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.
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.
As this year draws to a close, I’d like to let you know about some very exciting new initiatives that SSR will be introducing in the coming months. These include supporting students in need with programs and items such as;
THE MYKI CARD PILOT PROGRAM
Beginning in Term 1, 2020 schools will be able place applications for Myki cards for any students experiencing significant financial hardship, preventing them from attending school due to the cost of travel. Each card will be sent via registered post directly to the school with an initial $100 value. Students will then be able to receive a further two $100 top ups upon completion of a short survey.
The data received from this survey will be critical for measuring the impact of this pilot program and will play a crucial part in obtaining funding to further provide travel assistance to those students that are particularly vulnerable. Please note: these cards will be available for primary and secondary students alike.
SWIMWEAR FOR SCHOOL SWIMMING PROGRAMS
We have listened to schools’ feedback about the cost of swimwear being prohibitive for some families and have added swimwear to our ever growing list of items that we are able to supply directly. Stock for both female and male styles have been ordered and we will be ready to supply to schools beginning Term 1, 2020 (January).
There will be two styles available;* One piece racer back for girls (navy) and* Lycra trunks for boys (navy)
These bathers are made from premium materials and are guaranteed to survive the rigours of normal wear. Both styles are chlorine proof, piling resistant, offer 50+ UV protection and are breathable/self drying. (Sizes available for primary and secondary students).
WORK BOOTS FOR VCAL STUDENTS
Did you know that SSR also provides work boots for students undertaking VCAL courses? These boots are AS/NZS AS2210.3 certified, comprised of a steel safety toe cap and a lightweight PU sole resistant to most oils, acids and chemicals, have a moulded footbed for maximum comfort and durability and are available black or camel.
TEXT BOOKS FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS
Available now (Term 4, 2019) SSR is offering reimbursements of up to $80 per book for a maximum of 2 books to assist families struggling with the costs of sending their children to school. Applications can be made for up to $160 (2 books at a cost of up to $80 each). In order to be reimbursed, schools will need to supply SSR with an invoice/receipt detailing the books purchased and their associated cost/s. (Please note: textbook support is available for Term 4, 2019 and Term 1, 2020).
SCHOOL BAG SUPPORT
SSR is now offering assistance with the cost of school bags to the value of $50 (by way of providing a voucher to the uniform retailer). Applications for school bags can be made via our online application portal, as you would with any uniforms items.
Should your school require any assistance with placing applications, please contact our Applications Support team on 03 8769 8400, Monday to Friday from 8.30am – 4.30pm.
All the opportunities for assistance listed above are available to ANY student based on the normal assessment of need conducted within your school. Applications for our assistance can be made by your welfare/wellbeing team (or nominated staff member) through ouronline application portal.
Again, we will be asking schools to assist us with collecting data, particularly around the Myki program, as this will assist us in measuring the impact of the program and procuring funding to run it beyond the pilot stage.
Should you have any stories that you’d like to share with us, we’d really appreciate it. By sharing these stories it helps to spread the word about SSR so please let us know if you hear of any emotive stories from families/students who have received our support.
In 2020, State Schools’ Relief expects to impact over 60,000 Victorian state school students by providing additional assistance with our new programs & initiatives and we sincerely hope to alleviate some of the additional challenges encountered by families.
As always, please feel free to provide me with any feedback or suggestions for how we can continually improve our service at email@example.com
Sue Karzis Chief Executive Officer
YEAR 7 CSEF UNIFORM PACKAGE The 2020 Year 7 CSEF package has now commenced, with the package consisting of top, pants/dress and a pair of school shoes. Please remember that if a student requires something over and above what is included in the package, an additional welfare application can be placed at any time of the year. More information (and all downloads) on the Year 7 CSEF package can be found here.
PAYROLL GIVING SSR’s school liaison staff, Sharon and Filomena, are available to host a morning tea at your school for any interested staff in order to promote our ‘Payroll Giving’ program. Plus, the ladies will bring delicious donuts for all to enjoy whilst they attend. For more information head to our website or contact them on the below:
FUNDRAISING Thank you to ALL the schools that have already raised funds for SSR this year. Fundraising is crucial for our organisation to enable us to continue assisting all Victorian students in need.
If your school is looking for a fundraising idea, why not think about a casual dress day, footy day, sausage sizzle, fun run or even a Topsy Turvy Day (where students can wear their uniforms back to front and/or inside-out!)? These are easy and effective fundraising events and offer great opportunities for all students to get involved.
We have a list of other fundraising ideas to make it fun and simple for everyone – request a flyer today at firstname.lastname@example.org
A reminder to Year 12 students and parents that the VTAC applications close on 30 September at 5.00 pm. Please ensure you submit your application by the deadline. For more information please go to www.vtac.edu.au
The 2020 Senior Program Guide for Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College is now available. It can be accessed by clicking here.
This shared program guide is a symbol of the two school’s continued commitment to provide the best senior school opportunities for both student communities. In collaborating in an innovative, responsive, personalised and future-oriented senior school environment, the partnership looks to optimise student outcomes for all students.
This is a very exciting time for current Year 10 students, in the process of making significant decisions for the senior and final years of secondary school, and it is an important time for current Year 11 students, refining programs for Year 12, the final stage of the secondary school journey.
There are a number of factors to be taken into consideration. Importantly, decisions need to be made with a future-focus. A senior program needs to open up a future, which offers opportunity and flexibility. The course and subject choices will be critical to success, leading to a variety of pathways namely higher education, training or employment.
We, therefore, want to provide a range of educational options for all of our students moving into their senior secondary years. This includes VCAL, which is an alternative to VCE. VCAL is vocational and practical. It is a realistic option for students who thrive in a hands-on learning environment and want to go straight into the workforce or further vocational training following secondary school.
In the time we have been offering VCE, and now also VCAL, we have established a legacy of student success, demonstrated by strong academic results and transition to tertiary studies. Through our partnership with the Inner Melbourne VET Cluster (IMVC), students can access an extensive range of VET certificate courses. Many of our former students have gone on to tertiary studies to specialise in the area they studied in VET. At Collingwood College, VET subjects are offered. Students will have access to their VET teacher beyond the face-to-face class time. This is beneficial in a busy senior school schedule.
Next year will be full of challenges. We wish you well with your decision-making and planning and look forward to working with all our students and families in 2020.
Christopher Millard Senior Programs Leader Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College
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.
I have been involved for the past year in the Youth Enterprise Hub Working Party, which is an initiative of the Inner Northern Local Learning and Employment Network along with three councils and the Bendigo Bank. The Youth Enterprise Hub builds 21st century entrepreneurial capabilities in all young people in the inner north of Melbourne. Fitzroy High School is one of six pilot schools and is currently trialing new curriculum in the VCAL program. There is more information on the website http://inllen.org.au/yeh/ where you will also see interviewed Januar Manirambona, an ex-student of Fitzroy High School who is now in a plumbing apprenticeship. Januar was a guest speaker at last week’s launch of the Youth Enterprise Hub at CERES.
Linda Mitchell Acting Principal
Last year, Fitzroy High School was invited to participate in the Youth Enterprise Hub Working Party, as part of the INLLEN. As part of this working party, five students from our VCAL program engaged in a series of ‘Think Tanks’ where they spoke with local entrepreneurs about their beliefs for business, the need for enterprise skills and the progression of their businesses. During the next phase of this working party, current VCAL students have engaged in a series of workshops designed to foster their understanding of entrepreneurial skills and the need for people who can think outside the box. One of our recent VCAL graduates, Januar Manirambona, engaged in the initial phase of the project last year and recently spoke at the launch of the Youth Enterprise Hub. He eloquently described the need for this type of work in a growing and evolving future for young people. Both myself and Louise, one of our VCAL teachers, will continue to engage with the Hub over the course of the year. As both VCAL Coordinator and teacher, I am lucky enough to be engaged in a program which fosters such skills as: communication skills, leadership skills, using ICT and active problem solving. All components that are being explored by the Hub and, as such, I am passionate about the inclusion of this style of learning in future curriculums.
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.