Program details

Subject to change without notice

At a Glance

8.15am Registration opens
9.00am Welcome from VALA, playmeo – Mark Collard
Session A: 10.00am
Morning tea 11.00am
Session B: 11.30am
Lunch: 12.25pm
Session C: 1.10pm
Session D: 2.10pm
Close 3.10pm

9.00am Opening


playmeo – Mark Collard


Session A: 10.00am Choose one of eight

A1 Where’s my A+

Tyson McNamara - VCE and VCAL coordinator – Box Hill Institute


“Where’s my A+” is an overall look at competency based education, the advantages and disadvantages for students, compliance issues for teachers and the role that CBE will play for the youth of tomorrow. This session is appropriate for all educators, those who have taught competency based learning for years, right to those who are teaching it for the first time.


Tyson McNamara has spent his life immersed in the field of education, teaching at high school, VET and university levels. Alongside his teaching, Tyson has served as an educational designer for the Indigenous Futures collaboration project developing attractive and engaging content for remote students. He was also the internal quality and compliance guru for the Swinburne Youth Department. Tyson teaches all strands of VCAL, including a range of industry strands.

A2 Programs, place and people

Christopher Hosie - VCAL and Outdoor Education teacher - North Geelong Secondary College


How does the program and the place you occupy effect the potential for partnerships to be built? Following ten years and 4 distinct outdoor education programs around remote parts of Australia, Chris discusses a personal narrative about what made and maintained effective partnerships in unusual circumstances.

Currently employed as a VCAL and Outdoor Education teacher at North Geelong Secondary College. Previous roles have included establishing a Kimberley/Melbourne cross-cultural applied learning school as Residential Coordinator and Teacher, A rural/city community connections facilitator, Team Leader W.A. Ward of the State Youth Development Team Leader

A3 Work Readiness and retention via the vineyard.

Lisa Brown - Teacher - Ready, Set, Work Coordinator - Bellarine Secondary College with Damian Miller & Zac Staines - Bellarine Secondary Students-currently in Year 11 VCAL, formerly RSW students


The ‘Ready, Set, Work’ program is aimed at students who prefer hands on learning and are potentially at risk of leaving school without a planned pathway.

With 7.5 acres of Pinot Noir and Shiraz grapes as the core of the program students learn and develop employability skills and are re engaged in education providing them with the ideal lead in to successfully complete VCAL and VET in the Later Years.

Community partnerships with local businesses and wineries has seen this program produce incredible success in the retention and training of students. The vineyard is blooming and producing highly sought after grapes which will have their first vintage this year.

Lisa Brown has had extensive experience as a teacher across hands on and applied learning. She has taught VCAL from Foundation up to Senior Level and is the developer and teacher of the Ready, Set, Work program at Bellarine Secondary College. Lisa has also worked for TAFE in both the government and private sector as a sessional instructor and course developer.

A4 Lawyers in schools

Shorna Moore – Director at WEstjustice and Angus Woodward - In-house school lawyer - Wyndham Community Education Centre & Laverton P12



While it’s not unusual to have a lawyer visit a school as a guest presenter, few can boast having a lawyer based at their school. This partnership allows students to drop into a lawyer’s office much as they would the school nurse or counsellor but in this case for legal advice. With a focus on prevention and timely intervention, lawyers offer education, information, advice and even support students through the court process should they need representation.

Shorna Moore is the Director of Policy and Community Development at WEstjustice and the Chair of the School Lawyer Reference Group. Shorna developed the school lawyer model in Victoria and manages the school programs at WEstjustice.

Angus Woodward - As a ‘School Lawyer’ at a mainstream P-12 College and an alternative VCAL school, Gus has supported a number of students with a range of legal problems, including problems with fines, bullying, family violence, crime, debt, employment issues. Gus also provides regular legal education workshops, covering topics such as cyberbullying, crime and employment rights, and has a passion for educating and supporting vulnerable young people."

A5 Vietnam - The war that changed our Nation

Ray Weston - President - Vietnam Veterans Education Team


Vietnam was Australia's longest war, it is where the Cold War was fought. The first time that war had been televised and National Servicemen were employed overseas. The fallout was that our troops were shunned, immigration increased and boat people were Vietnamese refugees. Demonstrations, Union actions and moratoriums in capital cities became commonplace. This era of our history changed our international "innocence" forever.

Ray Weston - National Serviceman 1968 -1970 who served with 5 RAR in Vietnam. He joined the Army Reserve 1971 until 2000. Instructing Officer Cadets at Melbourne University Regiment and Company Sergeant Major with 5/6 RVR. Welfare Officer from 2000 - 2016, Team leader and current President of the Vietnam Veterans Education Team. 2001 - 2016 - Past President and Treasurer of Frankston District Sub Branch of Vietnam Veterans Association of Victoria.

A6 S.E.S.H. - Actively encouraging your students to value SHARING, EMPATHY, STRENGTHS and HOPE

Adam Cooper – Program Coordinator - Vocational College Holmesglen and Chris Barry – Student Counsellor - Vocational College, Holmesglen


Looking for a way to improve classroom culture, connectedness and student-teacher relationships? Then sign up for SESH, a group speaking and listening program designed for 16-19 year old’s that promotes the sharing of information, stories and opinions.

SESH focuses on key areas of personal and group development through SHARING, EMPATHY, STRENGTHS and HOPE. Vocational College has developed SESH to provide a safe space for students to speak openly about themselves and the challenges they face as adolescents. Through structured listening and sharing activities students gain a greater understanding of each other’s point of view, recognize and celebrate their strengths and explore goals for the future.

In this session, you will experience SESH first hand. You will engage in SESH activities with your fellow Applied Learning practitioners. You will get tips on how to incorporate SESH in to your own Applied Learning program, and best of all you'll be doing something active, creative and fun!

Adam Cooper has been a long time VCAL practitioner and advocate for Applied Learning Programs across a diverse range of education settings. He is currently the Coordinator of the Vocational College, Holmesglen Moorabbin, delivering VCAL across all three levels. For many years, Adam has been a highly active member of the Applied Learning community. He has fulfilled the role of Professional Learning Officer with VALA and Director of the Armed & Dangerous Youth Film Festival, as well as operating his own business as an Applied Learning resource developer and project manager in a range of TAFE, Secondary School, Special Education and Community settings. Adam is committed to the development of creativity and positive classroom relationships to make learning relevant and rewarding for both students and their teachers.

Chris Barry currently works as a Student Counsellor for Holmesglen Vocational College having worked across TAFE, Secondary School and disability settings. With qualifications in Counselling and Psychology, Chris has spent his career working with adolescent youth hoping to foster personal growth and build resilience. He sees adolescence as the most profound time of change in a person’s life, filled with challenges and opportunities. Chris enjoys working with both individuals and groups to promote good mental health and provide information about substance and alcohol misuse, suicide awareness, healthy/respectful relationships, and risk taking behaviour.

A7 Using and Understanding VASS

Jan Miletic - QA panel member - Loddon Mallee Region


Know and understand how to use and manipulate information on VASS, in terms of assuring students will be able to gain a certificate. Enrolment in subjects, Certificates and Eligibility reports are critical understanding for all teachers of VCAL and VCAL coordinators.

Jan is a teacher with 34 years’ experience, currently happily doing casual teaching around Bendigo. Jan has been a VCAL teacher and coordinator for 8 years as well as VASS administrator and has taught the VCAL strands of Literacy , Personal Development Skills and Work Related Skills at all levels.

A8 Engage, Educate, Empower

Nick Radecki - Assistant Principal - SEDA College and Julianne Spring - VCAL Coordinator SEDA College


The SEDA College Program is “Partnerships in Action”. This is what informs our curriculum. From Industry consultations, to collaboration with sporting partners, to how our curriculum is developed.

But what does all this mean for our students? At the heart of good curriculum design is the student experience and this is what has informed our practice and approach to curriculum design.

At SEDA College our student experience is multi-dimensional with the links with sporting partners and the Sport and Recreation Industry ensuring that students are connected to the real world in meaningful ways.

The SEDA College model we have implemented has ensured that the applied learning principles underpinning the VCAL are brought to fruition.

So how do we do it?

This workshop will provide you with a framework and insight to a working model of partnerships in action.

Julie Spring (BA, Dip Ed. M.Ed (in Work and Learning) has experience as a classroom practitioner in the VCAL since the first pilot in 2002. She has worked in a range of educational contexts including prisons, the NT, TAFE’s and secondary schools. Julie is currently the VCAL Coordinator overseeing curriculum development at SEDA College.

Currently the Assistant Principal at SEDA College Nick Radecki (Bachelor of Applied Science, Dip Ed) has spent the last 8 years overseeing the overall planning, development and implementation of SEDA College’s curriculum model. Prior to this Nick was a Secondary teacher with experience in delivering the VCAL and a Leading Teacher in Pathways and Transitions.

Session B: 11.30am Choose one of eight

B1 Multi-levelled integrated projects

Cherie Osta, Lorne-Aireys Inlet P-12 College


VCAL gives you the opportunity to integrate some or all the strands together creating innovative possibilities for new learning experiences. Cherie introduces you to the tricks and tribulations on how to get a multi-levelled, multi layered integrated project right…..including record keeping!

Cherie Osta is a multiple VCAA VCAL award winning teacher (including Teacher of the Year and Program Delivery), a dynamic conference presenter, VCAL Quality Assurance Liaison Teacher and VALA committee member with over 8 years of working in applied learning at Lorne/Aireys Inlet P-12 College. Cherie is also the driving force behind the Safari By The Sea, an overnight VALA professional development program held in October each year.

B2 Community Partnerships - Moreland Youth Movement

Laura Elliott - VCAL, VET & Pathways Co-ordinator – Brunswick Secondary College


The Moreland Youth Movement is a student-led community based project that has been designed to increase students' resilience and job-readiness through making connections with the local community. Baseline data has been collated on the cohort’s resilience and job-readiness which will be monitored throughout the project.

Laura has extensive experience in VCAL across both the secondary school and TAFE sectors. She is currently both the VCAL and Pathways Coordinator at Brunswick Secondary College. Driven by strong educational philosophies that are underpinned by a commitment to ensuring that schools are providing high quality, viable pathways for all students’ post-secondary school. Laura has developed a rigorous VCAL program at Brunswick Secondary College and has built strong partnerships with the local community. Laura was successful in obtaining a $15 000 grant through Vic Health to develop and implement a student-led, community based project around inclusion and diversity in 2017. Laura has also had success in establishing and coordinating a local professional learning community where providers work collaboratively to raise both awareness and the standard of VCAL across schools.

B3 How To Find The Perfect Group Activity

Mark Collard – Director – playmeo


This presentation will guide you through the use of playmeo's innovative online database of group games and activities. As a VALA member, you have free and unlimited access to all of playmeo's resources, including the instructions & video tutorials for 300+ group games such as ice-breakers, energisers, trust exercises and simple problem-solving activities. Come to this session to learn how to find the perfect activity, engage your students and help them build and strengthen relationships. If you can, bring your mobile device to get the most out of this session!

Mark is an experiential trainer, speaker and author, and the founder of playmeo's online activity database. He is an expert at helping teachers learn the skills and strategies they need to deliver remarkably fun programs that engage and motivate students to participate and get along. This workshop will directly engage participants in the use of playmeo's online database.

B4 Nurturing Self-Regulation for Academic Rigour.

Leonie Abbott - Berry Street Education Model


Learning depends on a solid foundation of wellbeing and a well-regulated body (Brunzell, Stokes & Waters, 2016). We know that the best positive education strategy is the execution of pro-active, pre-emptive, strengths-based classrooms consistently across an entire school. Learn how to implement self-regulation strategies that focus on integrating body/brain connections. Build students’ academic capacity with positive education techniques to enhance stamina for learning. This workshop will give a snapshot of the comprehensive pedagogical model arising from the design of the Berry Street Education Model in schools across the country.

Leonie Abbott is the senior trainer, co-author and editor of the Berry Street Education Model. She currently supports a diverse range of schools with Trauma Informed Positive Education training, curriculum and strategies to enable school leaders to embed and sustain the science of wellbeing across a whole-school approach. Leonie is a foundation graduate of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Melbourne, has over 20 years of education leadership experience and was recently elected as Director onto the board of PESA (Positive Education Schools Association). She integrates trauma-informed pedagogy and the science of wellbeing in her interactions with communities and believes Positive Psychology is a powerful road map for continuous growth.

B5 Engaging young parents in education

Sharna Westley - Coordinator - South West TAFE and Emma McDonald - South west TAFE


The Young Parents VCAL program is modelled on a holistic approach to education by allowing young parents to complete their secondary schooling, while having their children with them in the classroom. A qualified childcare worker is present to provide learning and play experiences for the children, allowing the parents to focus on the educational work requirements. Students in the YPVCAL program can gain their Foundation, Intermediate and Senior (Year 10, 11 and 12 equivalent) VCAL over a period of 3 years. In addition students are also supported throughout their studies by a maternal and child health nurse and strong links to other community organisations. The program has been running at SWTAFE for 7 years and continues to pathway students into further education, employment or higher education.

Sharna has been a teacher and program coordinator at SWTAFE for 13 years, developing and teaching in programs focusing on applied learning. Emma is a Senior Educator at SWTAFE and has taught in the sector for 5 years, with over 15 years teaching experience. Emma is focused on giving her students an applied learning experience through a pathways model.

B6 Involving the wider community with VCAL Remembrance

Nicole Scott - VCAL Teacher - Alkira Secondary College


It is important for VCAL students to have opportunities to work with members of the wider community, particularly when remembering our past. Participants in this presentation will learn about the experiences of Alkira Secondary College who have worked for a number of years in liaison with the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia, Education Team and Courage to Care. These partnerships ensure that students are involved in meaningful, integrated and hands on activities and events which honour our heritage.

Nicole Scott has been teaching Humanities and VCAL at Alkira Secondary College for the last 6 years. She has been the recipient of a VCAL Program Development Award in 2011 and contributed to the VCAL Partnership Awards in 2013 and 2015, two study grants to Gallipoli/Western Front in 2011 and Israel in 2013 and been responsible for applying for and receiving 5 ANZAC Day Schools Awards.

B7 Exploring work and community with The Big Issue Classroom

Melissa Walsh - Program Coordinator - The Big Issue and 2nd presenter TBC - The Big Issue


Experience The Big Issue Classroom, facilitated by one of The Big Issue Classroom team and featuring the story of someone who has experienced homelessness. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and explore how The Big Issue Classroom contributes to students' personal development, their understanding about social issues and the way workshop creates opportunities for applied learning. The Big Issue is Australia’s longest-standing and most significant social enterprise. It is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that develops solutions to help homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people positively change their lives.

Melissa Walsh joined The Big Issue Classroom in Melbourne as a facilitator in 2010, and took on the role of Program Coordinator in 2014. At the Classroom she has combined her experience as a secondary teacher with her interest in oral history – she completed a PhD in History at The University of Melbourne in 2013.

B8 Inclusion is not something you say…. it’s something you do!

Shani Coats – Scope


Scope offers 2 programs titled the “See the Person” workshop and the “Scope Young Ambassadors” program which give participants the skills, confidence and knowledge to understand disability and other diversities within our community. With successful partnerships between the people that Scope supports and multiple schools across Victoria, together we can achieve an inclusive, understanding, accepting and welcoming community for all! We give you an overview of the in-school education programs, the community service activity options and the benefits and outstanding testimonials from previous students.

With a range of experience both professionally and personally, Shani Coats says it how it is. With regards to the disability world and how diversity is an important topic young people need to take on board. Presented by Scope community educators as well as the faculty at Buckley Park College.

B9 On the same PAGE… a tool for documenting VCAL evidence.

Kate Dennis – Hester Hornbrook Academy


So you’re teaching VCAL? What constitutes evidence? How do you track it? How do you map it to VCAL? The Hester Hornbrook Academy (HHA) have developed ‘PAGE documents’ to create a culture of ownership and empowerment for students and educators to negotiate and inform their learning and achievements via three documents:

1. 'Snapshot PAGE' a progression and communication document that identifies at a glance how far a student has progressed while also identifying areas yet to cover and/or education possibilities;

2. ‘Student PAGE’ which allows students autonomy and ownership over their Learning Outcome acquisition and achievements by clearly identifying the tasks (that) attain outcomes visually and (simply).

3. 'Staff PAGE' an organisation electronic tracking document which is utilised by the teacher for many reasons such as informing reports, school compliance and effective handover processes.

Presented by Kate Dennis, this workshop will share the struggles and experiences that lead to a desire to put everyone on the same page!

Staff and Snapshot PAGE was created by James Inabinet, Student PAGE created by Kate Dennis with valuable contributions by Karin Coverdale, Claire Feely, Joseph Howie, Veneita Sewell and all past and present education staff of HHA!

Kate Dennis has been teaching at Hester Hornbrook Academy (formerly Melbourne Academy-Melbourne City Mission) since 2014. She currently teaches Intermediate and Senior VCAL across all strands and has had experience teaching all levels of VCAL to at risk, disengaged youth. She holds a strong passion for VCAL curriculum development and methods to capture the great work VCAL practitioners deliver.

Session C: 1.10pm Choose one of eight

C1 Project Driven Learning Creates Partnerships

Narelle Bean - Pathways Leader and Senior VCAL teacher - Bellarine Secondary College


VCAL naturally lends itself to integration to complete a number of projects to meet outcomes. These can be student directed, group planned and class run. They can create partnerships within and outside your school setting. Links with the wider community are important to develop these projects and students involved experiencing success with this. Narelle will provide a several project examples that are teacher driven, student driven and class driven to help build ideas and add to your VCAL resources.

Narelle is the Leader of Pathways and Senior VCAL teacher at Bellarine Secondary College. She has recently been presented with the award for VCAL Teacher of the Year 2016. Narelle has developed and added integrated programs in a number of settings at all three levels of VCAL. With over 20 years of experience in education, she is a firm believer that relationship development is integral to student success in VCAL

C2 Structured Workplace Learning as an integral component of VCAL in rural communities.

Michael Cook - Ballarat High School and Albert Govan - Ballarat High School


VCAL as a "work ready" program cannot be theoretical in nature. Consequently, WRS as a subject, must be intrinsically linked to practical work experiences in a variety of situations. Rural communities are suffering from an employment crisis on many fronts, one being that youth unemployment is 20.1% compared to Melbourne's at 16% (2016). VCAL students are in a unique position, whilst at school, to be helped to overcome unemployment and the youth drain to the City. Admittedly, what is offered at Ballarat High School, and how they approach SWL is not a guaranteed solution, but it goes a long way to forming strong links between industry and a potential labour force.

Michael Cook and Albert Govan both have been senior team leaders for a number of years at Ballarat High School. Michael has an Art and Technology background and Albert English to VCE level. Both have taught a range of VCAL subjects over many years and are dedicated to VCALs continued growth.

C3 Managing difficult teenage behaviours in a VCAL classroom

Mal Hand - VCAL teacher - Swinburne TAFE


This interactive workshop is full of take-home tricks of the trade on how to establish, manage and maintain a positive learning environment for your VCAL students.

Mal Hand has spent her life working with teenagers – as a Secondary school teacher of English and Maths; as a youth worker, and as a foster parent. She has been teaching VCAL for many years, and teaches all strands of the program. Mal has an abiding interest in adolescent wellbeing. She is also a published author, writing under the pseudonym of Elizabeth Margaret. Mal considers herself very fortunate to be able to use her teaching and youth work skills to assist these resilient young people with their challenges on the journey to adulthood.

C4 Making, Innovating, Learning: Lessons from Harvard's Project Zero Conference

Nick Johns


Fresh from the May 2017 Harvard School of Education: Project Zero Conference in Pittsburgh, Nick will summarise his learning's from the conference on the attributes of effective learning environments, with a special focus on creativity, the arts, and the maker movement.

Linking concepts from the conference with supporting disadvantaged learners, Nick will explore how innovative teaching can engage and inspire our learners.

Nick Johns is a dad, husband, educator and occasional DJ. He loves to engage with new ideas in education that help marginalised young people. He has taught in several Primary, Secondary and Post-Secondary settings. Recently he has worked with not-for-profits managing education programs for disadvantaged youth. He is interested in research based approaches to creating a more inclusive education system.

C5 Love the game not the odds

Sally Gissing - Prevention Programs Educator - Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation


Never before has gambling been so heavily promoted, especially through sport. This makes it feel like a normal part of the game and harder to recognise the potential harm. We want students to love the game not the odds. Learn about the emerging issues related to gambling and young people and how you can help students develop healthy and informed attitudes with the support of the foundation’s School Education program. Based on the latest research this free prevention initiative provides a range of tools including a school gambling policy template, units of work, face-to-face sessions and information for parents.

Sally is a qualified and experienced secondary teacher with a passion for developing and implementing interactive education programs that ignite curiosity and promote positive change. At the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Sally draws on her extensive knowledge of the education sector to coordinate the foundation’s School Education program. This prevention initiative is designed to support school communities help their senior secondary students develop healthy and informed attitudes to gambling to avoid harm in the future.

C6 VCAL career pathways for youth ... what options do they really have?

Susan Elmasri - Manager VCAL Youth Programs - Swinburne TAFE


This presentation will provide an overview of the non-linear education and training pathways available to our young people. The focus is on youth who do not complete year 12 VCE, highlighting options for VCAL students, TAFE students and even those students who'll experience periods of disengagement from education all together. The premise is that every young person may take a different route to reach their destination provided one thing's the same - the determination.

Susan Elmasri has served as VCAL Coordinator at Swinburne University of Technology since March 2015 and has been in the education sector for over fifteen years. First specialising in teaching Secondary Media and ICT, then moving into EAL and remedial English, followed by a brief stint in early childhood. Susan has taught both in Melbourne and two international schools in Damascus, Syria. She has also served as a career practitioner since completing her Graduate Diploma of Career Development in 2011.

C7 Your guide to finding the Numeracy in integrated community projects

Justine Sakurai - Maths Co-ordinator - Sandringham Secondary College


Numeracy is everywhere, but often overlooked when it comes to assessing outcomes from integrated projects in and outside the classroom. Justine gets the numbers working in your and your students favour. Hold on tight!

Justine is currently teaching at Sandringham College, this year teaching Year 11 and 12 Math Methods and VCAL students as well as Math Domain Leader for the Senior Campus. Justine has been teaching in the VCAL program for over 9 years, and loved every minute of it. Justine advocates a hands-on practical approach to the teaching and learning of numeracy, and encourages her students to be independent thinkers and doers. She thinks a class that motivates students with physical components is more likely to encourage long term memory of key concepts. Justine applies current knowledge and science of teenage brain development to her teaching methodology.

C8 Courage to Care - Never Be A Bystander!

Nicole Scott - Alkira Secondary College and Volunteer – Courage to Care


Courage to Care is a well-established travelling exhibition & educational program that uses the stories of those who saved lives during the Holocaust to challenge students to consider their own attitudes to prejudice, discrimination, racism and bullying in their world today. It uses the lessons of history to inspire students to make a better tomorrow.

The presenter will be an experienced volunteer with Courage to Care who is articulate & will be able to give participants a first hand experience of the program.

Nicole Scott, an experienced colleague, is very familiar with the program and will describe the impact it has had on students at her school.

C9 Pathways to Empowerment

Gill Meek – Education Manager – Asylum Seeker Resource Centre


In this workshop, Gill will discuss the subsidised VET pathways that are available to eligible young people seeking asylum and refugees under the Victorian government’s Department of Education and Training 2016 - 2018 VET funding contract. The workshop will explore the eligibility and other criteria, the importance of relationships with providers and the resources available for teachers supporting young people seeking asylum who wish to access further education and training.

Prior to her current job as education manager with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) Gill gained extensive knowledge and experience in the Neighbourhood House and TAFE sectors and the community service sector. In these roles, Gill established a number of successful cross sectoral partnerships, strategic initiatives and programs to improve pathways and outcomes for diverse learner groups.

Session D: 2.10pm Choose one of eight

D1 Partnerships and Program integration

Richie McCann - VCAL coordinator - Sacred Heart College Geelong and Narelle Dickson - Sacred Heart College Geelong


Having recently undergone a program review, Sacred Heart College's VCAL program is now being delivered outside the constraints of the school timetable and focuses on project based work linking with key external partnerships. Utilising the VCAL business and links with industry/charitable organisations the school program has evolved into a fully integrated program. Key partnerships have been formed with the following organisation: With One Bean, Samaritan House, Habitat for Humanity and Cotton On Foundation to name a few.

Richie and Narelle team teach in the senior program. Narelle is an experienced teacher who was awarded the VCAL Teacher of the Year in 2015. Richie has delivered VCAL for the past 4 years and is currently the VCAL coordinator.

D2 Work Related Skills- Planning, Resources and Ideas

Ann Baxter - Consultant at Educational Special Projects and VCAL Coordinator


Join Ann in a session aimed at sharing, planning & resource ideas for the delivery of Work Related Skills in all VCAL courses. The session will focus on networking to support each other for available resources in every budget range. Ann has so many wonderful ideas to share and hopes to see strong relationships and networks begin to develop for the delivery of the WRS units.

Ann Baxter has been involved in applied learning for over 7 years, she is currently employed as VCAL Coordinator at Holmesglen. With over 25 years' experience in the education sector, both domestically and internationally, she brings a wealth of knowledge in the areas of curriculum planning, applied learning and compliance, which she gained through employment with a variety of education sectors. She is passionate about applied education and assisting disadvantaged youth.

D3 Simple Activities That Help Students Connect

Mark Collard – Director – playmeo


A practical, interactive workshop which will present a series of activities that you can use to invite students to connect with one another. They are all simple, non-threatening, contagiously fun and need few if any props. Mark will focus on demonstrating an actual sequence of activities, and follow-up with a brief discussion of how you can integrate similar activities into your curriculum. You will take away many activity ideas and resources to equip you with the skills to do this for yourself. Whether you're looking for simple two-minute activity ideas to energise your group or more significant exercises which develop productive & collaborative relationships, this session will be perfect for you.

Mark is an experiential trainer, speaker and author, and the founder of playmeo's online activity database. He is an expert at helping teachers learn the skills and strategies they need to deliver remarkably fun programs that engage and motivate students to participate and get along. This workshop will be drawn from the content of his latest book 'Serious Fun' and

D4 VALA PRISM – Project documentaries

Salvador Castro - VALA Strategic Partnership Project Manager


Salvador will guide you through the new VALAmovie App: The easy-peasy way to document 'evidence' and share your project with the world!

Salvador is an accomplished Director, Producer and the Founder of Turtle Films, a vibrant and creative video production house base in Melbourne. He has been working in the Film and Television industry for over twenty years, has received numerous awards and is the preferred supplier for numerous organisations. As part of his commitment to the creative industries and the education sector, Salvador has been assisting and training young people in the applied learning sector in Victoria and NSW for over a decade, sharing his personal mantra that “through storytelling we discover our world and beyond.

D5 Practical applications of LinkedIn within Senior Secondary education

Arnel Davis - Head of VCAL - Penola Catholic College


How can LinkedIn assist students and educators in pathway planning and documenting student achievement and progress? Easy! For example, during course intake interviews, LinkedIn provides the ideal platform for initial discussion with students and parents/guardians. It also provides the opportunity for students to conveniently update their qualifications, work and volunteer experiences as they attain them. as such it the ultimate tool to accurately measure the student’s academic and career progress and gauge personal interests. And it’s the perfect way for students to build their ‘toolbox’ and start connecting with potential future employers!

Join Arnel and discover the benefits of this most underutilised free tool.

Arnel Davis is an educator who has delivered VCAL across TAFE, ACE and Secondary sectors. He has successfully utilised LinkedIN for over 10 years within the structure of VCAL. Many VCAL students under Arnel's tutelage have successfully gained employment using this approach.

D6 FREE & cheap ideas for your VCAL program

Peter Robertson - VCAL Teacher - Manor Lakes College


There are loads of opportunities to incorporate free excursions and other learning opportunities that you can do at school, into your VCAL program. Peter will show you how to address multiple outcomes across the strands. I will show you how to interpret the VCAL learning outcomes and provide tasks which allow students to demonstrate their learning. He will share some resources and creative ideas that anyone can use. Teachers teaching are the best resource around and this presentation will give you the confidence to take the students outside the classroom.

Peter has extensive experience in and outside of teaching. He has run small businesses, (some successfully), worked in training and VET, taught in 4 states at Government, Catholic and Independent schools, wealthy and poor, highly academic and not, in leadership and classrooms. He knows what employers want.

D7 Literacy reading and writing- addressing low literacy levels

Mieke Alexander - Consultant at Educational Special Projects


Low Literacy skills in VCAL, we all have students who need additional support in improving their reading and writing skills Are you looking for strategies to support students in improving their reading and writing skills? This one is for you!

Mieke's career in education spans almost 40 years, ranging from primary schools to teaching adults and young people in community education settings. A qualified teacher, VET trainer and assessor (Cert IV in Education Support) and experienced presenter she has delivered PD on gifted children, integrated curriculum, learning to learn, assessing mathematics, thinking curriculum and designing rich assessment tasks.

D8 Escape rooms for team building and problem solving.

Carolyn Parker - Owner/Operator - Locked in Escape Rooms


Carolyn will present on how Escape Room experiences can help build team cohesion and develop problem solving skills in team members. Participants will be given advice and tools so participants can set up an in-class escape room experience.

Carolyn Parker is a former VCAL teacher and coordinator who has opened her own Escape Room business, Locked in Escape rooms.

D9 The Berry Street Education Model, how it changed our practice – a partnership between Cire Community School and Berry Street

Mark Hunt – Leading teacher VCAL – Cire Community School

Leonie Abbott – Berry Street Education Model


The Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) provides schools with the training, curriculum and strategies to engage even the most challenging students. The BSEM is designed to improve a school’s capacity to address school engagement of vulnerable or disadvantaged young people so that they can achieve their personal and social potential through educational achievement. The BSEM provides a language for educators and students to communicate more effectively and provide better outcomes. Cire Community School has taken a whole-school approach to implementing the BSEM since 2015 and will share the main practices that have made a difference. The presenters will reflect on how the pedagogical practices have changed the way that teachers and students communicate with each other which leading to better outcomes for everyone.

Mark has delivered VCAL in the outer east of Melbourne since 2010, now known as Cire Community School. During this period he has taken on a variety of roles including Senior VCAL teacher, Sports teacher, E-Learning leader, VCAL Coordinator and is currently Leading Teacher VCAL across Cire’s two campuses. Mark together with all staff at Cire Community School, completed the Berry Street Education Model training in 2015 and has taken on a leadership role implementing the BSEM model both in the classroom and the wider school.

Leonie Abbott is the senior trainer, co-author and editor of the Berry Street Education Model. She currently supports a diverse range of schools with Trauma Informed Positive Education training, curriculum and strategies to enable school leaders to embed and sustain the science of wellbeing across a whole-school approach. Leonie is a foundation graduate of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Melbourne, has over 20 years of education leadership experience and was recently elected as Director onto the board of PESA (Positive Education Schools Association). She integrates trauma-informed pedagogy and the science of wellbeing in my interactions with communities and believes Positive Psychology is a powerful road map for continuous growth

These resources will be at the Induction Day or provided in packs or available for download