VCAL Micro Enterprise Unit

Senior VCAL students are currently working with external business mentors to develop micro enterprise concepts. Students have formed concept teams and are developing business ideas from the ‘ground up’ including market research, branding, financials and product development. During remote learning, students have been meeting with mentors online, and working in teams to progress their business concepts. The unit is the result of a broader collaboration, the Youth Enterprise Hub, that Fitzroy High School has been involved in for some time. The school has been working with the Local Learning and Employment Network, local entrepreneurs, and other schools to design and trial an Enterprise Skills unit.The project also requires students to embed social and/or environmental connections in their business design, and will culminate in a business ‘pitch’ to school leadership and community representatives. 

Louise Speirs-Bridge | VCAL & VET Leader

VCAL Community Project

Our Intermediate VCAL class started a community project in collaboration with Rushall Park residents at the start of Term 3. Students are running a series of resident interviews, with a view to creating a ‘life story’ book and producing a short film to support the United Nations’ Decade of Healthy Ageing. Unfortunately Victoria’s current restrictions meant that we were unable to meet face to face with residents this week, so with permission from Rushall Park management, students wrote messages to residents and drew pictures on roads within the facility. Feedback from residents who subsequently came to view student work has been extremely positive, and the activity helped to strengthen connections between students and residents. Additionally, our students experienced the power of altruism, empathy and social connection, which is core to the VCAL program. 

VCAL – Masina Taule’alo

Masina Taule’alo, one of our graduating Year 12 VCAL students, participated in a second work experience placement at the end of November. Masina, who has passion for digital media design, worked in a small video production team at Healthily, a producer of online health programs. As part of his VCAL Certificate and VCE Media Studies, Masina designed and produced a presentation and short film to raise awareness and acceptance of autism. The team at Healthily were so impressed with Masina’s work, that they offered him a work experience placement, with a view to possible ongoing work as a component of his future studies. During his work placement, Masina delivered his presentation to members of the Healthily team. Feedback suggests that the placement was a great learning experience both for Masina, and for Healthily staff who learned about common characteristics of autism and ways to support people with autism in the workplace.

VCAL Project

On 14th November we visited East West Child Care in Fitzroy to donate a large number of handmade teddy bears. One of our Year 12 VCAL students, Courtney Hildebrand, completed a work experience placement at the centre earlier this year, and has been working on the project as part of her Intermediate Certificate. She designed the pattern with assistance from Penny Stray, the school’s Hands On Learning Teacher, and has been meticulously crafting the bears alongside other Hands On Learning students. Staff and children at the centre were very excited to receive the bears, with the children eagerly choosing their favourites.

VCAL visit to Lentil as Anything

On September 5 the Year 12 VCAL student cohort visited Lentil As Anything in Thornbury. After a successful work experience placement at the cafe, one of the students, Dan Ilsley, decided to create an artwork as a “thank you”. Dan worked closely with integration staff in the school’s Hands On Learning program to complete the project over a 4 month period. Dan enjoyed being involved in all aspects of the project and is very excited to know that his work will be displayed for everyone to appreciate. The visit included a tour of the venue, a group lunch, and a presentation to the cafe’s Manager by Dan and Linda Mitchell, Fitzroy High School’s Acting Principal.

Community Compost Hub Launch

On Tuesday June 4, Fitzroy High School hosted a gathering to launch our Community Compost Hub. Councillor Danae Bosler, Yarra City’s Mayor, officially launched the hub, a joint project between Woodside Sustainability Group and the school, with support from Holden Street Neighbourhood House and City of Yarra.

The facility will initially compost scraps from our Food Technology room, canteen and staffroom; and from local residents. In the longer term, all areas of the school will use the facility, including scraps from student and teacher homes.

Current and past VCAL students have been the driving force behind the project: designing and constructing compost bays and a timber tool box, seeking input from School Council and the Building & Grounds Committee, and securing tool donations from teachers and local residents. VCAL students will continue to manage the hub as it becomes operational in Term 3.

VCAL Compost Project

VCAL Compost Box 2019

Our Year 12 VCAL class spent a day in Wood Technology building a large wooden storage box which will be used to store tools and equipment for our community compost system. The class sought local community input when designing the box, and worked collaboratively to identify and cost required materials. Year 12 and Year 11 VCAL students will be involved in finalising construction of the compost system, with the ‘official’ launch planned for Term 2.