance back into the government. This will create over 600 jobs and 400 of those will be in the bush. 

Leaving School Early?

Going to TAFE might be an option for those who want to leave school early. Applications for Term 3 TAFE courses open in May. 

To find this and more, subscribe to In Focus Careers News for West Australian high school students

Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers
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Career Educators are the Light on the Hill – with examples

Being a career educator is the best job in the world.

The expert knowledge and guidance of career practitioners is powerful.

We make a difference. 

251 Maslow Pyramid Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

If you are a fan of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs  you can happily map your potential impact on the ladder to self actualization for your students. 

That’s the amazing, satisfying, powerful job satisfaction that we get.

We know our Why.

We know how important our work is as ride the tsunami of emerging pathways from school.

We are the trailblazers.

Changing how we think about change | by Ash Buchanan | Benefit Mindset | Medium

As with all trailblazers, we have work to do until people see our role as illuminators for the future. We need to work to be the light on the hill, to quote one of Australia’s greatest Prime Ministers, Ben Chifley.

The light on the hill - Wikipedia

We have a great objective – the light on the hill – which we aim to reach by working the betterment of mankind not only here but anywhere we may give a helping hand. If it were not for that, the  Labor movement would not be worth fighting for.

Wikipedia Ben Chifley

There are outstanding practitioners in Western Australia who believe the Career Education movement is worth fighting for. They are the light on the hill. 

They are trailblazers of world best practice who apply sound research findings to their day to day work as career educators across government, Catholic and independent schools.

Three of the many trailblazing West Australian examples are:


Co-Founders IDEA

The Innovation Design Entrepreneurship Academy was founded by Rebecca Loftus and Nicole Gazey who say:

It’s not just a different model. It’s a different culture. 

You can check out what they are creating at IDEA HERE.

The Studio School 

Another example that has stepped outside the existing system to forge a new way of operating is The Studio School which opened this year under the umbrella of All Saint’s College. All Saint’s already had a substantial enrichment programme. 

The Studio School

The Studio School is creating a learning ecosystem that extends beyond traditional school parameters. 

You can check out what they are doing HERE. 

Cyril Jackson’s Partnership Model

An early trailblazer was Cyril Jackson’s Partnership Model.

Cyril Jackson partnership model

Discover More

There are outstanding teachers in all disciplines in Western Australia, but great teaching doesn’t lead students to make great career choices. 

Career Educators are the light on the hill that students and families need. 

I will identify more great models of great career education in a new section in my newsletter called Career Educators In Focus

Subscribe to In Focus Careers News

Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers
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In Focus Careers April Issue: Connecting you to trends, people and ideas for the future

In March, UWA, Curtin and Murdoch universtities told career educators about their new courses and priorities for 2022 and beyond.

You can find highlights of those presentations in the April issue of In Focus Careers.

The big trend this year is towards more student centric services. All universities  highlighted the new facilities and services that are available to future students. 

Early Offers

All universities agreed to wait until 4 April to open their doors to early offers in 2023 but, in March, only Curtin had clarified that they will be directing applicants straight to TISC. 

Middle School Programs

Universities are providing more opportunities for middle school students to explore a wide range of career opportunities through a range of emerging programs. I will continue to report on the new programs as they are announced. 

Open Day Changes

COVID has impacted on the open day schedules at each university. I have put a table of the changes into the April issue. 

Career Conversation Schedule

The WA Education Department has launched a comprehensive schedule of career conversations designed to help families to understand the career options for WA school students. You can find links to these presentations in the April issue. 

Subscribe to In Focus Careers News

If you would like your school or organisation to have career information for West Australians delivered to you each month you can subscribe here:

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Pathways from High School – Video presentation for West Australian Senior Students

The content was just what our Year 12’s needed, and the timing is perfect.
This 30-minute Pathways from High School presentation with video is a great alternative to the face-to-face presentations as it can be shown to students and families, at any time.

Students can even take a copy home and watch it with their parents!!

Don’t be ridiculous!!

3 Pathways

It shows 3 different case studies. 

Pathway 1: Judy the academic superstar

Judy is an academic superstar who checks out the Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours) at Curtin, medicine everywhere, and Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) at UWA. 

Pathway 2: Flynn General ATAR, Alternative Pathway

 Flynn is looking for alternative pathways for non-ATAR school leavers. He checks out all of the unis, looks at university preparation courses and seeks advice from career counsellors and Centrelink.

Pathway 3: Angie VET and Gap Year

For those wanting a Gap Year, who never to return to full-time study again. Angie looks at the Defence Gap Year program and at Harvest Trail as well as at some on the job training she can do at McDonald’s and online courses. 
I recommend that all students seek professional advice that narrows down to their personal choices, once they have a general idea of which direction they want to take.
Find this presentation HERE.
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Getting Into Medicine WA Information for 2023

Curtin, UWA and Notre Dame universities all offer a medical degree course and UWA also offers dentistry. None of these universities has planned a 2022 information session.

Curtin accepts students straight from high school.

UWA wants you to have a degree first but you can be assured a place directly from school. Successful applicants who gain an Assured Pathway place will commence UWA undergraduate studies and progress to their postgraduate degree without the need to sit a graduate admissions test or undergo further interviews.

Notre Dame requires students to do a degree, and get great results first, before applying.


  • To get into medicine you need to get outstanding ATAR academic results, get better results than most on an external University Clinical Admission Test and undertake a regime of Multiple Mini Interviews.
  • To get to the Multiple Mini Interview your ATAR score will be added to your UCAT score. 
  • UWA has published the Inherent Requirements they are looking for in medical students. Curtin also has Inherent Requirements. 
  • School students should apply for medicine at Curtin or Direct Entry at UWA through the normal TISC process.
  • Applications open for the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) on 1 March 2022 and testing can be done from 1 July to 12 August.
  • If you do extremely well on the ATAR and UCAT you will be shortlisted to do a Multiple Mini Interview examination.




Curtin offers the only direct entry  Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery program available to school leavers in WA and there is strong competition for the places.

It opened in 2017 with a focus on delivering high quality medical experts to regional and remote areas.

In 2022 they plan to accept 120 students, mainly school leavers, with some students gaining entry through Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, rural and equity places. Read the Rural and Equity Information Here.

Length of Course: 5 Years

ATAR: 95 (there are conditions around this that need to be explored HERE.)

Essential WACE courses

Essential: Chemistry ATAR, or equivalent. (Contact the Course Coordinator to find out what to do if you don’t have chemistry.)

Applicants are required to successfully complete a First Aid Certificate (including CPR) or equivalent by the completion of the first semester of the course. Students are also required to obtain criminal record history clearance, Working with Children Check as well as relevant immunisations and health screening. 

 Desirable WACE courses

  • Mathematics Methods ATAR, Mathematics Specialist ATAR or Mathematics Applications ATAR
  • Desirable: Study in one of the following Mathematics ATAR courses is desirable:
  • Mathematics Applications, Mathematics Methods, Mathematics Specialist, or equivalent.

English competency

  • Curtin is seeking a range of Inherent Requirements.
  • See current students speaking on YouTube HERE.
  • Register for the Information Evening and Webinar
  • You can find my notes from the 2017 presentation with suggestions from students HERE.

International Students

Curtin now offers 10 places to international applicants. Find details in the International Students’ Guide. 

General Information

Applicants will be ranked based on the following categories:

  • School leavers (predicted ATAR and UCAT)
  • Non-school leavers (notional ATAR from previous tertiary studies and UCAT)
  • Curtin course switchers (Course Weighted Average from current studies and UCAT).

Top ranked applicants will be invited to attend a Multiple Mini Interview (MMI). The interview process provides an opportunity for shortlisted applicants to demonstrate how they communicate, critically appraise information, and think about issues important to the medical profession. Applicants will be ranked and selected for offer based on their ATAR or equivalent, the UCAT score and the MMI score. Final selection will be made by this composite score. Applicants for this course should refer to the Curtin website for more information on specific admission requirements for Medicine.

Multiple Mini Interview Those students who score highest on their ATAR and UCAT will be given an interview. See notes below on Multiple Mini Interviews.



The UWA Doctor of Medicine (MD) and the Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degrees are 4-year courses that require applicants to have already completed an undergraduate degree.

 It is possible to gain a Assured Pathway (guaranteed place) into medicine or dentistry if you have an ATAR of 99. (You still need to complete your first degree prior to starting medicine or dentistry.)

There are 24 places Assured Pathway places available in Dentistry and 65 placed available in Medicine.

Year 12s should apply for a Assured Pathway place via the normal TISC process in August-September.


You will require a:

  • Minimum ATAR of 99 or equivalent (Applicants are also required to submit the Predicted ATAR form.)
  • Competitive UCAT score.

The UCAT testing will be open from 1 July to 12 August.  

Applicants are also required to have:

  • English Competency
  • Dentistry applicants must also meet satisfactory completion of an eyesight test

International Applicants for Direct Pathway

International students can find information HERE.

 Recommended subjects

It is recommended that applicants have undertaken at least:

  • Physics to year 12 level
  • Chemistry to first year university level (including completion of year 12 level chemistry)

Bachelor Degree

A place in the MD and DMD is conditional upon successful completion of a bachelor degree with a minimum Faculty Grade Point Average of 5.5.



Notre Damelogo-notre-dame

This is a 4-year post graduate degree for domestic applicants only.

As with UWA selection is based on:

  • Grade Point Average
  • An Interview


  • A personal folio that demonstrates your suitability for medicine at Notre Dame.

Grade Point Average

Notre Dame says that successful applicants will already have a degree with a minimum Grade Point Average of 5. This score may be misleading as students usually have a Grade Point Average higher than 6.

Applicants must undertake the Graduate Medical School Admission Test (GAMSAT).


Applicants are also required to undertake multiple mini interviews.

Notre Dame Folio

Notre Dame also requires a Student of Medicine Application Folio which demonstrates more about the student’s personal attributes and suitability for acceptance.

Notre Dame usually wants to know WHY you want to study at Notre Dame and WHY you want to study the course you have chosen for any course so you would need to be clear on that.

Pre-Medicine Certificate

Notre Dame offers a Pre-Medicine Certificate that its students can take WHILE they are doing their undergraduate degree (and getting a high GPA!).

This pathway also provides students with a mentor from the ND School of Medicine.

Completion of this Certificate will guarantee an INTERVIEW as part of the medical course application process if your GPA and GAMSAT reach the minimal score. It does not guarantee a place within the program.

Multiple Mini Interviews


The interview process is made up of 8 Multiple Mini Interviews (MMIs).  You move from each interview into 8 different rooms. You are given a question and have 3 minutes to prepare your answer, then you go into the room and give your response for 8 minutes. There are two rest breaks.

The MMI’s take 88 minutes.

I have heard this process described as an endurance test.

Interviews are done by trained MMI interviewers who are trying to determine your suitability for the medical profession.  

YouTube videos and sites like MedStudents Online and Whirlpool will give you some ideas about what to expect BUT your experienced interviewers are not looking for rehearsed answers, they want to know about you and your suitability for the profession.


Curtin and UWA Assured Pathways Entry require a UCAT score as part of their application process.

This test may be taken from 1 July – 12 August.

There are thorough instructions, trial tests and videos available on the UCAT site.

Extra Help

I like asking questions on . It might not be any more reliable than Facebook but you get to ask people who are in the field for their thoughts. You can even ask what students at different unis think about their medical courses.

Medstudentsonline is similar to Whirlpool. You can join in discussion threads about the application process.

Subscribe to In Focus Careers for current West Australian career information

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4 Quick Tips to Being a Successful Career Educator

here to help lettering text on black background

Career education isn’t social work and it isn’t psychology. If you are not an expert in the world of career practice, it could be more damaging than fortune telling.


Predicting the future

There is a world of specialist career practitioner theory and  skills that underpin successful career practice. As you work your way towards becoming a Career Professional via an academic pathway, these tips will help you to lead students to their best career. 

Don’t do computer programming. Computers are a passing fad.

1990’s Phys Ed Teacher/Career Advisor to high school student in Geraldton

You can’t wing it as a career advisor. People believe you are the expert. People believe what you say. A flippant comment or ill informed advice from you can change lives. This student did not follow his dream into a career in computer programming. 

You have a personal responsibility to be the expert, to KNOW where to look for the right information.

Empower yourself through professional learning

As you do your academic studies you will learn skills and theories that frame your professional work. In the meantime, the world of work in 2022 is very different to that in 2019.

  • Go to conferences and professional learning opportunities.  

  • Join a professional organisation like Career Educators WA or the Career Development Association of Australia.

  • Keep up with Labour Market Information figures.

We keep being told that we will have lots of jobs and several different industries but the research DOES NOT support this. 

We are clinging to what we know and people are NOT changing jobs at a faster rate than we have ever known.

Nor are they trapped in casual jobs, (although that figure may be distorted by labour hire agencies that have workers on their books and outsource them to workplaces, and “self employed” casuals, like Uber drivers).

Network like a Pro

You cannot possibly be an expert in all industries and across all regions.

  • Identify your specialisation and tell others… “I’m an expert in sport careers. If you want to know something ask me”.

  • Tap into the expertise of others so that you can call on them. 

  • Join the CDAA WA Facebook page.

  • Come to CDAA WA breakfasts each month. You don’t need to be a CDAA member to attend.

  • Join the CDAA online chat each month. Again, you don’t need to be a member. You can find details on the CDAA Events calendar. 

  • Find experts in your region. They may be in the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry or business group. 

Listening through the Shock

If you are over 25 you must become conscious of how different your lived experience is to that of young people.

We don’t know how young people are coping with shocks like COVID, war and global warming.

You must develop a deep appreciation of how much things have changed, you must listen, empathise and question until you understand.


Everyone, from the OECD and World Economic Forum, is trying to help people to make rational, data driven career decisions.

There is so much change flickering into view. Career advisors must be able to discriminate between the latest bright, new, shiny thing, and a substantial initiative that could deliver a lifetime of career satisfaction.

Actively study the research. Join mailing lists so that you get regular research updates. 

Keep up to speed with what is happening in the world of careers in WA. 

Infocus Careers is an independent organisation which is solely supported by insanely great subscribers who share information with me, support each other and help me to pay my bills.

I can talk about careers under water so if you would like to chat about how I can help you to improve your career or the services you deliver, give me a ring on 0434056412 or email me at

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Year 10: How to approach university open days in WA

Go to university open days before you make your subject selections for Years 11 & 12.

Fun at Curtin Open Day

University Open Days are fun. There are exhibitions and tech games and experiments and food vans and displays.

You will broaden your knowledge of what is possible.

You may discover ideas to motivate crazy dreams. Remember, dreams come in a whisper not in a shout.

Which University is best for YOU?

Most students will choose a university close to where they live.

Some universities are better than others at delivering support to students. Each university has a different feel and special attraction.

Check out the WA Unis HERE.


Career Quizzes

There is so much to see and do that they can be a bit overwhelming. You can do some preparation before you go by doing some career quizzes. Your results may help you to narrow down where you go and what you want to see at the Open Day.

Hear Your Dream Aptitude Quizzes 2022

First in Family to Go to Uni

Even if your whole family has been to university, you will find information, tips and ideas on the First in Family site that will help you to come to understand the world of universities.

Planning Your Open Day

Make it a big outing.

Go with a friend. Your family and friends are the greatest influence on your career choice. If you can get both to go with you to an Open Day, you will have your power group around you.

  • Check out public transport and parking restrictions on the campus.
  • Where is the main admin building and where are the toilets?
  • Download a campus map.
  • Check the Open Day program and choose what you want to explore.
  • Plan your route and schedule any special events you want to see.

On Arrival

Don’t Rush

  • Get an Open Day map and program.
  • Find a coffee shop or nice place to retreat to and check the layout of the campus and events. 
  • Plan your route and schedule, including university accommodation tours.

Don’t Miss

  • Find the coffee shops, library, student services, guild, clubs and sports teams you can join now.
  • Talk to staff and students in different faculties and check out their buildings.
  • Each faculty has lots of different courses. For example, the Education Faculty will have Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary school qualifications.

Uni Opportunities from School

  • Find out about opportunities that are offered to school students by the university.
  • Do they have programs for school students like UniReady or Aspire or student mentor outreach programs that you can engage with at school?
  • You may be able to join sports clubs, computer clubs, acting classes.


If you get interested in data analytics, you will find that you need Specialist Maths.

Some health courses require chemistry or physics. You can check course prerequisites for 2024 HERE.

Uni Words


Vocabulary Meaning
Campus The sites where the university is located.
Faculty The academic staff who work in a division or school at a university, or even the school itself, like the Education Faculty. 
Degree A degree is the standard university qualification and is recognised worldwide. Most degrees take three to four years to complete.
Bachelor Degree The first degree you study at university is called an undergraduate degree, e.g. Bachelor of Arts.
Undergraduate A person who has not yet completed their first degree.
Level Level 1 = your first yearLevel 2 = your second yearLevel 3 = your third year
Courses A 3 year Bachelor degree course has 24 units:

·       12 Level 1 units @ 6 subjects/semester

·       8 Level 2 units @ 4 subjects/semester

·       4 Level 3 units @ 2 per semester

You can mix this up, but you can’t do more than 12 first year units and you need to do at least 4 third year units.

Major  A major is your chosen area to study. You will do a sequence of units in that field right through your degree.


In 2022 some universities are asking you to register prior to the event and to do all you can to prevent spreading COVID 19. 

Get the career information you need

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Do you have the information you need to be the career educator students need?

In Focus Careers News gathers and synthesizes the information you need to be the career educator students need.

At a time when we are drowning in information, Bev Johnson gathers and synthesises career information at the right time, thinks critically about what we need and makes wise choices about what goes into her monthly In Focus Careers magazine for West Australian schools.

Bev says;

I am passionate about helping our West Australian kids to win. That is the “why” of what I do.

I call on the goodwill of people I know in education, training, industry and through university studies, for information that helps school leavers to find where they want to belong.

Anyone working in career education appreciates the tsunami of career information that floods in every week. As a former career teacher Bev knows how easy it is to be misled by the smoke of mirrors of big business advertising machines.

She focused on clarifying information and delivering career information that schools can trust.

Subscribe to In Focus Careers to become the expert students need you to be when guiding them to their future careers.

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Are you an educator seeking new approaches to the educational challenges of today and tomorrow?

I had only been teaching for a couple of years when an ECU academic presenting a PL and told us:

All classes are too big, and EVERY teacher can tell you which kid needs to go.

 As a newly minted teacher I could think of several students who I would be happy to see the back of.

I lapped up the tips, strategies and recommendations that he went on to give us on how to engage those kids.

Then Came 2020!

Over the past couple of years, things have become even tougher for new teachers as the level of anxiety has risen, and mental health issues have permeated every learning environment.

All teachers are hunting for strategies to cope with the new world of education.

Jenny Gleeson – Thought Leader and Trail Blazer

Many West Australian educators know educator and career practitioner Jenny Gleeson.

For more than two decades Jenny has been researching, writing about and winning awards for her work on tools for improving educational engagement, mainly with a focus on career guidance. Through her research, Jenny has unearthed Personality Dimensions @ School that she believes is better than any other tool for quickly establishing rapport and solid communications between students and teachers.

Abbey Piggott working with Personality Dimensions guru Jenny Gleeson

Personality Dimensions @ School

Personality Dimensions @ School is a Canadian personality profiling tool. Unlike many that Jenny has tested, this one is based on solid research. The activities used to identify critical aspects of students’ personalities, are visual, hands-on, interactive and fun and through the process:

  • Teachers gain the power to quickly identify and manage triggers that may upset students.
  • All students get to identify and celebrate their unique talents, skills and strengths.
  • Students gain coping strategies
  • Both teachers and students come to understand and appreciate each other’s communication styles
  • Students identify their passion which they will carry through to life after school.

 Would you like to pilot Personality Dimensions in WA?

Jenny is seeking to kickstart the adoption of Personality Dimensions in West Australian schools. It’s a comprehensive framework that helps you to cope with and educate all students, including those you wish you could see the back of.

If you are an innovative educator seeking new approaches to the educational challenges of today and tomorrow, please contact Jenny or Abbey to find out more about how you can become involved in pioneering this method in West Australian schools.

Jenny Gleeson M: 0433 884 847

Students working with Personality Dimensions @ School

Keep up to date with career opportunities in Western Australia. Subscribe to In Focus Careers News. 

Evangelist for insanely great careers education in Western Australia


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Year 11: How to approach university open days


If you have already been to an open day in years 9 and 10 you will know:

  • How to get to the campus.
  • How long it takes to get there.
  • Where the Open Day takes place.
  • Where to find food vans, toilets, library.
  • Where to find different exhibitions and lecture theatres. 
  • How to read the presentation and demonstration schedule.

Get an authentic experience this year

Plan to go with a friend

Ask your peers to go with you and your family. What they are interested in? Make sure you know what they might want to explore. Make a commitment to support each other at the open day.

Don’t forget your parents. They will have the biggest influencers on your career choices, but there is a great deal of benefit to be gained by going with peers. 


In 2022 some universities are asking you to register prior to the event and to do all you can to prevent spreading COVID 19. 


Check the university open day web page with your parents and friends to find details about any special courses that you want to investigate or talks you want to attend. 

You may need to change the time you attend to see a presentation that is of interest to your career choice. 

On the Day

Find out how uni works

Each degree is made up of subjects (units) for which you get points. (Check First in Family site)

  • Ask how many years it will normally take as a full time student to get enough points for a degree.
  • Ask about subject choices for each of the courses you are interested in. There will be handouts. 

Find out how to get started BEFORE you go to uni

Ask about programs the university has for school students. Some unis have courses for students to take while in year 11. 

  • UWA Has the Aspire Program that engages with schools to support students to succeed in a pathway to UWA
  • Murdoch has the Summer School program that give credit points for uni.
  • ECU has practical courses associated with WAAPA. 

Ask about support programs:

  • UWA has the Aspire program
  • If you can claim disadvantage ask about support programs: are you female going into a non traditional occupations, RRR, migrant, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, do you have a disability? 

Ask about scholarships 

There are many scholarships you can apply for. Ask the careers staff to give you a full breakdown of scholarships that could match your profile. 

If you are interested in staying in uni accommodation, ask what financial support is available. 


There are a million clubs that you can join at university. You have more than a year to make choices so check out a few.  

Why not book an appointment with a career counsellor?

These appointments are free and it is the job of the career counsellor to help students.

If you get this help in Year 11, you will be more settled throughout the rest of the year and through Year 12 because you will have a stronger idea about what you want to do when you leave school. 

Subscribe to In Focus Careers News

Subscribe to In Focus Careers for all the information you need about careers for West Australian school students.