Newman Senior Technical College provides a unique approach to the HSC, which is like no other. Vice Captain Jacqui Ashe tells us more …
What made you decide on coming to Newman?
My initial decision to attend Newman College was based on the opportunity to take a more hands on approach to my final years of study –one which gave me a pathway to experience the health industry first hand, with the long term goal of a career in the medical field. I knew that Newman offered many pathways to all students, and it was something that I wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Newman has a motto of ‘A HSC Like No Other’. What makes your pattern of study so unique?
I have the opportunity to complete my HSC studying English and Mathematics, while at the same time completing a School-based Traineeship in Aged Care. I am enrolled in Human Services at Newman and studying a Certificate III in Aged Care as part of my pattern of study, assisting me to achieve my goal of becoming a Paramedic.
The College is unique, because the whole focus of the courses is VET based, the learning is very hands on and practical, and all students get to go to work one day a week during the whole year. It just makes your learning interesting and challenging at the same time. I knew that no other school would be able to provide me with training in Aged Care, a Traineeship and a HSC all at the one place, as a complete package with such an awesome College community.
What is it that makes the Newman Community so welcoming?
Newman is a senior secondary school with students coming into start Year 11 from over 10 different schools – which could make it a challenge to get to know a lot of students and be known by all new staff. But right away, many of the activities that we do help us to get to know one another and build friendships creating a fantastic community. Even though I didn’t know many students at the start, in Term 3 I was elected as a member of the Student Representative Council and then Vice Captain.
This honour has allowed me to represent the College in a range of capacities such as the St Vincent de Paul Buddy program, greeting and speaking with guests to the College and being an ambassador in public functions, such as ANZAC Day, local government forums like Youth Week and school functions.
The College provides unique training opportunities. Can you explain how you have experienced this?
The College has an extensive workplacement program, which has given me the opportunity to experience industry in my VET subject workplaces as an extension and reinforcement of my classroom activities.
Having these two ways in which I learn has allowed me to recognise the value of classroom learning, which provides us with a sound basis of skills to carry into the industry. My traineeship also requires unique skills and responsibilities, and this also benefits my learning at the College.
Through the on the job training and off the job training of my Traineeship, I have developed skills and knowledge in caring for a person’s activities of daily living. I am confident in making the right decision in all aspects of my client’s care and have the confidence to clarify issues I am unsure of with my supervisor.
You recently attended a Board of Studies Student Advisory Group workshop. Tell us a little bit about the experience?
I was nominated by the College to be a part of this group and was fortunate to be selected as one of fourteen students across NSW. The group will advise the Board of Studies on future directions and decisions which will affect students across the state. I feel very proud to have the opportunity to inform the Board of Studies of what is relevant and important to a VET student.
I feel that the College has given me an experience which has been so beneficial for my future, and I want to make sure that the Board understands the value of the unique style of HSC that Newman offers. As part of my responsibilities to this group, I am embarking on a project to raise awareness of the different options open to VET students and pathways to further training such as university.
There’s no substitute for 33 years of experience.
2012 VET in Schools Excellence Regional Finalist (winner to be announced)
2012 VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year Regional Finalist (winner to be announced)
2012 School-based Apprentice of the Year Regional Finalist (winner to be announced)
2012 National WorldSkills Finalists (2 x Electrotechnology, 2 x Automotive, 1 x Construction, winners to be announced)
2012 Defence Technical Scholarships x 14 students
2011 NSW School-based Apprentice of the Year
2011 VET School Student of the Year Regional Finalist
2010 VET in Schools Excellence NSW Finalist
2010 School-based Apprentice of the Year Regional Finalist
2010 Australian Vocational Student Prize x 2
2010 Gold and 2 x Silver Medal Winners at National WorldSkills (Highest medal winning school across Australia)
2009 School-based Apprentice of the Year, National Finalist
This story was published in issue 79 Greater Port Macquarie Focus