Session details

Subject to change without notice


WRS – Everything you always wanted to know… and a little bit more

Room 9

Streams: employability skills; nut & bolts

Narelle Bean – VCAA VCAL teacher of the year 2016, Director of Curriculum, Werribee Secondary College

Work Related Skills strand is a very important part of the VCAL program. Work knowledge of processes and policies prior to attending structured workplace learning ensures students have confidence. Activities that are engaging can be student directed, group planned, and class run. They can create partnerships within and outside your school setting. Links with the wider community and employers are important to Work Related Skills and students involved experience success with this. Narelle will provide a several examples of delivering and planning for engaging WRS projects that are student driven, teacher assisted and whole class driven to help build ideas and add to your VCAL resources.

Narelle is the Director of Curriculum at Werribee Secondary College. She was awarded the VCAA 2016 VCAL Teacher of the year early in 2017. Narelle has developed and shared WRS integrated programs in a wide range of settings at all three levels of VCAL. With over 20 years of experience in education, she is a firm believer that relationship development in the workplace is integral to student success in VCAL.


STEM in VCAL – Precious Plastic recycling project

Room 1 & 2

Streams: integrated

Rohan Bevan – VCAL Coordinator, Northcote High School; Peter Murphy – Northcote High School

Precious Plastic is a global movement with the aim of eliminating plastic waste through low volume, high value recycling. This workshop will explore the journey of setting up a plastic recycling workspace as part of a VCAL program – from funding, community building, curriculum links, product design and marketing. We will also discuss ways in which STEM skills can be meaningfully embedded into this and other projects to help make science, technology, engineering and maths make sense to students, and raise the profile of a VCAL program.

Rohan is a trained Industrial Designer, working with architects, sculptors, interior designers and engineers to create designed solutions. Now VCAL Coordinator and Product Design and Technology teacher at Northcote High School, his focus is on empowering students through project-based learning. He sits on the DATTA Vic committee, and maintains an interest in digital learning, hands-on making, and educational research.


Designing and writing effective assessment tools

Room 3 &4

Streams: nut & bolts

Tyson McNamara – Youth Programs Coordinator, Box Hill Institute

Designing effective assessments can sometimes seem like an art form. we need to design assessments that will allow our students to demonstrate their skill and knowledge, tools which will collect valid evidence and tools that are flexible enough to collect the evidence we need to reach a decision and meet QA and VCAA expectations. This session is going to strip away the mystery of a competency-based assessment tool. We will look at what makes up an assessment tool, instructions to student and assessor, marking guides and conditions of assessment. This will be an interactive, nuts and bolts session answering any question you have ever had about assessments.

Tyson McNamara has spent his life immersed in 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. Tyson teaches all strands of VCAL, including a range of industry strands.


Integrating Literacy and Numeracy strands – tips & toolkit

Room Main hall

Streams: numeracy; integrated

Felicity Fox – VCAL Numeracy Teacher – Melbourne Polytechnic ; Christina Paizes – Melbourne Polytechnic

Felicity and Christina will take you on a journey of how Literacy and Numeracy came to be one. This presentation will be fun, interactive and hands on. Throughout the workshop you will participate in activities that cover both the Literacy and Numeracy outcomes. The tasks will be real and relevant and provide students with the skills they need beyond the classroom. At the end of the journey you will walk away with a toolkit of tips and practical advice on how to integrate the Literacy and Numeracy VCAL units in your classroom.

Felicity is a dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic Mathematics teacher. She has been teaching VCAL Numeracy over the last 10 years across all levels in both the Secondary and TAFE sectors. She is currently teaching VCAL Numeracy at Melbourne Polytechnic in an integrated VCAL program in the Youth Unit. Felicity is passionate about teaching young people the skills they will need beyond the school setting and is determined to make numeracy real and relevant for her students.

Christina’s professional experience spans over 25 years of industry & academic work from both the public and private sectors. This includes teaching and lecturing across academic sectors including secondary, vocational and pathway tertiary study. This experience has provided her with a strong foundation and insight into the link between academia and the ‘world of work’, grounding her approach to learning and development. This is reflected in the relationships she builds with her students, peers and client groups.


VCAL Projects – catering for individual student engagement, tailored to student interest and ability for future pathways, and planning differentiation.

Room 8

Streams: integrated; program development

Annette Davis – VCAL Teacher, Staughton College Melton South

To engage students and grab their attention can be a real challenge. By providing differentiated projects, life within a VCAL class can be exciting, stimulating, and very rewarding for teachers and students alike.

This workshop will cover projects such as:

  • Creating and renaming a Monopoly type game,
  • Inspiring students with real life stock market buying and selling shares,
  • Opening a pop-up shop at school
  • Conducting a mini metric Olympics session,
  • Becoming Property tycoons around the world,
  • Creating a murder mystery activity,
  • Planning and running a school treasure hunt,
  • Planning and running team building within the classroom.

Staughton College celebrates their VCAL program by organising a showcase for parents, carers, prospective VCAL students and members of the community to experience and celebrate their students’ achievements towards the end of each year.

The College currently delivers VCAL to 100 students over 4 classes and has a waiting list for students wanting to do VCAL. Students get to choose 3 sessions per week of an elective from Music, Art, Cooking or Sport to meet outcomes within their foundation, Intermediate or senior VCAL Certificate.

Annette is a competent and experienced teacher with a keen interest in all areas of Education. For the past 6 years she has taught VCAL Numeracy and Work Related Skills at Staughton College in Melton South in addition to Mathematics across all levels. She has experienced some wonderful and successful outcomes throughout her career including while teaching overseas in the UK and home in Australia. Her approach to teaching and learning include planning for Multiple Intelligences, De Bono’s Hats, Inquiry based learning, co-operative learning, Student Centred Projects, Open Ended Questioning Techniques with Investigative projects and Problem-based learning. Annette has organised many outings such as trips to Melbourne for an amazing race, facilitating a VCAL pop up Maths equipment shop, visits to a correctional centre, environmental planning and sustainability visit to CERES in Melbourne.


Come on up to the house – a successful community partnership

Room 6

Streams: partnerships; integrated

Sue Tyrie – VCAL Co-ordinator, Princes Hill Secondary College; Alison Beck – North Carlton Railway Neighbourhood House

This workshop will explain how Sue and Alison have created a successful partnership between the North Carlton Neighbourhood Railway House and the Princes Hill Secondary College VCAL program. This partnership enables their students to run small businesses in car washing, coffee making and odd jobs in the local community. They also maintain a compost system for the school and house, recycle soft plastics for the local community and deliver donations for asylum seekers. In the pipeline are plans for a community garden, which students will work in once it’s up and running. It has its challenges but now into the second year of running VCAL this way, it is definitely their most successful and rewarding VCAL program to date.

Sue Tyrie is the VCAL co-ordinator at Princes Hill Secondary College where she has taught for 20 years. She has either taught or co-ordinated VCAL since its introduction in 2002. She loves working with students who are hands-on learners outside of the traditional classroom because of the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with them that comes with other settings. She also strongly believes in the need for alternative pathways to be offered and celebrated in all schools.

Alison Beck is the manager of the North Carlton Neighbourhood Railway House. She has a passion for social inclusion and manages a program which caters to the needs and interests of everyone in the local community. She is particularly welcoming of teenagers and they respond positively to her warmth, care and humour.


Hands on learning at Road to Zero: addressing VCAL curriculum through road safety

Room 5

Streams: integrated; readyset programs

Emma Clarkson – Road Safety Education Consultant – Transport Accident Commission; Jan Hagston – Multifangled, Specialising in adult and youth education

Join Emma and Jan on a journey through Road to Zero and discover an exciting new hands-on learning opportunity for students undertaking VCAL.

Road to Zero is a world first education centre developed by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and local education experts in partnership with Melbourne Museum.

The Road to Zero education program addresses the VCAL curriculum and uses the latest in multi-sensory interactive technologies – including virtual reality – to engage students.

Discover how this free educational experience can support your students’ learning about vehicle stopping distances and effective health campaigning, through the lens of road safety.

Emma Clarkson began her career as a secondary school teacher before joining the Cancer Council Victoria in a school health promotion role. Emma worked at VicRoads in road safety education and policy for several years, project managing the development, delivery and evaluation of evidence-based programs and resources for early childhood, primary and secondary school settings.

Jan Hagston also began her career as a secondary school teacher. She has extensive experience in the development of educational resources and programs, particularly for students disengaged from education and/or with poor literacy skills. Jan has developed a number of resources for VCAL students, including on road safety.


MITTS Program: Creating Work Ready Students

Room 1 & 2

Streams: employability skills; partnerships

Andy Reynolds – VCAL Coordinator, ; Andrew Sherwell – Careers Coordinator Ararat College.

Ararat College is the recipient of the 2018 VCAA VCAL Partner Achievement Award.

The Ararat College VCAL Team has been working closely together for the previous 48 months with key local industries and developed a very productive relationship with AME Systems. Working with AME they identified mutual areas of concern regarding school leavers trying to enter the workforce and collectively worked out a plan to ensure Ararat College students completed school work ready.

They gathered all the pieces; the industry, the trainer and the schools to address the problems that both school and industry were facing. After further discussions they developed the Multi Industry Trade Taster to show students the wide and varied roles within any organisation. Students had to follow a formal Expression of Interest and Job Application process before participating in the MITT. With initial conservative estimates of 4 students expressing an interest they had received submissions and 8 undertake the initial training program. At the end of 2018, 6 students graduated from the program with offers of full-time employment of SBAT’s at AME Systems.

Ararat SC has found this to be an exceptionally beneficial program that has ensured students who were disengaged and at risk of dropping out acquire the skills and knowledge to enter the workforce. Ararat Secondary College currently looking to expand the MITTS program to incorporate other key local industries.

Andy Reynolds has been VCAL Teacher for 8 years and VCAL Curriculum Coordinator for 4. He loves the challenge and reward VCAL offers.

Andrew Sherwell has been the Careers Practitioner at Ararat College for 14 years. He is passionate about creating valid workplace opportunities for students.



Community Partnerships in VCAL – a tour of successful community partnerships ANYONE can establish

Room 9

Streams: partnerships; integrated

John Tabone – Retired VCAL teacher

If you have ever considered forming a partnership with an external organisation to enrich the learning experiences for your students, then this workshop is for you.

In this hands-on workshop you will:

  • learn what community partnerships look like in real life
  • see examples of community partnerships that could be translated into your own localities
  • learn how to establish a community partnership.

You will also work in small groups to commence the process of establishing a community partnership in your area.

Prior to retirement John taught for over 30 years as well as working in industry. His passion since the introduction of VCAL has been to bring the community into the classroom and the classroom into the community, where he was fortunate enough to establish several partnerships, many of which still operate today.

John was a presenter at the International Partnership Conference in Finland in 2008, awarded the VCAL Chair’s Award for VCAL Achievement in 2008, completed a Master of Education (Applied Learning) as well as serving as the VCAL Liaison Teacher for the Loddon Mallee region for 8 years.

In retirement John continues to advocate for Applied Learning, working with schools and organisations to further their efforts to grow their applied learning programs.



Changing the world in one minute

Room 6

Streams: integrated; partnerships

Donna Hutchison and Tom Marks, High Resolve

Videos for Change challenges high school students to create a one-minute video, to raise awareness and inspire action on social issues that they are passionate about. This is a student-led, project-based, real-world learning initiative which develops students’ social advocacy skills and fosters the critical competencies needed to be active and engaged global citizens. Students have the opportunity to have their voices amplified through the Videos for Change National Competition which will be open for submissions from 24 June – 13 September. Teachers can access a suite of free classroom resources including fully editable PowerPoints, ‘how to’ videos, worksheets and information packs on a range of social issues.

Donna Hutchison is the CEO of High Resolves Australia and with over 15 years of experience in design, strategy and transformation, is a business leader who loves helping people solve complex problems.
Tom Marks is a Program Manager at High Resolves, and having worked in developing rural communities in South America and South Africa, has developed a passion for educating and inspiring young people to be positive and morally responsible global citizens.



Managing difficult behaviours in our VCAL learning environments

Room 8

Streams: nut & bolts; partnerships

Mal Hand – VCAL teacher, Swinburne University

Why does it feel like 10% of our students occupy 90% of our attention? Why are so many of these interactions around disruptive behaviour? What are our students getting out of this style of interaction? Is it a sign that they are avoiding facing learning difficulties? Or are there broader underlying issues that are being transported into our VCAL classrooms?

In this highly interactive workshop, we’ll use our collective experience and best practice to unpack why our teens are so often difficult to manage in our classrooms.

Mal has developed a cogent behaviour modification methodology that she’ll share with the workshop participants. This methodology examines why students misbehave, and how we as their teachers can hone our strategies to mitigate these negative behaviours.

It’s intention that everyone leaves this workshop with not only a new way of viewing disruptive behaviour, but also armed with a show bag of practical of tricks of our trade that can immediately applied to establish and maintain a positive learning environment for all our 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 since its inception, teaching all strands of the program. She is a passionate VCAL teacher, who willingly shares her knowledge, skills and materials with all practitioners. Last year Mal has participated in the Target Numeracy Group, trialling the new Numeracy program for 2019. 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.


The need for a learning specialist in the applied environment.

Room Main hall

Streams: program development; nut & bolts

Albert Govan – VCAL Teacher Ballarat High School; Debra Hutchinson – Ballarat High School

This workshop will have you experience the journey of VCAL at Ballarat High School from inception, through the various guises to the present. Albi and Deb will show you how they have held fast over the idealism and practicalities of teaching the applied way. Their successes, failures, celebrations and how they now negotiate with leadership.

Albie Govan and Deb Hutchinson are experienced and motivated teachers who have been the mainstays and the drivers behind the Ballarat High School VCAL program for some years. Between them they have taught every unit in the VCAL program and continue to take the program forward in an innovate way. They are experienced presenters at various conferences including VALA. Both have held various roles around the school from administration to management.


Having fun with maths and numeracy

Room 3 & 4

Streams: numeracy

Dave Tout – Senior Research Fellow, Numeracy and Mathematics – Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

This fun, practical, hands-on workshop will enable you to experience a number of different games and activities suitable for classroom use with a range of numeracy and maths students. The activities focus on the development of core maths skills through the use of games, real-life and hands-on materials, as well as on enjoyment and having fun with maths. The activities will illustrate alternative approaches to the traditional worksheet or textbook approach for teaching numeracy and maths. The activities are suitable for all students, especially middle years and VCAL students.

Dave is an experienced numeracy educator who is particularly interested in making mathematics relevant, interesting and fun for all students, especially those disengaged from mathematics, and has a particular interest in the role that language plays in the learning of mathematics. He has been involved in running VCAL workshops since its inception back at the start of this century.


Homelessness and Disadvantage – Why Should We Care?

Room 5

Streams: readyset program

Frith Littleford, The Big Issue

Attending a workshop at The Big Issue Classroom can help your VCAL students

  • Question stereotypes of homelessness
  • Understand the importance of workforce participation and community connections
  • Develop empathy
  • Reflect on personal choices and circumstances
  • Be aware of support services and use them when needed

In this session you will learn more about our popular Discussions about Homelessness and Disadvantage workshop and its relevance to VCAL. You will also hear the personal story of homelessness from a guest speaker, which is a powerful and impactful part of our workshops.

With almost 20 years experience in the education sector, Frith has embraced her role as a facilitator with The Big Issue Classroom. Frith is a passionate teacher who enjoys delivering The Big Issue workshops and the opportunities they provide to challenge stereotypes and help build empathy and understanding through education. 



Three simple integrated units that can be replicated anywhere!

Room Main hall

Streams: integrated; program development

Cherie Osta – Lorne P-12 College

This interactive session will outline the process behind successful integrated projects.

  • From ideas to implementation and celebration.
  • From timelines, student tracking and fundraising ideas.
  • Tried, tested and tentative integrated projects will be showcased before your are set to the task of looking at your own cohort and community needs and drafting an integrated project that is applicable to your setting.

Cherie is an extremely committed and motivated teacher who develops meaningful and practical projects in collaboration with her students and the community. This has been acknowledged through multiple VCAA VCAL awards, with the 2017 VCAL Teacher of the Year Award the most recent. Cherie is a dynamic conference presenter with over 8 years of working in applied learning at Lorne P-12 College.


Youth Connect

Room 3 & 4

Streams: employability skills; integrated; flo

Jane Davey – Principal, PRACE College.

Youth Connect was created in 2018 to give students the opportunity to own and operate their own business, with all funds raised donated to charity. The students write their own vision and mission statement, are responsible for merchandising, inventory and bookkeeping as well as making the gifts and cooking the food. They run a cafe, gift stall, market and barkery (tes, barkery). Throughout the year students complete VET units from the Hospitality, Sport & Rec, Creative Industries and Business Training Packages. At PRACE, they like the students to ‘give back’ where they can and for them to see that other people in other places have hardships and difficulties as well.

PRACE College offers VCAL at Foundation and Intermediate levels. The students attending PRACE College are dealing with significant and complex issues preventing them to return to a mainstream environment. All PRACE VCAL and PreCAL projects are fully integrated. There are no timetables and no set periods.

Jane is the Principal of Youth Programs at PRACE College. She and her team have worked together for the last 11 years to offer disengaged young people the opportunity to complete their Senior Secondary Certificate (VCAL) in an alternative educational environment.


The many ways VET fits within a VCAL program.

Room 8

Streams: nut & bolts

Daryl Sutton – VCAA VET unit manager

A coordinated VET program is critical to the success of a VCAL students learning program. This session will look at the variety of VET options for students to satisfy the IS strand, it will look at ways the VCAL units can be contextualised to assist the VET student. It will explore the role SWL or SBATs play and how students can gain extra credit towards the VCAL through SWL recognition.

Daryl is the manager of the VET unit at the VCAA for over 11 years where he is responsible for the development and administration of VET programs for Victorian secondary students. During his time at the VCAA strong linkages between industry, schools and the VET sector have been established. Over the last few years Daryl has been instrumental in the recognition of Structured Workplace Learning as a general credit to both the VCE and VCAL qualifications. This current role follows a long teaching career in Business, careers and VET.


Connections Before Content: Helping VCAL Students Connect with One Another

Room 1 & 2

Streams: nut & bolts; program development

Mark Collard – Director, playmeo

The science is in! Educational programs which intentionally develop trusting and healthy relationships out-perform all other curricula on so many levels – greater participation, improved academic performance, stronger communities and extremely happy students. If this is what you’re looking for in your VCAL classroom, this fun, highly-interactive workshop is for you. Interspersed with a series of group games and activities (ideal for integrating in your existing applied learning classes,) this session will explore the latest science and research which supports and encourages the intentional development of wellbeing as the central focus of educational programs.

Mark is an experiential trainer, author and founder of playmeo, the largest online database of group games & activities in the world (VALA members access free.) His training & resources help teachers create engaging classroom environments in which students are invited to interact, share connect. He has written three top-selling activity books including his latest No Props No Problem.


Making Numeracy engaging

Room 9

Streams: numeracy

Larisha Rowney – VCAL Teacher, Mildura Senior College

This workshop will look at making easier for you achieve that initial student engagement in numeracy through the use of booklets that you can work individually with students to achieve success at a personal level rather than a group level for Unit 1. Also showcasing her new initiative of awarding Gold, Silver and Bronze for achievement in each outcome. This approach has been very well received by students and is showing huge school improvement and attendance! Also on offer are suggestions for Unit 2 delivery after gaining great success last year with her class in Senior (easily related to Intermediate and has dictated most of her Senior Unit 1 set-up this year and her Intermediate curriculum for a successful building of skills for Senior).

Larisha has been teaching in VCAL for 12 years in two very different sized schools. Currently teaching at Mildura Senior where she has taught Intermediate and Senior of all VCAL strands, ran the faculty for three years, and taught Engage Literacy, PD and WR. Part of the trial of the new numeracy units in 2018, Larisha was selected to showcase her expertise online for the VCAA appearing in both February and March bulletins. In addition, Larisha has taught Psychology for 13 years and maths at all levels (mainly in the senior years).


Building on the 3R’s in Borneo

Room 5

Streams: integrated

Cheryl Linford – VCAL Co-ordinator, Bellarine Secondary College; Angela Van Zyl – Bellarine Secondary College

A VCAL student vision came to life at the end of the 2018 school year when 24 students and three staff travelled to Borneo for the adventure of a lifetime! All involved were tested physically and mentally. Each participant came away with an enhanced knowledge of a new country and culture as well as a new appreciation of their own ability to have an impact on the future. This workshop will illustrate how international travel can link with VCAL outcomes, encourage students to step out of their comfort zones and build local and global community connections.

Cheryl’s experience as an educator has evolved in a variety of community, environmental, marine, primary, secondary and tertiary settings. Passionate about Applied Learning, Cheryl has initiated and/or coordinated many applied learning programs at Bellarine Secondary College of which she is very proud. She began teaching VCAL in 2010 and finds it fuels her passion as a lifelong learner. Sheryl is currently the VCAL Coordinator at Bellarine Secondary College where she teaches an integrated program that incorporates all VCAL strands. She credits her continued involvement in VCAL to her longevity as a teacher!


How betting is normalised for young people: What you can do about it?

Room 6

Streams: readyset programs; integrated

Sean Kearney – Community Education Officer, Gambler’s Help; Kate Harding, Gambler’s Help

Gambler’s Help education sessions explore the potential influences that may shape betting attitudes and behaviours, especially sports betting advertising and games that look like gambling. This presentation will inform you about key issues related to gambling and young people, and how you can help students become critical thinkers in an environment where gambling is being increasingly normalised. Improving young people’s ability to recognise when gambling may be becoming a concern for themselves or someone they know and be aware of the help services available. Gambler’s Help also offers VCAL literacy, numeracy and personal development skills units designed for VCAL Classes.

Sean and Kate are Community Educators delivering the Gambler’s Help School Education Program developed by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation for VCAL students in Victoria. They have previously worked in health promotion, education, training and disability services throughout Victoria.


HEADSTART – The new way to bridge workplace and classroom

Room 9

Streams: nut & bolts

Adam Cooper – HEADSTART Cluster Director, Inner South Eastern Melbourne Region; Marg O’Shea – HEADSTART Cluster Director, Brimbank/Melton Region

If you think work experience or School Based Apprenticeships are the only way to expose learners to the realities of working life, then think again. HEADSTART is the new way to allow students to become real-life workers and earners whilst simultaneously completing school. In this session, we’ll outline how HEADSTART is about to make a big impact in the Applied Learning space, and workshop ways that you can utilize the principles of HEADSTART in your own classroom practice. Be prepared to challenge your current ideas of how work and school combine, and to work with your fellow participants to build a new bridge between the workplace and the classroom.

Adam has been a long time VCAL practitioner and advocate for Applied Learning Programs across a diverse range of education settings. Adam has fulfilled the roles of Youth Programs Coordinator and Educational Manager of Vocational and VCAL programs at both Swinburne and Holmesglen and has an extensive history of working with Secondary Schools as an Applied Learning consultant and resource developer. Adam has also fulfilled the role of Professional Learning Officer within VALA. Adam is committed to the development of creativity and positive classroom relationships in order to make learning relevant and rewarding for both students and their teachers.

Marg has significant experience in the Vocational and pathways space, having fulfilled the role of Executive Officer at Wyn Bay LLEN and Vocational Pathways Coordinator at Laverton Secondary College. Marg has led both Pathways and VET programs at Copperfield College in north western Melbourne prior to accepting the role of Cluster Director within HEADSTART program in the Brimbank/Melton region. Marg is committed to creating new and exciting opportunities for VCAL students and their teachers within the new HEADSTART initiative.



VCAL Numeracy Units of Work

Room Main hall

Streams: numeracy

George Katsoulis – VCAL Teacher, Dandenong High School

Inspired by the new VCAL Numeracy units George has prepared several units of work to meet learning outcomes in the new curriculum design. He is looking forward to sharing these units of work with fellow VCAL colleagues.

With decades of teaching experience under his belt, George has become a passionate VCAL teacher over the last few years. He likes to create curriculum resources that meet VCAL Learning Outcomes in a way that take students through a step-by-step process in order to achieve success.



Game of Life, teaching students interactive employability skills in the classroom.

Room 1 & 2

Streams: employability skills; program development

Michelle Galea – VCAL Program Manager, Craigieburn Secondary College; Maria Korkoneas – Senior VCAL teacher Craigieburn Secondary College

Craigieburn Secondary College VCAL Practitioners wanted to create an initiative that would teach students employability skills, hence the Game of life; was created. This workshop will explain the employability skills that students gain from this initiative, student engagement, rewards and resources, and the learning outcomes that this covers for students at Intermediate and Senior level. Data has shown that our attendance and other areas have increased since implementing this initiative into our classrooms.

Michelle has been teaching VCAL for 12 years in a multitude of settings; Indigenous Education Centre, Port Phillip Prison, Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, Metropolitan Remand Centre, Melbourne City Mission, Peter Lalor Vocational College and Craigieburn Secondary College. Michelle has integrated the curriculum for the past 10 years.



Planning student-led projects in a re-engagement setting

Room 8

Streams: flo; integrated

Maggie Bradley – VCAL Leader and VET & SWL Coordinator, River Nile School; Francesca Pisano – River Nile School

River Nile School is a small Independent school catering for the educational and wellbeing needs of young women from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds. The VCAL model at RNS is a fully integrated program designed around two major semester long projects based on a common theme across the school.

presentation will focus on the 2018 Sustainability Market that was planned, organised and run by students. This project empowered learners through the development of a range of skills within a meaningful real-life context. Maggie and Francesca will share how they integrated VCAL learning outcomes and units into this project, while combining Foundation and Intermediate learners.

Maggie Bradley and Francesca Pisano have been VCAL teachers at River Nile School since 2014, seeing its evolution from a learning centre to an independent school in December 2016. Maggie is currently the Foundation VCAL Leader and VET & SWL Coordinator. Francesca is the Intermediate and Senior VCAL Leader and VCAL Curriculum and Teaching Coordinator. Maggie’s background is in Early Childhood Education and EAL, while Francesca’s background is in Secondary School Education and EAL.


See a need, fill a need! – connecting VCAL Numeracy to Primary School Maths Curriculum

Room 5

Streams: partnerships; numeracy

Jackie McDonald – VCAL Coordinator, Greensborough College

Students at Greensborough College’s VCAL are working with their local primary school in the design and delivery of warm up activities for grade 1 and 2 students Maths classes. This partnership is creating strong connections with the Primary Teachers as VCAL students are reviewing the PS’s Maths program to provide more hands on and outdoor activities. The program aims to deepen an understanding of the VCAL student’s numerical concepts, particularly measurement. VCAL students prepare warm up activities and deliver these to grade 1 & 2 students. VCAL students also analyse excursion protocols and conduct risk assessments and sign in sheets. This program works on teamwork, organisational skills and protocols for both home and host school, as well as refining their Numeracy skills. This project also reminds VCAL students how enthusiastic young students are to learn.

Originally Maths/Drama trained, Jackie was thrown into VCAL Numeracy and, with a super mentor by her side, really enjoyed the hands-on learning and the relationships with the students. Her philosophy? I am there to remove barriers to learning. Now in her 4th year teaching Numeracy, 2nd year WRS and 1st year as VCAL Coordinator, she loves expanding her understanding of VCAL and its multi-coloured universe.


Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.

Room 6

Streams: readyset program; integrated

Nicole Scott – VCAL Teacher, Alkira Secondary College; Les Kausman – Courage to Care

This Workshop will introduce the Courage to Care Program which highlights the actions of the Righteous Among the Nations. The Program uses their stories to challenge students to consider their attitudes to prejudice, discrimination, racism and bullying. It provides a safe way of introducing the topic of the Holocaust and its relevance today. Nicole Scott will share her experiences of organising an annual Holocaust Remembrance Ceremony involving the students at her Secondary College, initially inspired by her students’ participation in the Courage to Care Program.

Nicole Scott has been teaching Humanities and VCAL at Alkira Secondary College for the last 6 years. She has taught PDS and Literacy at Intermediate and Senior levels. Nicole also received a study scholarship to Yad Vashem in 2013.


Actioning conservation and sustainability in local community through VCAL

Room 3 & 4

Streams: partnerships, integrated

Liz Hannon – VCAL teacher, North Geelong Secondary College; Chris Hosie – North Geelong Secondary College

This workshop aims to share with you how we created an integrated VCAL course that uses an outdoor education theme to explore horticulture industries and not for profit industries such as Landcare and Coastcare.

Some of the points covered in this presentation are:

  • How to complete a school Biodiversity Audit and Water Watch program, in line with Resource Smart schools’ modules that lead to accreditation.
  • Provide examples of how to integrate VCAL subjects and outcomes to complement the overall themes.
  • How to form partnerships with not for profit organisations and private companies in order to enrich the learning opportunities for students as well as importance of the application of grants (and the success in being awarded!)

Liz Hannon and Chris Hosie (Assistant VCAL coordinator), team teach an integrated Green Action Program for VCAL students at North Geelong Secondary College. Both teachers have a strong and passionate background in Outdoor Education, environmental restoration and applied learning.

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