Alisha helps put smiles on children’s faces for one big day

Alisha Marshall, a retail baking student at North Metro TAFE, has been helping create treasured memories for some very special children.

Volunteering her services for the last 18 months, Alisha has been coordinating the WA section of Cake Angels, a network that donates custom designed celebration cakes to children with serious medical challenges such as terminal illness, intellectual or physical disability, or victims of domestic violence or living in underprivileged circumstances.

Cake Angels, Alisha, plus her fellow student, have been working with support groups including Ronald McDonald House, HeartKids and Starlight Foundation, to organise a sweets table for over 3000 kids at the Perth Special Children’s Christmas Party.

Justifiably, Alisha is very proud of what she has been able to achieve.

“All the students and lecturers time, plus all the ingredients and equipment, have been kindly donated,” Alisha said. “Special thanks go to Patrick Contreras from Allied Mills, Heath Earls of Pinnacle and Tony Mitchell from Bakels Australia for their support and effort to bring these kids an experience they will never forget.”

The Perth Special Children’s Christmas Party is held at the Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre on Saturday 19 November.

To see what an amazing day it will be, check out last year’s event at and go to

Lachlan makes his mark in animation

18-year old Lachlan Seddon from Currambine has come a long way since leaving school – completing almost five qualifications in Digital Technology, obtaining a Scholarship and securing a job as an animator.

“It’s hard to believe that the stuff I used to do on my computer in my bedroom at night is now the stuff I’m getting paid to do in a real, serious job,” said Lachlan.

Lachlan struggled academically at school, so after Year 10 he decided to put his interest in computing and art to good use and enrolled in the Certificate II in Digital Technology at North Metropolitan TAFE.

Knowing immediately that he’d made the right training choice, Lachlan continued on to study the Certificate III, IV and Diploma of Digital Technology at the Joondalup campus. Through an initiative set up by the college’s IT and Media department, he got the opportunity to participate in a two-week work experience program with a local training and technology company, Tap into Safety.

Tap into Safety’s CEO Sue Bahn said they were so impressed with Lachlan’s expertise and creativity during his work experience, they decided to employ him through a six-month Australian Computer Society (ACS) Foundation Scholarship.

“Tap into Safety required animations for a series of mental health early intervention videos for school students with topics like cyber bullying, risk management, negotiation and time management,” said Sue.

“Lachie was a stand-out straight away not only because he was young, skilled and motivated; but because he had the ability to animate in the style that we required under the supervision of our Creative Lead.”

Sue explained that Lachlan’s scholarship has been extended for a further six months whilst he completes the Advanced Diploma of Screen & Media and that Tap into Safety plan to offer him full-time employment at the end of his scholarship.

“Lachie is a clever and highly-motivated employee who has gone above and beyond what is expected,” said Sue. “His animations are creative and humorous and the videos he has helped create together with our Creative Lead have already been shown to over 300 local school children.”

Lachlan explained that animation work in Perth is hard to come by so he is proud that he has been able to achieve this at such a young age.

“I’ve never even had a job before so I’m pretty stoked that I’ve been able to fit so perfectly into my new role,” he said. “I’m enjoying my new found independence and even though at times the pressure is on, I love the fact that I can now support myself.”

Students rub shoulders with the world’s finest in Fashion

From L to R: Simone Squires, Jake Castledine, Darren Mok, Rick Owens, John Wong, Anna Kotai, Michael Nguyen and Phoebe D’Arcy-Evans.

Five TAFE fashion students have just returned from Perth’s sister city, Chengdu (China) where they were fortunate enough to meet international fashion designer Rick Owens as part of a 9-day study tour to China and Hong Kong.

The Advanced Diploma of Fashion & Textile Design students from North Metropolitan TAFE in Northbridge, were also invited to sit in on an interview with Belgian fashion designer and eponymous fashion brand Dries Van Noten by SHOWstudio’s Editor and freelance writer, curator and broadcaster Lou Stoppard.

23-year old fashion student Jake Castledine from West Perth said that meeting internationally renowned fashion designers was mind-blowing.

“We had a meet and greet with Rick Owens at his flagship store in Hong Kong and got to see his clothes in real life which is something we’d never get the chance to see in Perth.

“I’d also been watching SHOWstudio for a really long time so to sit alongside Lou Stoppard and watch her interview Dries Van Noten was an awesome experience,” said Jake.

The tour included visits to the Savannah College of Art and Design and Hong Kong Polytechnic Institute of Clothing & Textiles as well as a spot of material shopping from local fabric markets.

“Hong Kong is the perfect place to visit if you’re aspiring for a career in the fashion industry – technology like laser cutting and screen printing is cutting edge and access to a wider range of fabrics and designs makes the industry incredibly strong,” said Jake.

“The study tour gave me so much information and insight and I feel more motivated and excited than ever about travelling to London next year to find a fashion internship.”

North Metropolitan TAFE Fashion & Textile Design Lecturers Darren Mok and Anna Kotai accompanied the students on their tour and Darren used the connections of his sister Davena to link students with the internationally renowned designers.

“Meeting international designers like Rick Owens, Dries Van Noten and Haider Ackermann and witnessing the Joyce interactive exhibition specially curated by British production designer Joseph Bennett (of McQUEEN fame) and stylist Olivier Chatenet (of YSL film fame) was a definite highlight of the tour,” said Darren.

“But I think the real joy was seeing the students thrive in a foreign country, getting along with each other and appreciating the new environment with an open-minded maturity.”

The tour was made possible through the Endeavour Mobility Grant, an Australian Government initiative to support engagement between Australia and the rest of the world through student mobility.

Graphic Design graduates get hands on at the printing press

North Metropolitan TAFE’s graduating graphic design students dropped everything they were working on last week and became production workers for the day – hand assembling more than a thousand sketchbooks as the official invitations to the CLEAN SLATE Graphic Design Graduate Exhibition at Gallery Central (12 Aberdeen St, Northbridge) from 16-19 November 2016.

The whole CLEAN SLATE crew met downstairs in the print machining workshop at the Northbridge campus to manufacture the sketchbooks. There are twelve different versions of the books, with each book featuring a couple of great sketches from the projects they have been working on throughout the year.

Thanks to Print Technician Brad Burrows, the covers had already been printed double-sided on the Heidelberg GTO 52 Offset Printing Press and creased along the spines on the Heidelberg T Platen Letterpress. So it was up to the students to hand-collate the covers and text pages, saddle stitch, fold and book press, round corners and wrap each book in a very colourful, perforated bellyband.

Everyone quickly assumed a role in the production line and enjoyed the fast-paced work and the feeling of being a part of an efficient team. They all gained an appreciation for the work involved in print finishing, especially for the amount of labour and time involved in hand assembling.

The idea is that a new sketchbook – a clean slate – is an exciting thing to have; it represents a wealth of possibilities much like the 2016 design graduates.

“A huge thank you to the terrific Kellie Cooke and BJ Ball’s designline team for supplying us with the stock for the covers and the text blocks,” said North Metropolitan TAFE’s Brendan Hibbert.

“We used Botany 100% Recycled 230gsm for the covers, for a raw and practical look and Quartz White Onyx 100% Recycled Vellum 100gsm for body pages that are just great to draw on.”

If you haven’t received your invite in the mail, you are welcome to order your free sketchbook HERE.

And in the meantime, meet the graduates and check out their work on the CLEAN SLATE website HERE.

Jeweller Jason gets his own piece of Gold

North Metropolitan TAFE graduate Jason Nesbitt from Duncraig has just returned home from the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition (6-8 October, Melbourne) with a gold medal around his neck.

Jason (aged 23) who works as a Jeweller at Egoli Place of Gold in Glengarry, was one of 500 participants aged 16-24 competing across 60 different skills areas in the competition which has been dubbed Australia’s largest trades and skills showcase.

Competing against five other participants, Jason was tasked with creating a gold piece of jewellery to strict specifications based on a sketch provided to him. Under the watchful eyes of industry experts, Jason used techniques such as saw piercing and soldering to create what he believed to be the perfect piece.

“I didn’t finish my piece but I followed the marking guide to a tee and in the jewellery profession, it’s about quality and perfection not speed,” said Jason. “I’ve been working towards this competition for many years and the hard work has finally paid off so I’m over the moon.”

Jason’s passion for a career in jewellery began in Year 11 during one weeks work experience with Solid Gold Jewellers. After finishing Year 12 at St Stephen’s School, Jason enrolled in a few short courses at North Metropolitan TAFE to be certain that a job in jewellery was the right one for him.

Very soon after, Jason enrolled in the Certificate III in Jewellery Manufacture (Apprenticeship) at North Metropolitan TAFE in Northbridge and was offered employment with Egoli Place of Gold where he still works today, repairing and making jewellery for a range of clients.

“I’ve learnt a lot of new skills over the years through my TAFE training and my job as a jeweller,” said Jason. “The look on a client’s face when I hand them a piece of jewellery that I’ve created from scratch is priceless and is definitely the best part of being a jeweller.”

Not resting on his laurels, Jason is moving overseas next year to expand his skills and work as a jeweller in London.

Graphic Design Young Gun Scoops Gold

North Metropolitan TAFE graphic design student Chris Williamson from Warnbro has just returned home from the 2016 WorldSkills Australia National Competition (6-8 October, Melbourne) donning a gold medal.

Chris (aged 17) was one of 500 participants aged 16-24 competing across 60 different skills areas in the competition which has been dubbed Australia’s largest trades and skills showcase.

Chris competed in the Graphic Design category against seven other students for six hours each day over three days. Chris had to plan and design the branding, packaging and advertising for a specific company. His work was assessed by a panel of industry experts and he was awarded a gold medal.

“Winning gold in this competition means everything to me,” said Chris. “I was up against people who had already graduated, who were working in the industry and it proves to me that in the future, I should be able to get out there and do some pretty amazing stuff.”

Chris may now be selected to represent Australia as a Skillaroo at the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, UAE, in October 2017 and compete against over 70 member countries.

After completing Year 10 at Warnbro Community High School, Chris enrolled in the combined Certificate III & IV in Printing and Graphic Arts at North Metropolitan TAFE in Northbridge. Now in the final term of the Diploma of Graphic Design, Chris believes that his TAFE studies have put him on the road to success.

“I’ve gone from knowing very little about Adobe PhotoShop to having internationally recognised certifications in software programs like Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. The quality of the TAFE lecturers and the training I’ve received at TAFE is phenomenal – every skill I know has come from my training.”

North Metropolitan TAFE Graphic Design Production Lecturer Chris Schnell was proud of Chris’ gold medal win but said he wasn’t surprised given his skills, knowledge and dedication.

“Chris worked on several live work projects during his studies so he went into this competition with the very best technical skills to create high quality design projects up to industry standards,” said Mr Schnell. “This combined with his creative mind and approach has seen him compete against some older competitors and have so much success at such a young age.”

Chris plans to complete the Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design next year and look for employment within a graphic design agency. Ultimately he’d like to work in Sweden or Germany for a large agency where he’ll get the opportunity to work on some exciting designs and brands.

Radio Graduates go BOOM

Radio graduates from North Metropolitan TAFE have been racking it up at the Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRA), with three graduates each receiving a nomination.

2013 graduate Gemma Maddox who works for Max FM, Taree NSW and Super Radio Network C won the ACRA for Best Music Director in a country market for the second year in a row (see photo)

2014 graduate Jodie Williams who works for ZOO FM, Dubbo NSW, Super Radio Network C was nominated for Best Music Director in a Country Market (defeated by Gemma Maddox).

2014 graduate Lauren McWhirter who works for Loz & Todd, Power FM, Nowra NSW and Grant Broadcasters P was nominated for Best On-Air Team in a Provincial Market.

All three graduates are alumni from North Metropolitan TAFE’s BOOM Radio station.

“It’s evident that our radio courses are developing world class industry talent across multiple disciplines in radio,” said Radio Lecturer Phillip Vinciullo.

The Australian Commercial Radio Awards are the annual event held by Commercial Radio Australia. The Awards weekend is the only event in Australia dedicated to the commercial radio industry, and is the largest gathering of radio industry professionals in the southern hemisphere.