Becoming a finalist is music to Lien’s ears

29-year old Lien Vanmaele from Inglewood has been short-listed as a finalist for the “WA International Student of the Year” award at this year’s WA Training Awards for her dedication to pursuing a career in the music events industry.

Belgium born Lien moved to Perth two years ago to experience living and studying in another country and says it is the best thing she has ever done.

“Studying and spending time in a different country has had such a huge positive impact on my life,” said Lien. “I have become fluent in English, obtained two qualifications and secured a job that I absolutely love.”

Lien studied a Diploma of Music Business at North Metropolitan TAFE in Leederville whilst participating in an internship at West Australian Music, where she gained experience working on gigs like the State of the Art Festival and the West Australian Music Festival.

Lien went on to obtain a Diploma of Events at North Metro TAFE’s Northbridge campus and now works in a front of house role at the Perth Arena where she has had the opportunity to work on events such as The Prince Concert, The Cure, Disney on Ice and Canada vs USA Ice Hockey.

“My dream was always to work in the music industry, for a big festival or concert venue and now I’m living my dream and I have to pinch myself some days to make sure I’m awake.”

Lien admits that her journey hasn’t always been an easy one, particularly with the language barrier she faced when she arrived in Australia. She knew she had to overcome her fears of not being understood because she wouldn’t only have to speak in English, she’d need to study in English as well.

“The first few weeks were really tough,” she said. “I was translating every single word in my head trying to work out what it meant and on top of that, I had the Australian accent to get used to”.

“After a while, something started to change. I felt myself getting used to it. I was no longer translating every word and actually caught myself thinking in English!” said Lien.

North Metro TAFE Events lecturer Liz Bindon-Bonney said that Lien has transformed into an independent, confident and extremely motivated student during her studies.

“Lien is a hard-working and talented student who has used her strength and enthusiasm to overcome the many challenges faced by an international student,” said Liz. “She will go far in the events industry and I wish her the very best.”

Not resting on her laurels, Lien now studies Leadership and Management at Sterling Business College which she hopes will assist her to gain a management position in the future.

Lien is competing against three other finalists for the “WA International Student of the Year” title which will be awarded at a Presentation Dinner on Friday 23 September at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Japanese students get a taste of Perth’s culinary scene

A Japanese study group from Kagawa College of Culinary and Confectionery Arts (KCCCA) undertook a four-week study tour to North Metropolitan TAFE in Joondalup recently during their summer break.

The group of fifteen 19-20 year old students enjoyed two weeks of cookery classes; one week of English language classes; and one week on work placement at various restaurants at the Crown Casino Complex.

North Metro TAFE’s Director of Hospitality Patrick O’Brien said the program is designed to teach the students new skills and techniques that differ from those used in Japan.

“They get to cook with an abundance of different local foods such as Kangaroo, truffles and Marron and get to view demonstrations by industry experts in butchery of a lamb and breaking down and portioning various fish species, for example.”

During their stay in Perth, students were billeted out to homestay families across the northern suburbs where they got to experience the Australian culture and easy going lifestyle first hand.

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KCCCA student Rina Mikami enjoyed her four-week stay in Perth and said the highlight was getting to work in one of Perth’s top restaurants at Crown Perth.

“It was a challenge to understand the different accents of English spoken by international staff at restaurants, but the working atmosphere was so much fun,” said Rina.

“Prior learning in TAFE kitchen and English classes certainly helped me working in the busy kitchens.”

KCCCA Principal Mitsuo Furukawa travelled to Perth with the study group for a 3-day visit where he got the opportunity to participate in cookery classes and see the students in action.

“It was a pleasure to meet staff and see the students learning new and different methods of cooking including sous vide and pasta machine, using unfamiliar and interesting food material. More individual teaching such as completing and presenting a plate on their own was thoroughly enjoyed. ”

This partnership between KCCCA and North Metro TAFE is in its third year, with the popularity of the program and student numbers continuing to increase.

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Lifetime Award for a Lifetime of Volunteering

Perennial volunteer Hank Koster was celebrated at a gala dinner at the Hyatt Regency on 11 May where he received a Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering Award from Volunteering WA.

If one man could epitomise the spirit of volunteering, you would be hard pressed to find a better candidate than Hank Koster.

‘Mr Hank’ as he is known to the hundreds of people he has helped over the years, has dedicated much of his life, a remarkable 54 years all up, to helping others.

Whether it be a tutor for the Read Write Now (RWN) program, a carer at the Albany Hospice, visiting inmates at the Albany maximum security prison or providing foster care, Hank humbly goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Hank arrived in Albany from Holland as a 23 year old with no English and a speech impediment. This experience formed the foundation for a lifetime of volunteering and a commitment to make a difference to the lives of people in need.

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To complement Hank’s award, Greg Elliot received the Western Australian Volunteer Award for Ethnic Communities for his work with Centacare and RWN, helping people from diverse backgrounds learn, work and prosper in the community.

A RWN volunteer since 2001, most of Greg’s students are refugees who face a myriad of barriers to learn and succeed. Greg teaches his students literacy and numeracy and is directly involved in changing their lives for the better.

Volunteering WA aims to build stronger communities by connecting volunteers to community organisations. It provides a range of resources, services and support so West Australians better understand the nature and scope of volunteering.

North Metro TAFE has proudly hosted the RWN volunteer program since 2006. The program caters to those who fell through the cracks of the school system and need help with literacy and numeracy, as well as refugees and North Metro TAFE students.

Boom Producer a HOT-FM Commodity

North Metro TAFE’s radio courses continue to go from strength to strength, with yet another student hired, this time by Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) Bunbury.

Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (Radio Broadcasting) student, Monique Gundry has been recruited by SCA Bunbury’s Imaging and Production team as a producer for HOT-FM and RadioWest.

Prior to her recruitment, Monique was the Production Manager and Breakfast host for Boom Radio.

Boom Radio is North Metro TAFE’s student run radio station designed to provide students with tangible experience running a station before entering the industry.

Students complete placements on commercial radio stations organised through Redwave Media and in their final year are immersed in the day to day operation of Boom Radio to simulate working life in the industry.

Coupled with her responsibilities as Production Manager and Breakfast host, Monique hosted Boom’s late night Drum and Bass show that has been nominated for ‘Best Music Show’ by international college radio platform RadioFlag.

North Metro TAFE’s radio training is an industry leader in the field and Boom Radio presenters are sought after by commercial stations across the country to host their shows.

Last year Boom Radio was awarded ‘College Radio Station of the Year 2015’ at the RadioFlag, RadioStar Awards in the USA and in 2015, four students and Boom Radio hosts were hired for two different radio stations.

More information on North Metro’s Radio courses

Premier Launches Le Cordon Bleu Institute

Premier and Tourism Minister Colin Barnett officially launched WA’s first training programs from the internationally renowned provider of culinary and hospitality based training, Le Cordon Bleu, at North Metropolitan TAFE on 26 April 2016.

The world-leading academy will boost hospitality training in WA and offer degrees in Tourism and Event Management

Le Cordon Bleu’s Perth location is the latest addition to existing schools in Melbourne Sydney and Adelaide, as well as more than 50 schools worldwide.

The purpose built facility at North Metropolitan TAFE (NMT – formerly Central Institute of Technology) will provide the highest level of hospitality education with two new degrees, a Bachelor of Business in Convention and Event Management and a Bachelor of Business in Tourism Management.

The degree programs will be delivered in collaboration with North Metropolitan TAFE, enhancing the State’s role as a key tourism and hospitality hub.

Mr Barnett said the partnership had come at an important time for WA as tourism and hospitality emerged as key industries for the State’s economic development.

“The accommodation and food services industry is an important source of jobs for the State, accounting for 6.6 per cent of Western Australia’s total workforce in 2015,” he said.

“The addition of Le Cordon Bleu’s world-class training at North Metropolitan TAFE will ensure we are at the forefront of skills development in the tourism and hospitality industry.

“The degree programs will also support the growth of international education in WA and promote Perth as a great place to study and work.”

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Deputy Premier and Training and Workforce Development Minister Liza Harvey said students enrolled in both Bachelor of Business qualifications would commence their study in June 2016, with training carried out at the North Metropolitan TAFE Northbridge campus.

“Students will be training in the cultural and hospitality heart of Perth, enabling them to observe what opportunities can arise from their chosen field of study,” she said.

“As a world leader in culinary and hospitality education, Le Cordon Bleu produces graduates who are highly sought after by industry. This will be an exciting opportunity for those people who have a passion to establish a rewarding career in this sector.

“The recently established North Metropolitan TAFE introduces a new dimension to the partnership. Specialised hospitality programs delivered from the Joondalup campus will strengthen training opportunities and allow the State’s tourism and hospitality industry to thrive.”

According to President of Le Cordon Bleu, Mr Andre Cointreau, all graduates will leave with a world-renowned qualification that opens doors and to an exciting, international career in gastronomy and hospitality.

“With over 120 years in service, we have a long tradition of in providing excellence in teaching the classics of cuisine, but now with a presence in more than 20 countries, our teaching reflects the internationalisation of culinary development around the world today. In this context we a very happy to be opening a new Le Cordon Bleu in Perth, which is regarded as a leader in culinary and gastronomy excellence in Australia.”

Research by the Australian Tourism Commission states, 53 per cent of tourists view food and wine experiences as the number one highlight of their trip to Australia. This, coupled with the fact that Australia is considered second only to France in food and wine experiences by overseas travellers is another reason why Le Cordon Bleu continues to invest in education facilities around Australia.

Springboard Bridging the Gender Gap

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Bridging the workforce gender gap is an ambitious goal, but Central, in collaboration with Uniting Care is taking action.

UnitingCare Australia, in partnership Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has launched The Springboard Project – an initiative to create employment opportunities for vulnerable women.

The goal of the project is to select, train, mentor and employ vulnerable women to provide them with jobs and future career pathways within the community and aged care services of the UnitingCare network.

The Springboard Project evolved through collaboration between Minister Michaelia Cash, Minister for Women and Employment; and Lin Hatfield Dodds, National Director of UnitingCare Australia.

While the project’s primary focus is to support women into the workforce, the program is also open to men interested in working in the community sector.

Perth was the first location to trial The Springboard Project and Central screened and selected participants for the project.

Central also provided the four-week pre-employment program for participants and mentors, who support the participants throughout the training and during their subsequent employment.

The training includes a mixture of accredited training from Central and non-accredited and on the job training with mentors from UnitingCare West.

Successful graduates will be offered a role at UnitingCare West as Community Support Workers in disability services.

In the Perth trial, 14 participants were selected (12 women 2 men), with all but three being referred to the project by the Department of Employment’s Jobactive program.

Following a review of the Perth trial, the project is expected to be rolled out nationally across all UnitingCare sites.

Video produced by UnitingCare West