VETnetwork Newsletter - VETnetwork Australia

VETnetwork Newsletter - VETnetwork Australia

VETnetwork Newsletter

Winter 2009 - Issue 33


National Committee

Australian Capital Territory Michael Doyle

Helen Vlandis, Public Officer

Victoria Penny Vakakis

Jackie Macreadie

Queensland Karen Bate

Terry O’Hanlon-Rose, Vice Chairperson

Tasmania Martin Binns

Mike Frost, Chairperson

Western Australia Kath Bavich-Davey

Christine McInerney

South Australia Liz Burbrook

Anna Mirasgentis

New South Wales Sheryle Milton

Janice Martyn

Northern Territory Gillian McDonald

Rosemary Andrews

Executive Officer Lori Hocking PO Box 436

Highgate SA 5063

P 08 8372 6944

F 08 8372 6943

M 0413 001 334





Layout & Printing


Lori Hocking, VETnetwork Australia

T 08 8372 6944 or E

The Production Crew & Five Star Grafx

The views expressed in VETnetworker are not necessarily endorsed by the Vocational Education

and Training Network Australia Inc. (VETnetwork). No responsibility is accepted by VETnetwork for

the accuracy of information contained in the text or advertisements.

Copyright All information in this publication is Copyright © 2008

VETnetwork: Vocational Learning – Enterprise – Transitions.



From the Chairperson’s desk

I’m delighted to be contributing to this Winter edition

of VETnetworker as the recently appointed Chair of

VETnetwork Australia.

My association with VETnetwork goes back to the mid 90’s

when, at a national gathering of stakeholders working in

the emerging VET in schools area, there was a resolution

passed to pursue the establishment of a national

professional body to represent this area.

As an assistant principal at Rosny College in Tasmania

at that time I’d led the establishment of a series of

TRAC programs which involved the fairly revolutionary

idea of students spending one day a week in the

workplace. This was really the foundation for what

became structured workplace learning and with it the

notions of school-industry partnerships and school to

work transition were developed.

I saw, first hand through the TRAC programs the

transformation of young people, some who were

disengaged from college, others just keen to take up a

different form of learning - workplace learning - and yet

others seeing these as a way of accessing good career

based information.

I knew there were others across Australia having similar

experiences and so, when the opportunity to take on

the Executive Officer role of VETnetwork came up, I saw

this as a great chance to help share the success stories of

young people doing VET programs.

VETnetwork Australia has moved a long way since its

1996 establishment, now with over 600 members, a

national committee that networks the nation, its biennial

national Conference, the peak event for vocational

learning, and VETnetworker and the national journal

VOCAL flagship publications.

I am joined at this time by Lori Hocking as the new Executive

Officer (EO). Lori brings a wealth of experience to the role

including, as EO of Quality LinCS, a local communityindustry

partnership in inner southern Adelaide.

Together, with new Vice-Chair, Terry O’Hanlon-Rose we

have begun the process of building the organisation to

an unchallengeable position of being the authoritative

voice on vocational learning in the school sector.

We already have a very strong Conference planning

committee, led by Anna Mirasgentis, working toward the

2010 VETnetwork National Conference due to be held in

Adelaide, September 15th to 17th 2010.

Consistent with our claim to be the leading voice in

vocational learning in schools we have set a meeting

with the Deputy Prime-Minister, Julia Gillard’s senior VET

Advisor, Dr John Spierings. We have asked to enter into

discussions about the ways that VETnework can advise

and assist Government in promoting vocational learning

as well as to examine the ways that VETnetwork can be

active in supporting government policy initiatives.

We have already met with the Department of Education,

Employment, and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), a major

sponsor of the 2010 National Conference, to explore ways

in which the Conference can deliver to a wide diversity of

VET practitioners and others involved in senior secondary

transition and school to work programs. We were also

given a first-hand briefing on what the Commonwealth

sees as its major priorities particularly in senior secondaryrelated

education and training.

VETnetworker will be central to our program to make

VETnetwork Australia the major voice in vocational

learning and expect to see some changes in the future

in terms of its content and what it promotes. Watch

out also for our fortnightly electronic bulletin, an

initiative that is already drawing favourable comment

from our members and growing interest from DEEWR

and other stakeholders.

Importantly don’t hesitate to contact me directly (mike. or mobile 0407 337 846) if you have

any ideas for the further development of the organisation

or indeed if you have any critical (but hopefully

constructive) comments.

Mike Frost

Chair, VETnetwork Australia

We will be assisted in this task by a national committee

comprising teachers and educators, career advisors and

principals, policy and planning people from government,

Catholic and independent school sectors, from trade

training and VET.


ABW Enterprise Education

The senior secondary ABW Enterprise Education

program is designed for the full range of students in

Years 10, 11 and 12 and is typically conducted in-school

for the whole of a Year 10 or 11 cohort. ABW Enterprise

Education learning outcomes are aligned to the national

Employability Skills framework.

Australian Business Week, a not-for-profit organisation,

has developed a national reputation with 11,000 students

participating in ABW Enterprise Education programs

in Australia during 2008, and with a total of 123,000

students participating over sixteen years to end 2008. The

programs have been developed in collaboration with

major universities and businesses. ABW has developed a

range of programs to meet the needs of primary students,

middle school and senior high school students, as well as

tertiary students and corporate participants.

ABW Enterprise Education programs are also offered in an

interschool variant where single teams, as opposed to the

whole cohort in a school, compete online against single

teams from other schools, nationally and internationally.

The programs are also being conducted world-wide for

adult participants as employees of major corporations.

ABW Enterprise Education has recently been recognised as:

• A Recognised Study by Queensland Studies Authority

for the Queensland Certificate of Education -

Enrichment course, One credit, Required Standard

‘satisfactory’, from 1 August 2008 – 31 December 2014

(review 30 July 2014)

• An Endorsed Program by Western Australian

Curriculum Council for the Western Australian

Certificate of Education – Community Organisation

Program, 2 points per program, 1 Maximum Program

per Year, 3 Maximum Programs Total, open to all

schools, 2009 – 2013

• ABW Enterprise Education Certificate qualification

recognised by the Tasmanian Qualifications Authority

under Recognition of Formal Learning Qualifications

on the Tasmanian Certificate of Education - TQA level

of Complexity 3, Size Value 5 points, Robustness

Category 4, Period of Recognition 2010 – 2014.

An application is currently before the SACE Board of South

Australia for ABW Enterprise Education to be recognised

as a community-developed program towards the South

Australian Certificate of Education and Northern Territory

Certificate of Education.

Australian Business Week aims to provide every young

Australian with the opportunity to develop the skills

necessary to assist them in the transition from school to

work, including the skills to create and manage personal,

community, business and work opportunities. The ABW

Enterprise Education programs reinforce learning across

a range of curriculum areas and develop important workrelated

skills including teamwork, time management,

leadership and decision-making. Further details are

available at the website

Advertise with us

VETnetworker is a quarterly journal with broad national

distribution. It is committed to excellence in vocational

education and training news and its prime function is to

provide a practical vehicle for the exchange of current

research, trends and innovations. It is a valuable resource for

access leading educational techniques, tools and thinking.

Deadlines Spring issue 34 Summer issue 35

Booking 19/10/09 18/01/10

Publication Early November Early February

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Costs: 2 issues

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HO_025_VET_PRESS_AD_FA.indd 1

21/7/09 12:19:26 PM

National Executive Profile

Terry O’Hanlon-Rose

QLD Representative, Vice Chairperson

Terry’s passion for VET has been at the forefront of his

educational administration, jointly establishing Worklinks

as one of the first ASTF clusters in Queensland. Terry

writes a fortnightly column, “TradingUp@techecollege”

which is published in the local newspaper, the Redcliffe

and Bayside Herald.

Australian Capital Territory

ABBTF - Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training

Foundation Limited

Step Out Programme – Bricklaying/blocklaying as a career


Terry O’Hanlon-Rose is one of Australia’s leading

educators and researchers in Vocational Education and

Training. He has received one of seven 2009 scholarships

awarded by the National Centre for Vocational Education

Research (NCVER), “Working in partnerships with VET

organizations to build research capacity”. Terry will

present at the INAP (Innovative Apprenticeships)

Conference in September 2009 in Turin, Italy after having

his research work successfully reviewed by a panel of

Peer Researchers.

In 2008, he was awarded a Fellowship with the Australian

College of Educators and is currently undertaking doctoral

studies in VET. He holds higher degrees in Business,

Information Technology and Education, as well as a degree

in Science, majoring in Environmental Science/Geophysics.

As an educator and administrator, Terry has been

committed to providing standards of excellence

throughout his educational career, spanning 30 years.

He established the Australian Technical College – North

Brisbane as one of the leading Australian Technical

Colleges in Australia, and holds several executive positions

on educational committees, both at a state and national

level. Recently he has been leading the international

engagement strategy for the Australian Technical College

– North Brisbane, and has established partnerships in

Korea and the Philippines.

Previously, Terry was the RTO and University (CSU Study

Centre) Director for Study Group Australia Brisbane Campus.

Prior to this, he established an independent School on the

Sunshine Coast and was Principal at a number of high

schools in Brisbane. His leadership of schools saw him

receive a National Numeracy Education Excellence award,

a De Bono Award for Innovation and oversaw programs

that won Australasian IT&T Excellence Awards.

Melba Copland Secondary School students from the ACT

have had hands on experience in bricklaying courtesy

of ABBTF. When the program was advertised in the

school daily notices for interested Year 10 & 11 students

the response was unexpected. This taster program

offered more than just the experience, it also offered

students an appreciation of the pathway towards starting

a career in a bricklaying industry that is predicted to have

a skills shortage.

This project gave Melba Copland students the

opportunity to practice hands-on training in bricklaying,

by constructing a permanent BBQ facility on the school

grounds. With the assistance of a fully qualified trainer, the

project started on Monday the 29 June and ended with

celebrations on Friday 3 July. Ten students both males

and females were shown:

How to plan and organise a project

How to read and interpret plans

Occupational Health and Safety Requirements

Manual handling

• Laying bricks and blocks

The outcomes were invaluable. Students gained bricklaying

skills, a positive self concept, team building

skills and the satisfaction of building and completing a

brick structure. Students who may have struggled with

academic subjects found working with their hands their

greatest strength. And yet, the project may not have

ended here. Future possibilities include tiling, landscaping,

building brick seating and or a retaining wall.

Students that developed a keen interested in pursuing a

career in bricklaying, now have the opportunity to consider

an Australian School Based Apprenticeship (ASBA).

Helen Vlandis

VETnetwork Australia, ACT Representative


Positive recipe for industry future

The kitchens at Canberra Institution of Technology heated

up at the start of July for the Secondary Schools Culinary

Competition which had 46 Year 10, 11 and 12 students

from ACT schools cooking against each other and against

the clock.

Each year the Australian Culinary Federation (ACF), ACT

Chapter, partners with the Student to Industry Program

(SIP) to run the competition which gives students a

realistic insight into the hospitality industry. It also aims

to identify and encourage students who demonstrate a

talent and a passion for cooking.

“It was very good to see what it was about, the industry.

I know I want to be a chef but this was my first real life

experience,” said Elie Matouk, Year 10, St Edmund’s College.

Steven Forrester, President of Australian Culinary

Federation, ACT Chapter, and judge, says this kind of

introduction for the students into the industry is great

for both the students and the hospitality industry.

“It allows us to show the students the prestige and rewards

of cooking and also shows the students a realistic view of the

pressures involved in the kitchen environment,” he said.

The Secondary Schools Culinary Competition continues to

grow each year, with 2009 being the biggest competition

yet. Twenty-four teams across eight government and

non-government high schools and colleges cooked

up a storm for the title and a position in the Australian

championships is Brisbane.

“Hopefully out of the 24 teams that entered, some of the

students will take on a career in cooking or the hospitality

industry, it also allows the judges and coaches to share

their passion for cooking with the next generation,” Mr

Forrester said.

Although the competition in the kitchen was fierce, the

students did not seem to care about the prize and were

just happy with the experience, and beating the buzzer to

get their meals out on time.

“It was satisfying. When we finally did it and everything

went well we just felt so good about ourselves, it was

really satisfying,” Elie, from St Edmund’s College said.

Mick Doyle

VETnetwork Australia, ACT Representative

The students worked in teams of two and only had one

hour to produce, cook and serve a main course meal. The

judges, who were Canberra chefs, watched the students

carefully as they furiously chopped and fried, and then

delicately pieced together their dishes. The dishes were

then judged on their presentation, and of course, taste.

“The quality of food and high standard of kitchen work

was very pleasing to see and a credit to the competitors

and training involved,” Mr Forrester said.

This year saw the highest standard of food so far with

13 gold medals awarded. The overall winners were the

St Edmund’s team of Year 10 students Brett Waslin and

Joshua Brown.

The students did have some help from a number of

qualified chefs from the ACF who mentored the students

leading up to the competition day. Charles Graham, who

has been in the industry for ten years, said he enjoyed the

experience of mentoring Wanniassa High School.

“It was something out of the ordinary for me. It breaks up

our days and it gives students a bit of an insight into what

we get to do every day,” Charles said.



Designing the Future - A conference for teachers of

vocational and applied learning

On 26th/27th June, Launceston hosted the state

Vocational and Applied Learning Conference. The

conference, uniquely designed for teachers K-10 who

work in the newly developed curriculum area of

Vocational and Applied Learning, was attended by almost

200 delegates from quite diverse backgrounds. Every

state and territory in Australia was represented.

Keynote speakers included Kurt Seeman, speaking on

‘Technacy’ based upon his experiences working with an

indigenous community in Central Australia. Brad Smith,

a young entrepreneur, spoke on ‘Leaning from Life’. Brad,

currently in his early twenties, has established a very

successful motorbike retail outlet called Braap. Other

keynotes were Dr Amantha Imber ‘How to turbo-charge

creativity in your students and yourself’ and Richard

Vaughan ‘Real Literacy’.

Four workshop sessions allowed delegates to choose

from 72 different workshops and industry visits. These

workshops included such titles as ‘Simple Mechanical

Machines’, ‘Seed Magic’, ‘Bugs, Bugs, Bugs’, ‘Irresistible

Chocolate’, ‘Youthbuild’, ‘Fibre Optics to the Home’,

‘Learning by Making’, ‘Community partnerships in applied

learning’, and industry visits ‘Veterinary Pathways’, ‘UTas

School of Aquaculture’. The trade show, with strong

industry backing, allowed delegates to test some on the

latest technologies which can assist student learning.

Conference Organising Committee Chair, Tony Woodward,

wrote in an email to workshop presenters:

“People were genuinely engaged and enthused

throughout the 2 days and this would not have been

possible without the quality and depth that you offered

in your session. Comments like “the best professional

learning experience I’ve had in 23 years of teaching”, “10

out of 10” and “I haven’t picked a dud session yet” made

me feel pretty good about the whole thing!!”

It was most obvious that delegates came expecting

something….. and they received it. Congratulations to

the organisers! A truly enriching experience for both

presenters and delegates alike.

Martin Binns

VETnetwork Australia, TAS Representative

Try’a Trade Tasmania 2009

World Skills Try’a Trade in Tasmania is conducted over

three regional events, North (Launceston), South (Hobart)

and North West (Burnie). Each event is organised by a local

steering committee comprising representatives from

LCP’s, Education, Training and Industry. In 2009

approximately 1,800 Year 9 students have had the

opportunity to ‘taste’ an experience of a trade while talking

directly with key people from training and industry.

On Tuesday 7th July, 855 students (40% of the Year 9

cohort), flocked to the Door of Hope in Launceston for

the Northern Tasmanian event. The students opted for

three trades to try from a selection of 27 booths. The trade

experiences included:

• Building and Construction, Plastering, Plumbing,

Painting and Decorating, Bricklaying, Paving and

Landscaping, Electrotechnology, Automotive, Diesel,

Auto-Electrical, Panel Beating, Agriculture, Dairy, Wool

Classing, Horticulture, Forestry, Fitting and Machining,

Metal Fabrication, CAD/Engineering, Hospitality/

Cooking, Barista, Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and

Massage Therapy.

The students were involved in activities which included:

• Buttering a brick, laying pavers, wiring low voltage

circuitry boards, investigating computer diagnostics

on a diesel truck motor, applying plasterboard, filling

and sanding car panels, grafting and potting plants,

making butter, making the perfect cappuccino, braiding

and curling hair, and hand and foot massage.

2009 has continued the strong success of previous years,

with industry and training vowing to return in 2010

with bigger and better activities. They welcomed the

opportunity to share aspects of their work with young

people and to talk with them about the future of training

and working in the industry. The young people had a

fantastic time. It was very encouraging to see the girls

mixing it with the boys in metals, brick laying, automotive

and electrical….. and the boys having a go at massage

therapy, barista and hospitality.

The following day, responses from those who attended

attested to the success of the event:

“I would like to offer an enormous thank you on behalf

of St Patrick’s College to you and other organisers for

another fantastic event yesterday. As always it was

very well organised and well received by our students.

A fantastic effort. Well Done!”




“Thank you again for inviting me along to Try’a Trade

yesterday, it was a pleasure to be there and see such a

positive atmosphere and enthusiasm from all students. It

appeared to be a great success and hope

it continues further into the future.”

(HIA Representative)

The Northern Tasmanian Try’a Trade is strongly supported

by local industry and training, many of whom have

supported the event over the past three years. The

event receives sponsorship from Worldskills Australia,

Group Training Australia, the Tasmanian Department

of Economic Development and Tourism, Rotary Club of

Central Launceston, Coates Hire and Rio Tinto Alcan.

And as for the events’ continuity into 2010…. we await

with interest the outcomes of Council of Australian

Governments (COAG) discussions about Youth Transitions

Programs into the future.

Martin Binns

VETnetwork Australia, TAS Representative

Northern Territory

Taminmin High School boasts another winning show

team for 2009!

Located in Humpty Doo, the 1200 student high school

is the only one of it’s kind in the Northern Territory. The

school farm provides an array of agricultural activities for

senior students in the VET program completing Certificate

I in Rural Operations, Certificate II in Rural Operations and

Certificate III in Agriculture.

Livestock handling skills are an essential for students

wishing to pursue a career in the pastoral industry of

the Northern Territory. For this reason, Taminmin High

School prides itself on working closely with landholders

to provide the best opportunities available for students.

Leading stud breeders from across the NT provide the

school with registered Brahman cattle of all ages, straight

from the paddock to the school. Students work tirelessly,

including weekends and school holidays, in order to halter

break, groom and parade their beast in a show ring.

This year has yet again proved to be a successful show

season at the Fred’s Pass Rural Show, the Katherine Show

and the Royal Darwin Show. The students gain experience

and confidence each time they proudly enter the show

ring, all whilst competing against other well established

breeders of Brahman cattle.

Each show offers junior cattle judging and junior parading

competitions for the students to enter, where they are

primarily assessed on their presentation, stock handling

and exhibiting skills. Taminmin students were in the top

winning places, awarded with ribbons and trophies, at

each of the shows within the NT.

A particular highlight offered, for the first time, at the

Royal Darwin Show this year was an Export Cattle

Judging Workshop presented by Troy Setter of North

Australian Cattle Company (NACC). He kindly spent

time with students assessing and informing them of

key attributes to consider on pens of commercial cattle

destined for export. They were also treated to a workshop

for additional cattle judging and handling skills from well

respected Brahman breeders in NSW and QLD.



Bunda Brahman Stud is a key sponsor and supplier of

quality cattle to Taminmin High School. Recently the

Certificate II in Rural Operations students were invited to

present Reg Underwood’s cattle, with all their winning

ribbons and trophies, at the Bunda Bull Sale prior to

commencement. Here students had the opportunity

to show off their achievements from all the shows to

leading pastoralists and industry stakeholders within

the Northern Territory. They relished in the exposure and

took advantage of the situation to liaise with bidders,

particularly seeking work placements during school

breaks and showing a keen interest in the industry.

The students are well recognised throughout the rural

shows and Taminmin is very proud of the professionalism

and integrity upheld by each and every one of its students.

Rosemary Andrews

VETnetwork Australia, NT Representative


Building a trade career as a brickie

Coming from a background where the trades were

embedded in the very fabric of family life, I often admire

greatly the workers of the “wet trades” – the concreters,

brickies and tilers. This has shaped my thinking, as an

educator, and my appreciation of what I term, “the outdoor

tradies”. However, it is my involvement in the Australian

Trade College – North Brisbane that has newly shaped my

outlook and has been the catalyst for the development of

my new appreciation of the trades which come under the

College charter. I admire those tradies who work outdoors

for most of the day, in all weather conditions, shaping and

forming their craft. In particular I admire the brickies who

create magnificent structure from the ground.

Bricks and mortar are the most used materials in the

Building and Construction industry because they

are durable, long-lasting and require virtually no

maintenance. From the story of the “three little pigs”

to the modern innovations in the profession the one

constant that remains is that brickwork is more resilient

than many of the other materials used. Brickies acquire

their knowledge and skills through practical, hands-on

development and keeping abreast of changes in products

and industry. “True brickies” are passionate about their

craft. In the short time that our College has been running

Bricklaying Apprrenticeship Courses, I have found that

the young men and women in the course have boded

into a tight, supportive group of young men and women

who demonstrate a deep passion for what they do, with a

resolve to overcome any obstacle that befalls them.

Over the past twelve months, I have visited several colleges

and educational facilities set up to teach blocklaying and

bricklaying. When speaking to the trade teacher/trainers

and the student-apprentices I’ve found most of them were

initially hesitant to take on this trade but once involved,

they have become very passionate about their craft.

There is certainly more to it than just laying bricks. Careful

planning and placement requires incredible accuracy

(where millimetres count), to achieve a perfect finish with

the bricks often sitting at many different angles. Have you

ever thought about the amazing skill and talent required

when building a fireplace? My experience has been that

brickies love to demonstrate their artistic skills by creating

visually stimulating features on the beautiful homes and

buildings. According to reports, an “Arch Bullseye” is one

of the most challenging jobs to undertake. Just the maths

behind all of this is one way to begin to integrate learning

maths and trades.

Another great demonstration of brickies building their

futures is at, so visit the site and

view the videos on “Brick-by-brick-The-road-to-WorldSkills”

and “Budding Bricklayers”. These videos demonstrate

the enthusiasm of current apprentices undertaking

bricklaying courses. If any of your students who love the

outdoors, wish to travel and want to find work overseas,

earn big money, bricklaying is a great trade to consider.

Australia still faces a critical shortage of tradespeople

in this field so you can be part of the solution and

encourage “budding brickies” to build their futures on

a trade. Statrting a trade career whilst still at school is a

great way to begin life as a brickie. Bricklayers can also

extend their trade following their apprenticeship and

study to become a builder, opening yet another avenue

to further their careers.

Terry O’Hanlon-Rose

VETnetwork Australia, Vice Chairperson

QLD Representative

South Australia

VETnetwork Conference 2010

There’s a lot happening in beautiful South Australia. And

if you don’t know how beautiful it is, then we invite you

all to come and see next September. Of course, I’m talking

about the VET Network Conference to be held from 15th

to 17th September 2010.


Our first event of the year was a breakfast, held at the

Convention Centre on Wednesday 20th May, with

Ross Clennett as Guest Speaker. It was well attended

by members from all sectors; State, Independent and

Catholic schools, TAFE and Youth Pathways. Ross spoke

about changes in the job market, predictions for the next

few years and how to take responsibility for your career

and skill development. His anecdotal approach was well

received and after a delicious breakfast Lori and Anna

introduced the new SA Committee. With a collective sigh

we then all returned to work.

Since then we have been busy developing plans for

what we know will be an exciting, thought provoking

and challenging Conference next year. The committee

membership is drawn from a wide variety of sectors and

we’re all feeling excited about the challenge of organising

a Conference that we know you will enjoy, as well as

having the opportunity to showcase our lovely city and

surrounding areas and to give you the opportunity to

sample our great food and wines.

To this end we are all busy on sub-committees, planning

the key note speakers, concurrent sessions, industry

tours and social events and the all important student

involvement, without whom, of course, our work

would be pointless. At this stage we are pleased to

confirm that Professor Erica McWilliam will be a keynote

speaker. Erica, an Australian, is currently working at the

Singapore National Institute of Education and has been

described as a witty, entertaining speaker who is also a

mine of information.

We are delighted to acknowledge that DEEWR is again

partnering us as the major sponsor and are pleased that

NCVER is also taking a partnership role in the research

field, while Defence Force recruiting has again expressed

keen interest to be involved. I’m sure many of you will

remember the excellent presentation given by the

Defence Force in Sydney.

adelaide convention centre

2010 VETnetwork biennial national conference

: 15 -17 september 2010 :

Creative Futures:

the changing landscape

The website is being regularly updated as new information

comes to hand, but, to re-iterate; we would love to

have some of your input regarding research topics and

speakers’ topics, as well as ideas for concurrent sessions.

This is for all of us, arranged by us in South Australia, so

we would appreciate whatever suggestions you would

like to make.

Please make contact with Anna or myself if you have any

further ideas or suggestions for the 2010 Conference!

Liz Burbrook

VETnetwork Australia, SA Representative

New South Wales

Eco Rangers - A school/community partnership

in the making

A gardening collaboration between a Sydney high school

and a local retirement court is a great example of projects

that Schools First aims to inspire and support.

In early 2007, the management committee of Our Lady

of the Way Retirement Court in the southern Sydney

suburb of Sylvania was discussing the need to improve

its gardens.

Committee member Janice Martyn, an education officer

with the NSW Vocational Education in Schools Directorate,

saw an opportunity to partner with a local school.

“I thought that this was a great opportunity to engage

some students to work with older people, to have that

community drive,” says Ms Martyn.

Ms Martyn contacted Adrian Rhodes, a career and

transition consultant from the Sutherland Business

Education Network (BEN). He put together an expression

of interest and Sylvania High School, seeing an opportunity

for a practical project that dovetailed with curriculum

aims, was soon on board.

The outcome was the gardening project, which fit

perfectly with a pilot 100-hour geography course called

Eco Rangers that began last year with 15 year 9 students.

As part of the project, an aged care worker from

Sutherland Council facilitated a day in which the students

met with residents of the retirement court to find out

what they were looking for in their gardens. Ms Martyn

says this was an important part of the learning process

for the students.


“Originally they were just going to go in and do a makeover

at the Retirement Court”, says Ms Martyn. However, after

a consultation process the students understood that the

values and ideas of the elderly residents were a significant

factor in any re-design of the gardens and they had to be

respectful and factor these social and personal values into

their work.

The students took the input from the residents, worked on

a design and helped install the gardens in terms three and

four last year with the assistance of community mentors,

Sutherland BEN, and local businesses such as Flower Power,

which sold plants to the students at cost price. Work on the

garden continues, and the initial year 9 Eco Rangers have

now handed responsibility to this year’s students, who

will continue to manage the project. The program is now

also being offered as a year 10 elective.

Ms Martyn said that for projects to work well, input

and enthusiasm is required from people from different

organisations and schools, such as Mr Rhodes, Sylvania’s

principal, Virginia Elliott and classroom teacher Diane Vince.

The Eco Rangers initiative is part of an approach at

Sylvania High School that prompts students to engage

issues from the local to the global. Other examples

include responding to the needs of people affected by

the recent Victorian bushfires and sponsoring children in

developing countries.

This project is an example of learning for life. Lessons

learnt in the classroom have applicability for their lifestyle

and it is being supported through quality teaching and

relevant curriculum delivery. Sylvania High School is now

hopeful that the Eco Rangers initiative could be a candidate

for some Schools First funding.

Janice Martyn

VETnetwork Australia, NSW Representative

School based traineeships on the increase in northern

NSW - Students beginning work at Taree Council

The NSW School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship

program continues to diversify in 2009 with a traineeship

in Civil Construction one of the latest qualifications being

undertaken by NSW Stage 6 students. The course has

been approved initially for delivery through the North

Coast Institute of TAFE NSW, which will allow students

to attend TAFE as well as school and gain experience as

trainees on the job at Taree City Council. The two Year

11 students in the program so far, Marcus Blanch of

Wingham High School and Nicholas Young of Chatham

High School, will also gain 5 units of credit towards their

HSC as part of the two year program, as approved by the

NSW Board of Studies.

The outcome for these students is that they will finish Year

12 with two qualifications, having gained their HSC as well

as a nationally recognised Certificate II in Civil Construction.

The qualification allows them to continue onto further

study in the Construction industry, with the possibility of

articulating into a variety of Certificate III qualifications being

just one option. As part of the School Based Traineeship

program, students are taken out of classrooms and into the

workplace, undertaking a minimum of 100 days of paid work

at the council (over two years) under the supervision and

mentorship of experienced staff. These days are negotiated

around the student’s school commitments, allowing for

possible extra hours during holidays and for breaks during

exam periods.

As with all School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships,

getting the Civil Construction Traineeship off the ground

was a combined effort. The process was first initiated

by Kim Clarke, the School Based Apprenticeship and

Traineeship Liaison Officer for North Coast Region, who

began to discuss the possibilities for the traineeship with

Ian Skaines, Head Teacher for Construction at the Great

Lakes TAFE campus. Also contributing to the negotiations

was Sue Wines, the Regional Vocational Education

Consultant, and Ros Hand, the TAFE Institute Consultant,



TVET, both lending their expert knowledge to develop

the program to benefit the students, employer and the

RTO, and to meet the requirements of the training market

for the Certificate II qualification.

In the planning stages it was only anticipated that one

student would be placed with Taree City Council, however

both Wingham and Chatham High Schools had students

that were so impressive that the Council decided to

accept them both as trainees. The students’ enthusiasm

has already been documented in the Taree local press as

can be seen in the photo, showing the students finalising

their training plans which is the written agreement made

between the student, employer, school and TAFE.

The endorsement of this School Based Traineeship for

North Coast Region of the NSW Department of Education

and Training now provides the blueprint for the rest of

the state, with aspiring School Based Trainees, RTOs

and employers able to benefit from the initial groundwork

done in this region, to apply to deliver the same or

similar programs.

In addition to the Certificate II in Civil Construction, School

Based Traineeships are currently being undertaken across

the state in other Construction qualifications and in other

industry areas, ranging from Retail and Hospitality to

Aged Care Work, Sport and Recreation, Electrotechnology,

Metals and Engineering, Finance, Automotive and

many more. For more details of the programs currently

approved, and those available for development, please


Janice Martyn

VETnetwork Australia, NSW Representative

Western Australia

The VETnetwork WA Forum held in Perth Western Australia

was held on Friday 15 May 2009 at The University Club.

Members of the national executive, Kath Bavich-Davey

and Christine McInerney, welcomed the 60 participants.

The program offered the potential to develop partnerships

in preparing students to meet the needs of today’s

complex job environments. The VETnetwork national

committee worked towards coordinating forum’s across

Australia, supported by the Department of Education

Employment and Workplace Relations under the banner

of National Career Development Week.

A full contingent of people attended representing a broad

cross-section of the VET Community in Western Australia.

The group included representatives from:

Curriculum Council

Local Community Partnerships

• Schools both metropolitan and regional WA

Schools both government and non-government

• Group Training Organisations

• Registered Training Organisations – government

and community based

• VET Clusters – government and

non-government schools

The WA elected representatives are keen to foster

a chapter that is inclusive of the key players in the

VET community in WA. The aim is to break down

the barriers, so that we are a group that extends

towards others in the broader VET community.

This will serve to enhance social capital which according

to the National Centre for Vocational Education Research

(NCVER) “comprises the networks, shared values and

understandings between people that enables individuals

and groups to trust each other and work together”. This is

certainly something that we will come to rely upon and

value in these particularly difficult times. Ultimately this

will ensure that our students/clients are better informed

and armed with the information and resources to meet

the challenges ahead.

A pack of resources was compiled and distributed

to all participants at the Forum. These include the

list of recommended career resource texts, plus two

research papers from NCVER. One paper titled “What is

‘social capital’ and how can vocational education and

training help develop it?” spells out in layman’s terms

the concept of social capital including the types of

social capital, namely: bonding, bridging and linking.

It is helpful to consider briefly each of these elements



to gain an understanding of social capital as a concept.

I quote from the NCVER paper:

• “Bonding social capital occurs where people develop

networks and relationships with people who are

like themselves or with whom they have something

in common”. This is akin to those from schools networking

with other schools.

• “Bridging social capital occurs where people develop

networks or relationships with people who are

dissimilar to themselves.” This relates to networking

with those from other sectors i.e. schools to Curriculum

Council/ LCP’s / RTO’s, Job Services providers, etc.

• “Linking social capital is where people interact,

and develop links, with institutionalized power; for

example, an individual linking with government

agency or service provider”. This could apply to

several examples linking with like minded

organizations such as an RTO linking with a Job

Services Australia provider.

The NCVER paper (Priest 2008) outlines the fact that “these

bonding networks and relationships are characterized by

high levels of trust; they are the connections people use

when they need help or favors. These networks contribute

to a high level of general well-being and can prevent social

isolation”. Given that we are generally focused and intent on

our work in our own organizations which at times can be

in isolation, the forum gives us an opportunity to enhance

our own social capital. The model provides a framework

that outlines the developmental phases of social capital.

The feedback from participants is that the preferred forum

model is a breakfast event plus workshop/networking

session held each quarter. Topics to present include:

• Learn new technologies to advise students in

accessing the online job market

• Web based recruitment innovations e.g. social media

VETnetwork to create a web forum page where people

can post topic threads and swap resource information

Specific information on what employers want

• What does industry need and want from educators

• Outline industry sectors which have highest growth

and greatest job opportunities

• Facilitate presentation plus networking and or activity

opportunities at each forum

• Explore Career Development and VET

as outlined in NCVER Research

Kath Bavich-Davey

VETnetwork Australia, WA Representative

Membership details & updates

A reminder that people must be active, financial members

of VETnetwork Australia to receive publications such as

VETnetworker and our fortnightly eNews. If you are talking

with a colleague or you yourself are having problems, it

may be for the following reasons:

• Your membership has expired – you can download a

new membership form from

or complete the form in this edition of VETnetworker.

• You may have ticked in the membership profile

section on our membership database (accessible

via our website) that you do not wish to receive

eNews publications – you need to log in and tick the

appropriate box which is clearly indicated under your

name and contact details.

• You may be part of a Corporate membership – that

is, if your school or organisation is the corporate

member, all publications will be sent direct to the

person who has registered as the member. You need

to make contact with this person and ask for copies of

all VETnetwork publications.

When you book for events and register for workshops you

will now need to provide your membership number which

will enable our staff to confirm that you are an active,

financial member – if you have any concerns or questions,

please contact our Executive Officer, Lori Hocking.

Membership categories

VETnetwork has three categories of membership – please

consider the most appropriate for you from the following:

Individual Membership

One year $99 (includes GST)

Two years $178 (includes GST)

Individual Student Membership

Full time Student $50 (includes GST)

Corporate Membership

One year $420 (includes GST)

Two years $760 (includes GST)

VETnetwork memberships are tax deductible. Membership

is current from January 1 to December 31. Individual

membership entitles you to four journal issues each year,

VOCAL in the year of the Conference, access to the Members’

Only section of the website, and reduced rates for the

National Conference and other professional development

events. Corporate membership entitles the member to five

of the above publications and reduced rates.


Membership application form

Please print clearly

1 year - 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2009


2 years - 1 January 2009 to 31 December 2010

Individual and student membership (1 set of membership benefits)



First name

Workplace postcode

Last name

Your position

Postal address

Work sector - type of organisation

School or technical college

Local community partnership (LCP)

Registered training organisation (RTO)



Employer or industry representative

Systems representative



Relevant qualifications


Year graduated (teaching/training)

Corporate membership (5 sets of membership benefits)

Name of organisation

Contact name



Telephone Fax Email

Payment details

Membership category

Payment method

Cheque/money order enclosed (please make payable to VETnetwork) Amount paid $

Direct deposit - Date deposited

Transfer ID used (use initial & date, eg. SK2Feb)

Account name: VETnetwork BSB: 034 034 (Westpac) Account number: 169 010

Direct deposit payments MUST also send a ‘Membership Application Form’ via email, fax or post to VETnetwork.

Credit card payment. Please charge the following credit card:

Card type Mastercard Visa

Card number

Card holder name

Expiry date


Applicant’s signature


Vocational Education and Training Network Australia Inc.

W 08 8372 6944 P

E 08 8372 6943 F

PO Box 436, Highgate SA 5063 94 619 317 099 ABN

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