Koorie students enjoy taste of trade day

Koorie Trades Day 01

Koorie Trades Day 02

An opportunity to try a trade was grabbed with both hands by a group of Koorie students from the Woolum Bellum Koorie Pathways School in Morwell recently.

The students went to GippsTAFE’s Yallourn campus to see what was available in areas including Painting and Decorating, Cabinet Making and Bricklaying pre-apprenticeships.

The visit resulted from an informal discussion at a recent careers expo, when teacher Brett Pedlow discussed the possibility of introducing some of the students to trade opportunities. In the teacher’s words, the students “hadn’t stopped asking about it since it was mentioned.”

The result was a special session for the group of students, who enjoyed the chance to get their hands dirty in the bricklaying area as well as trying their hand in the other pre-apprenticeship areas.

“It was a great opportunity for the students to see what is possible in terms of learning an important trade,” coordinator of the Painting and Decorating Program, Davin Nicholas, said.

“There are great opportunities in these areas and the enthusiasm of the Woolum Bellum students was wonderful to see.

“Hopefully some of them will take up the challenge and join us at GippsTAFE as the start of their career.”

The Woolum Bellum Koorie Pathways School is also involved with the GippsTAFE Koorie Unit every Tuesday afternoon, where students participate in wood work activities and making Koorie artefacts. 

Students from the school recently took up the opportunity to complete First Aid (Level 2) training and a Food Handling Certificate with GippsTAFE.

“Our education program has been designed to provide individualised assistance and support to Koorie students primarily aged 12-16 (years 7-10) who are not engaged with school or are at serious risk of disengagement.”

“The school focuses on Koorie culture and identity as the basis for engagement in learning, and give critical attention to literacy and numeracy as the fundamental building blocks of learning and future success.”

“It is important for us to build a pathway approach into GippsTAFE through the Koorie Unit so that when our students finish year 10 they feel encouraged to go into TAFE,” told Lynnette Solomon-Dent, Leading Teacher with Woolum Bellum.