We know how important our work is as ride the tsunami of emerging pathways from school.
We are the trailblazers.
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.
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 movementwould not be worth fighting for.
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 is creating a learning ecosystem that extends beyond traditional school parameters.
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 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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Some of Hayden’s fondest childhood memories involve holding a torch as his dad, grandad and pop tinkered under the bonnet of a car. The family connection and the ability to bring something broken back to life is what led the apprentice mechanic to study a Certificate III in Light Vehicle Automotive with North Metropolitan TAFE.
With on-the-job learning at mycar, Hayden has helped induct and teach new team members about safety, work practices and methods of fixing cars, and recognises that technology is moving quickly.
Joann Knight, Brabham: Heavy Mobile Equipment
Visiting Kalgoorlie’s ‘super pit’ as a child and seeing all of the machines in action was enough to convince Joann of a career in mechanics. She followed her childhood dream, completing an apprenticeship as a mobile plant mechanic and landed a job with BHP.
Joann was open to every opportunity as she completed the Automotive Technician (Heavy Mobile Equipment) course through the Westrac Institute, and wanted to show that women can work and achieve their dreams in a male-dominated industry.
Stacey-Lee always loved pulling things apart to see how they worked, so much so that at the age of 12 she started building bicycles. After years working in painting, mining, hospitality management and government administration, Stacey Lee’s determination to pursue a career she is truly passionate about has come full circle, completing a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Mechanical Fitter) through South Metropolitan TAFE, and she is just shy of achieving her Diploma in Engineering.
Stacey-Lee has had to battle health issues throughout her studies, making her achievement of winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Apprentice of the Year 2020 even more special.
Christian Ferrone, Bayswater: Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
A curiosity for how things work and a love of aeroplanes led Christian to pursue a career as a Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. Now employed by ExecuJet MRO Services Australia – where he completed his apprenticeship – the course taught him how to safely maintain gas turbine and propeller driven fixed wing aircraft.
Christian completed the Diploma in Aeroskills (Mechanical) with a 95 per cent course average and was in the first cohort of WA apprentices through RTO Aviation Australia.
Now a mentor for other apprentices coming through, Christian knows teamwork is an essential part of the aviation industry.
WA Trainee of the Year Finalists
Bonnie Barber, Bridgetown: Administration
Bonnie knew she wanted to join the mining industry when she was in her final year of school, but she did not know which career pathway to follow with the many options available in the sector.
An administration traineeship through Combined Team Services and working with Talison Lithium gave her the perfect mix of support and resources, and she found the ability to study and work a full-time job attractive.
Bonnie says the Certificate IV in Business qualification and hands-on experience has set her up for a fulfilling career working in a field she is passionate about, and she has now accepted a new position as Human Resource Administration Assistant working in her dream professional field.
Amber Ugle-Hayward, Karrinyup: Government
Wanting to pursue a career that was meaningful, challenging and would make a positive impact on the lives of many Western Australians, Amber applied for the Public Sector Commission’s Aboriginal Traineeship Program, knowing it would give her a ‘foot in the door’ to government. Amber has made the most of her placement with the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage, gaining practical knowledge while completing a Certificate III in Government through Aspire Performance Training.
Throughout the traineeship, Amber has proactively sought opportunities to further her career and expand networks, establishing a reputation as a highly competent team member who consistently displays leadership, collaboration, respect and integrity.
Amber says the experience has allowed her to develop her confidence and communication skills to raise awareness of Aboriginal culture within the State Government, and directly influence the department’s internal policies.
Vikki Doecke, Kelmscott: Leadership and Management
Passionate about food and hospitality since becoming a chef in her early 20s, Vikki wanted to stay in the industry but broaden her career. Initially afraid to make the change into management, Vikki says she finally started living life on her terms.
A Certificate IV in Leadership and Management through Stanborough Wemyss Contracting was the perfect training alongside her Assistant Village Manager role with Sodexo, which provides catering and managing services at mine sites.
The course developed Vikki’s leadership skills so much so that she is now Village Manager of the Wintamarra site and thoroughly enjoys applying all of her past experience with her newly acquired skills.
WA Vocational Student of the Year finalists
Maxine Turner, Fremantle: Community Services
Volunteering throughout India and Vietnam helping disadvantaged children and families guided Maxine towards her chosen career. Completing a Diploma of Community Services through North Metropolitan TAFE led Maxine to gaining full-time work at the Department of Communities, Child Protection and Family Support, following a successful work experience stint.
Maxine now gets to carry out her passion for helping those in need on a daily basis, using the skills and knowledge obtained through her course in her role as a residential worker.
Nerine Boulter, White Gum Valley: Aquaculture
Returning to study as a mature age student gave Nerine a passion for learning that she had not experienced before. Her enthusiasm for sustainable aquaculture has been ignited during completion of the Diploma of Aquaculture at South Metropolitan TAFE, where has excelled, nominated for the South Metropolitan TAFE’s Vocational Student of the Year in 2019 and 2020.
Nerine hopes to build her own sustainable, environmentally friendly business, growing and harvesting native seaweed for use in health foods, animal feed, cosmetics, bio-plastics and bio-fuel.
Meg Maroni, Albany: Information Technology
Achieving a better future for her local community by implementing and demonstrating digital technologies led Meg to complete her Certificate IV in Information Technology at South Regional TAFE.
Now employed in the industry as the Technical Support Officer for Little Grove Primary School, Meg applies the skills gained in her studies every day to the upkeep of the school’s physical and networking digital infrastructure, and maintenance of implemented systems and software. Meg also assists teaching staff to design class exercises and assignments to fulfil their digital curriculum, and is now tutoring a student carrying out the same course she successfully completed.
Zoe Tucker, Bayswater: Landscape Design
Twenty years after leaving school, Zoe finally feels like she has found her pathway. Finding traditional work roles not conducive to family life, the single mother of three took the plunge towards a new career and followed her passion, studying a Certificate IV in Landscape Design – a perfect fit for a creative person with a love of plants and nature and background in architecture.
Zoe has not looked back, winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s Vocational Student of the Year 2020 and relishing the opportunity to create greener spaces.
WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year 2021 finalists
Kevin Wilson, Victoria Park: Graphic Design
Growing up as a Wongai man from the Goldfields region, Kevin has had an interest in art for as long as he can remember. After a few years and a few too many run-ins with police, he decided he could not keep going down that path, so he signed up for an apprenticeship in print finishing at North Metropolitan TAFE, which was just the beginning of his TAFE journey. After completing his Diploma in Graphic Design, he continued on to the Advanced Diploma, becoming more confident in himself, his work and how he speaks about it. Kevin says he feels like he has found his calling in life, and since finishing has gone on to co-found Nani Creative, a graphic design company specialising in design for projects promoting Aboriginal tourism.
Grant Syron, Como: Maritime Operations
Sailing the seas may not be for everyone, but for Grant, pursuing a maritime career was an opportunity to see the world, meet new people and have a new challenge every day. From growing up in a Sydney housing commission, Grant says he had wonderful role models in his hard-working parents, who showed him anything is achievable if you put your mind to it.
After completing the Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck) through South Metropolitan TAFE, Grant has gone on to become a second officer, with his qualification allowing him to travel the world working on any ship.
Grant’s hard work and commitment is an inspiration to the whole community, and he has ambitions to take his studies and career development even further, with his long-term goal of becoming a Master Mariner.
Keira Gentle, Ridgewood: Fashion Design and Merchandising
From a young age Keira wanted to design clothes, and after a massive life turn around she decided to take a leap and enrol in a Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising at North Metropolitan TAFE. Juggling full-time study with being mum to her daughter, Keira said she has not looked back and is living her dream daily, with the opportunity to explore her creative side and the routine of study giving her the strength to manage her time and provide balance in her life.
Most importantly, studying the course has sparked her creative side that was always there but needed to be developed and nurtured.
Keira says that connection to creativity has been life changing, and she can now see a future where she can work in an industry that she loves, and has all the skills needed to develop a satisfying and challenging career.
Losing his father at the age of 13, Sterling did not know what he wanted to do with his life, but had the mental push to make his dad proud. Making the most of every opportunity that came his way, he jumped at the chance to take up an apprenticeship through South Metropolitan TAFE and the National Energy Technician Training Scheme (NETTS), completing a Certificate III in Engineering – Industrial Electrician.
His journey in the oil and gas sector has given him valuable life skills as well as experience in a thriving sector. Sterling has been a strong ambassador and role model, assisting younger apprentices and promoting the NETTS program by public speaking at schools.
WA School-based Apprentice of the Year finalists
Courtney Short, Ellenbrook: Commercial Cookery
Preparing meals with and for her family has always brought great joy to Courtney, so it seemed a natural fit to pursue her love of cooking at the age of 15, commencing a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery.
Successfully juggling her school work at Mercy College with an apprenticeship through North Metropolitan TAFE, Courtney says the knowledge and skills she has already developed by working alongside chefs at Pan Pacific Hotel (through Hospitality Group Training) are essential for working in the industry.
Now aged 17, Courtney is well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming a chef and she is so pleased she followed a VET pathway.
Taj Morris, Glenfield: Commercial Cookery
Working as a waiter in his nan and pop’s family restaurant gave Taj his first taste of the hospitality industry. With his mother and two uncles all chefs, cooking is in his blood, so it was an easy choice for Taj to do a school-based apprenticeship, taking on a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at Geraldton’s Central Regional TAFE.
Taj says with a chef qualification he knows he will have many future employment opportunities and feels that the chance to learn practical industry skills while still studying at Nagle Catholic College has prepared him well.
Samantha Winter, Lower Chittering: Government
In Year 10 and unsure of what career pathway to pursue, Samantha heard about the Certificate II in Government through the Public Sector Commission’s school-based traineeship. Seeing it as a great opportunity, Samantha started the traineeship through Aspire Performance Training.
Juggling Year 12 at Bullsbrook College three days a week, a large portion of Samantha’s training is done on the job at Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.
Samantha sees it as a major head start in the workforce, broadening her knowledge, making connections and gaining independence and confidence.
WA Cultural Diversity Training Award 2021 finalists
Marli Nicholls, Carlisle: English as an Additional Language
With knowledge and experience already gained from her home country Brazil, Marli knew that the language barrier was the only thing in her way when relocating to Perth with her Australian husband and their children.
Marli decided to take English classes to start her new life here, enrolling in Certificate IV EAL (English as an Additional Language) at South Metropolitan TAFE, to help her work, connect with people, make new friends and participate in the local community and her children’s school.
Marli says her course has offered her so much more than language skills, gaining self-confidence, time management, teamwork, problem-solving and leadership skills.
Agnes Toluwade, Leeming: Mental Health
Migrating from Nigeria in 2015, the first time Agnes heard about the suicide of a teenager on the news, she was jolted. Determined to take action and contribute to her new home country, Agnes decided to study a Certificate IV in Mental Health and be part of the solution for a mentally healthy Australia.
The course at North Metropolitan TAFE has helped her understand the many issues that impact on mental health and the ways to support people’s recovery.
Agnes has crossed several barriers to pursue her study and hopes that others in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities will see that studying at TAFE offers many opportunities.
WA International Student of the Year finalists
Johanna Faber, Yokine: Travel and Tourism
Johanna has always been passionate about travelling, so when she came to Australia from Germany in 2017 and fell in love with the country, she decided she wanted a career in travel and tourism.
By studying in a different country, Johanna felt it would offer her the opportunity of experiencing travel and tourism first-hand, taking part in a different culture and learning a new language while completing her course – a Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management at North Metropolitan TAFE.
Studying allowed Johanna to gain confidence in communicating in English while learning the many facets of the industry, and she was able to land a job as a travel consultant. While COVID-19 forced the closure of the office, it has not deterred Johanna from working in the industry.
Shalynn Buss, Lathlain: Event Management
Back in Canada in 2014, Shalynn was studying Business Administration to become a lawyer. During her studies she took an introduction to events elective course, which sparked her love of creating something out of nothing that brought people together. Fast forward to July 2020, she finally took the plunge into formalising her passion, starting a Diploma of Event Management through South Metropolitan TAFE.
Experience has shown Shalynn she learns best in vocational settings, continually challenging herself and demonstrating her skills and abilities in real-world scenarios, which lead to winning South Metropolitan TAFE’s International Student of the Year 2020.
Shalynn has been putting her industry knowledge into practice, working for a small wedding and event business, and she hopes to one day own her own wedding planning business.
Aurelie Jammes, Scarborough: Event Management
With a Masters degree in Events, Tourism and Hospitality and experience working around the world, French native Aurelie was employed at a winery in the Swan Valley when she realised she enjoyed in-house events. When COVID-19 hit she did not let losing her job get in the way, taking the opportunity to enhance her knowledge about this part of the industry by starting a Diploma of Event Management at South Metropolitan TAFE.
Aurelie says it was the best decision she ever made, now working as a hotel event operations supervisor. Aurelie is also an ambassador for Go Study, sharing her challenges and achievements as in international student in Australia.
Congratulations ongetting to the finals. Good Luck
With so much competition for school leavers, teachers have plenty of opportunities to engage with universities.
All West Australian universities provide one on one career interviews. Everyone should talk to a career advisor at their chosen university before they enrol.
All universities also do campus tours and special information evenings. You can find an updated calendar of events in the In Focus Careers Newsletter.
Schools can invite career counsellors to give presentations at schools or attend school expos.
Murdoch workshops for high schools
Murdoch Outreach have been working hard to develop an online offer to help support teachers and school communities. Explore our wide range of online workshops and our inspiring podcast series.
Explore our online workshops
Your high school students can participate in our Outreach workshops, but online! Get them to explore the curriculum, build new skills and develop a deeper understanding of subjects through our series of free online STEM, HASS and Creative Arts and Communication workshops, which can be booked by teachers for a whole class.
In our STEM workshops, students will develop their critical thinking and teamwork skills through using their imagination to solve challenges, crack codes, write algorithms, explore probability and design and build machines.
What is criminology? Can we lower our carbon footprint? How do businesses work and what do marketers do? Get your students to explore all these questions and more while working with their classmates in our HASS workshops.
In our Creative Arts and Communication workshops your students will explore digital painting, pixel art, portfolio design, personal branding, design thinking and ideation, the principles of graphic design and much more.
Curtin AHEAD is a dynamic outreach program, fostering the potential of individuals and groups underrepresented in higher education. We work with high schools to raise aspirations and build learning skills, delivering workshops, on-campus experiences, mentoring programs and career-developing activities.
EcoChallenge Australia provides an exciting and authentic learning experience for students in Years 5-12 through the online strategic game, Aqua Republica, to explore issues and solutions relating to water management and sustainable development. EcoChallenge Australia incorporates a sustained engagement with the principles of water usage across industrial, urban and agricultural systems and the impact upon ecosystems.
Innovative Schools Consortium
Through a partnership with Curtin, secondary schools can help their high achievers fulfil their true potential. Identified students participate in programs that build their skills and strengths in innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. They receive a record of their achievements that can be used towards meeting university admission criteria, gaining accelerated entry into Curtin or supporting their scholarship applications. Download the Innovative Schools Consortium flyer – [.pdf 270kB]
Learning Futures Network
Comprising more than 140 schools, industry and community organisations, the Learning Futures Network is focused on driving transformation across student learning and the future of work, while building deep learning relationships across communities.
The network provides an avenue for schools to collaborate with Curtin, and learn more about higher education, alternative entry pathways, and professional learning and postgraduate opportunities for teachers. Join the Learning Futures Network.
Professional Learning Hub
Curtin’s commitment to teaching and teachers continues after graduation. Our Professional Learning Hub enables our alumni to remain inspired, informed and current in their classrooms. Our innovative, practical and research-based workshops contribute to teacher PD hours, building better educational outcomes for the community through greater job satisfaction.
Curtin’s School of Education also offers networking sessions and presentations for teaching professionals.
STEM Outreach offers engaging and innovative programs that connect your school and community to STEM and Curtin research. We deliver programs, workshops, camps, excursions, incursions and competitions for students and teachers across metropolitan and regional Western Australia. See all the ways your school can get involved with STEM Outreach.
UniReady in Schools
The UniReady Enabling Program is one of Curtin’s alternative entry pathway programs. It has been approved as an endorsed program for high schools in Western Australia and can be run as part of the high school curriculum. It not only makes up a high school student’s WACE but, if completed successfully, also means the student is eligible to apply for a range of Curtin undergraduate courses.
Presently the course is offered as part of a pilot with a limited number of places. If your school is interested in the program, you will need to make an application to UniReady and pay a program licence.
Through the AIME Mentoring program, Curtin students are empowering Indigenous high school students, giving them the skills and confidence to grow and succeed. Read more about AIME
High school resources
This dedicated page provides resources to all the key questions we receive from high school students around admission pathways, study areas, scholarships, how to apply and understanding prerequisites. This will be a key resource for you to distribute to students with everything they need in one place. Visit the high school resources page
UWA Career advisers and teachers
Here you can access resources, request school visits or on-campus experiences, and keep up to date with the latest information to help your students find their path to UWA. You can find the information HERE.
School Engagement team
The School Engagement team supports students in Years 10–12 to make informed decisions about their future study options. Our team can advise on UWA courses, opportunities, scholarships, accommodation options, admissions pathways and more.
Please contact us directly for further information and to book:
presentations at your school
attendance at careers expos, fairs and information events
You can also sign up to receive our regular e-newsletter, which covers opportunities, events and activities for your school, as well as the latest information on UWA courses and admissions. Contact the School Engagement team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notre Dame For Career Advisors
Careers Advisor hold the key to guiding students to their future opportunities.
To best direct students’ potential towards education and career choices that will enrich their lives, you need to know the facts.
We’ve gathered everything you need to know here to support you in your vital role.
Exploring opportunities outside school should not be a huge burden for teachers. These resources are designed to support teachers and students. If you are looking for something different for your school, contact your local university and request the help you need.