Kylie is restoring her future

38-year old mother of two Kylie (surname withheld) joined her classmates in a practical work experience project at Bull Creek’s John Creaney Park last week as part of her studies in AgriFood Operations.

Kylie enrolled in the Certificate I course at North Metropolitan TAFE after seeking refuge following a domestic violence situation.

Leaving school in Year 10 and marrying her husband at the age of 17, Kylie had spent the last 20-years as a stay-at-home mum and carer.

“I’ve been stuck inside the house all these years and I’d lost a lot of skills and confidence,” said Kylie. “My garden with my chickens was the only thing that kept me sane all of those years – I grew everything and it was my therapy and medicine.”

Once Kylie was free from her troubled life, she decided to use her passion for agriculture to learn new skills, meet new people and improve her employment prospects.

“Having been out of school for more than 20 years, I was very nervous about attending TAFE but once I got to know the group and we all shared our life stories, I realised how amazing the course was and I haven’t missed a day of TAFE since starting,” she said.

“I had never even caught the train before coming to TAFE. Now I have skills and confidence that will help me get a job doing something I love. I’m strong, independent and I’m getting my life back.”

Kylie hopes to secure an outdoors job in agriculture once she graduates and move out of a Women’s Refuge and into her very own home with her 16-year old daughter.

North Metropolitan TAFE’s General Education Lecturer Paul Clarke explained that the tree planting initiative with the City of Melville provided students with a practical, real-life project that taught them skills in communication, professionalism and time management.

“Many of these students have come from challenging backgrounds so this project has given them the skills, motivation and confidence required to improve their lives,” said Paul.

“Students have had to manage this project from woe to go – communicating with the City of Melville representative about supplies required, learning about the trees they are tasked to plant and planning all aspects of the planting day.”

The students have spent two days per week restoring the over-grown gardens of vacated houses for Uniting Care West, to prepare the houses for families in desperate need of a home.

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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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

 

Graduates reflect on learning pathway

A journey begins with a single step, while the adage may be old; the truth of the statement has never been greater.

Three former Central students recently received their Bachelor of Arts in Creative Advertising and Graphic Design from Curtin University.

Back in 2011, Reeanne Anderson, Hannah Fredriksson and Linda Tran began their Cert III in Graphic Design Production and perhaps unbeknown to them, a five-year study journey.

Reeanne first discovered her passion for Graphic Design in Year 10 after making a poster with Photoshop.

“I had no idea how any of it worked but I persevered to teach myself as much as I could. I continued to use what I knew for my remaining high school years and because I enjoyed it so much, I decided to study Graphic Design at Central”, she said.

For Hannah, Graphic Design was something she had been working toward, without knowing it, for a long time.

“When I was a kid my dad bought a PC magazine that came with a disc of demo computer programs, including one called Paint Shop Pro. I spent a lot of time investigating it, drawing in it and learning about layers and filters”.

It was only when Hannah began volunteer work at a not-for-profit agency did she realise how much she enjoyed it.

“The senior Graphic Designer taught me about the basics of the Adobe suite (particularly InDesign) and gave me some simple tasks to do. I enjoyed this work a lot, and I knew it would be worthwhile investing my time in refining these skills, and potentially making a career out of them one day”.

After coming to Central and completing their Cert III, the trio was inspired to continue and completed their Cert IV, Diploma and Advanced Diploma, before going to Curtin to complete their undergraduate degrees.

The three students credit their Central lecturers with not only inspiring them, but also providing a great space to come and learn.

“If it weren’t for our lecturers in Cert III, Christof, Fitz, Darren, Lawrence, John, Deb, Chris P, and Bernie, we wouldn’t have made it to where we are today. Their passion and commitment to such young students proves to be a thriving environment to future graphic designers, ones they, and industry can be proud of!” Reeanne said.

The structure of the courses at Central gave the trio, especially Hannah, the freedom to see if Graphic Design was what they wanted to do, without having to commit to a course that would take years to complete.

“Unlike uni, you receive a Certificate or Diploma at the end of each year of study, meaning you still get a valid qualification if you decide it’s not for you after a year or two. Or you might end up like me, having the time of your life at Central and never wanting the journey to end”, Hannah said.

The most valuable asset Reeanne feels the three of them gained from their time at Central was the high level of skills, which subsequently set them apart from many university classmates.

“Studying at Central was the perfect building block to continue my studies at Curtin. Knowing how to use the Adobe Suite took a lot of pressure off. I could focus on the design and feel confident enough in my skills to execute it. I feel as though that prior knowledge helped me save a lot of time!”

Congratulations to Reeanne, Hannah and Linda on completing your study journey and good luck with the next step of your career.

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The graduating trio: Linda Tran (left), Reeanne Anderson (middle) and Hannah Fredriksson (right)

(The graduating trio: Linda Tran (left), Reeanne Anderson (middle) and Hannah Fredriksson (right))