Artlinks now on

The 2014 Artlinks Exhibition is on now until November 10 in ‘C’ block of Central’s Leederville campus.

Artlinks offers courses for people with mental illness, physical mental or learning disabilities for a variety of abilities and experience. The classes use a range of media including sculpture, paint, drawing and textiles.

The exhibition is open daily from 8am to 5pm with some artwork for sale.

What a man

Read Write Now Tutor Hank Koster has won a Pride of Australia medal for his unwavering commitment to helping others.

Central Institute of Technology has been proud to host the Read Write Now volunteer tutor program since 2006. Volunteer tutors assist adults who have fallen through the cracks in the school system and have inadequate literacy skills for everyday life.

The tutors are also available to Central students for help with the literacy aspect of their course. The four staff members operate out of Central’s Aberdeen Street campus offices where they can be in contact with the nearly 700 volunteer tutors.

Managing Director Neil Fernandes said “Central has a long history of contributing to the development of the local community and supporting Read Write Now is a valuable contribution to the much wider community of WA as the Program operates in 20 regions around the state.”

Hank with Central MD Neil Fernandes
Hank with Central MD Neil Fernandes

In 2000, Hank Koster became a volunteer tutor with the Albany Read Write Now group.  Hank’s introduction to the group was when he arrived on a cold frosty morning with his arms full of hot-baked cakes and biscuits he’d made at 5am so that everyone would have a good morning tea.  It is typical of his generous spirit.

Hank’s literacy tutoring has ranged from homeless youth to assisting apprentices such as a young man from Denmark. The latter was being sent hundreds of kilometres out to farms and then couldn’t read the manuals, or number the parts on machinery to be repaired. Hank offered to help with his literacy problem and so every Wednesday night the young man drove 80 kms to Hank’s house after work, stayed for a shower and dinner before beginning a two hour literacy session. After 18 months, he passed his apprenticeship and told everyone what made working with Hank different was that “Hank was somebody who cares.”

When a group of over 80 Afghan refugees were relocated to Albany on Temporary Protection Visas they needed jobs and accommodation.  They spoke no English and had no income.  Many were not literate in their own language and most had suffered trauma at the hands of the Taliban. Their situation made Hank recall his experience of arriving in Albany from Holland as a 23 year old, with no English.

When Hank joined RWN as a volunteer tutor, his work with the Afghan refugees became akin to a full-time job.  He convinced rental agents to lease properties to them and assisted them with finding work at the local abattoir.

For three years he tutored five students a week in reading and writing. While doing this he also opened his home as a makeshift ‘drop in’ centre to more than half of the 80 to assist with immigration paperwork and made numerous trips to Perth to attend meetings with lawyers and assist with immigration interviews.  He helped them learn to drive and understand the literacy aspect of the test and learn about safety requirements at work. He gained their trust and became their friend and became widely known as “Mr Hank”.

After the Afghans received their permanent residency status many moved to Perth to pursue work in the building industry and in late 2006 Hank realised that if he wanted to continue helping his friends, he too needed to move to Perth.  Hank contacted the head office of RWN located within Central to continue his volunteering efforts.

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Since then, he has helped nearly 250 Afghan men to read, understand and qualify for their Occupational Safety and Health White Card.  The Housing Industry Association also agreed to Hank’s request to be able to attend each training session.

He has also tutored Afghan teenagers who arrived from refugee camps to be re-united with family. He helped bring their language and literacy up-to-speed to enable them to do well in school.  Members of the Afghan community have gone on to establish their own businesses and children have gone to university – all thanks to Hank’s support in their early days.

He is a Read Write Now tutor, mentor, and friend.  While Hank now admits he has “slowed down” there are still Afghan families he has regular contact with.  He is proud of them all.  Even now, Hank will answer the call to help with paperwork, “but not after 9.30pm!”

Hank’s volunteering efforts also include 15 years as a carer at the Albany Hospice supporting patients and their families at a most difficult time in life. He completed a Professional Counsellor’s course knowing this would enable him to be of greater service to others.

Somehow he found time to be a regular visitor at Albany maximum security prison giving a compassionate ear and smiling face to prisoners who had no visitors. Today, he still makes the long drive to Albany to visit two inmates serving life-sentences so they know they are not forgotten. At times the prison has requested Hank’s help in calming the men when all else has failed. He judges no-one and accepts everyone.

He has provided a home and education and foster care for a 13 year old he found scavenging out of a rubbish bin. This child was out of control, but settled with Hank,completed school and today leads a stable life. Hank’s voluntary work at the local Op Shop is fortuitous as he can open the door at any hour to select clean clothes for the homeless people who come his way. Offering a hot meal, shower and clean clothes, Hank has been known to then locate their family, buy a bus ticket and enable the person to get off the streets and return to the care of loved ones.

This is only a summary of the many people Hank has tutored and helped in an awe inspiring life of volunteering and service. Read Write Now is indeed honoured that he chose to be part of our organisation and we are humbled to have had the opportunity to nominate him for the Pride of Australia ‘Fair Go’ Medal, an honour he so richly deserves.

Marcia Barclay

(Main picture courtesy of Perth Now)

New Scholarships for Central Students

As part of Central’s Anti Poverty Week conference, Deputy Premier and Minister for Training and Workforce Development, Kim Hames MLA and Executive Director of the TDA National Scholarship Foundation, Theresa Collignon, presented Mick Young Scholarships to Central students.

This is the first time Central has offered the scholarship program to its students, which helps recipients such as Peter Simpson balance life and study.

A desire to help his elderly father, while also giving something back to the community, prompted Peter to study aged care, but financial issues left him struggling to continue his qualifications.

A financial boost in the form of a Mick Young Scholarship will allow Peter to complete his course through Central.

Peter Simpson with KimHames and Theresa Collignon
Peter Simpson with Kim Hames and Theresa Collignon

Peter was one of 25 Central students presented with a Mick Young Scholarship by Minister Kim Hames at the Central’s Northbridge campus.

“These scholarships are awarded to students who are motivated and driven to complete their qualifications but need financial assistance to do so,” Dr Hames said.

“By gaining relevant skills through training, individuals from across the social spectrum can follow their selected career pathway and establish a solid foundation for their future.

“A lack of access to education and training can have a major impact on a young person’s future, so initiatives like the Mick Young Scholarships are important in ensuring they can work towards gaining necessary skills and qualifications.”

Worth $500 each, the scholarships are a joint program, co-funded by the TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) National Scholarships Foundation and the Central Institute of Technology to help students facing financial challenges.

Plans are under way for Central to continue working with the TDA National Scholarships Foundation to extend the program’s availability to more students.

       Fact File

  • Mick Young Scholarships, provided through TAFE Directors Australia National Scholarships Foundation, were first offered in 1997
  • A former shearer, Mick Young was a senior Federal politician who raised funds to help students complete their education
  • The scholarship was established in his name to assist disadvantaged children and adults in pursuing their education opportunities

Photography by Shaireen Vantuil

Masterful Performance

Central Sport students were privileged to hear a talk this month from arguably one of Australia’s greatest coaches – Ric Charlesworth.  Ric hasn’t just reached the top of the sporting world.  A snapshot of his resume includes:

  • WA cricketer, opening batsman, Sheffield Shield winner
  • Trained and worked as a General Practioner
  • Silver Medalist Men’s Hockey 1976 Olympics
  • Decade in Federal Parliament as Federal Member for Perth
  • Coach of women’s national hockey team the Hockeyroos for 7 years (winning two Olympic gold medals)
  • Coach of men’s national hockey team, the Kookaburras for 5 years (winning the 2014 World Cup).
  • High Performance Coach for New Zealand cricket team
  • Father of five

Ric was in Leederville as part of a series of talks from sporting leaders aimed at guiding and inspiring our sport students.  His presentation focused on the skills of coaching and the development of high performance.

He began by talking about the importance of ambition.  “If you want to be successful, I don’t care what it is, you better have high ambition,” he said.

Ric quoted the first book he came across that introduced the concept of ‘sports psychology’ – Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics.  Written in 1960, the author introduced the idea that life changes according to the image we hold of ourselves.  “In our lives we are like guided missiles, we usually end up where we aim,” Ric reiterated.

The presentation then moved to a discussion on the parallels between business and sport.

“International sport at the highest level is extremely competitive and it is very hard to remain at the top for an extended period,” said Ric.

“In addition, in the sporting world unless you win the premiership, or the gold medal, or the final you are not seen as being successful. There is that edge to sport that makes it a very competitive environment.

“Business thinks it is competitive.  Yes, you can grow your business and you can make a profit and you can consider it to be successful, but one major difference between the two is that high level sporting achievement involves constant TRAINING. Athletes spend more time training than they do actually playing,” he said.

Ric believes the business world would be quite different if every situation and every transaction was seen as a training/coaching opportunity in the same way as high level sport.

The presentation moved on to a breakdown of the ingredients required to be an effective coach.  In his opinion, these are simply:

  • Be yourself
  • Know what you want and stand up for it
  • Assume leadership-which is about knowing where you want to go and getting people to follow you
  • Insist on quality in everything
  • Make it fun and interesting (most important part)
  • Listen to other people, be open to opinion
  • Trust your judgment
  • Be a learner
  • Take responsibility

Ric outlined that in terms of performance, moments of inspiration are nothing compared to the elimination of error.  In other words, it is repeatability that matters, being able to perform at the critical moment, making the throw or shot every time.  If your team is going to perform under pressure, this consistent delivery is essential.

 

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In Ric’s experience, successful sports people all have one thing in common – they don’t know how good they can be.

“It is up to a coach to lift them up and give them the ambition to work hard and be as good as they can be,” he said.

“Coaches don’t change anybody.”

Ric went on to describe the qualities top teams have in common, which are:

  • Smart– they use technology and innovation e.g. GPS, video to their advantage. Win or lose, they measure results and track progress to improve weaknesses and consolidate strengths
  • Healthy– for Ric the most important part of all is a healthy organisational culture that allows for open honest conversations and criticisms in order to constantly improve. This involves clear values, a prescribed style of interaction, honesty and openness.
  • Diligent– a strong work ethic and attention to detail, making sure everything is covered
  • Skilled– technical ability gained through practice and challenging themselves, the 10,000 hours of practice doctrine.

To prepare for the high stakes of World Cup or Olympic finals, Ric would create challenging training situations.  He would suddenly change the rules, make the goals smaller, let one side have more players, or perhaps deliberately make a bad call.

Such moves were designed to make training more difficult than the actual game and create resilience within the group. In Ric’s view, the more you have thrown at you in training, the more prepared you are to tackle anything that may occur on the big day.

In closing, when asked how he would like his coaching to be remembered, Ric responded with simply – “That guy, he really pushed us”.  For Ric, taking athletes beyond what they thought they were capable of is what being a good coach is all about.

 

Information on Central’s Sports qualifications

 

 

Groundbreaking Equipment for Lab Technician Students

As part of Central’s commitment to providing industry standard equipment to students, the East Perth campus has recently acquired a seismic blood analyser for use by Laboratory Operations students.

The seismic blood analyser provides a detailed picture of blood samples by separating it into its various components.

The machine provides an automated system for measuring blood components including haemoglobin levels, red blood cell amount and size and white blood cell types and levels.

The industry standard piece of equipment allows students to familiarise themselves with blood analysis technique prior to entering the workplace.

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Previously, students used manual methods of collecting blood data but with the new analyser students are able to apply their understanding to an automated system.

The machine was acquired in June this year and is used by Certificate III to Diploma level students for tasks ranging from quality control measures to patient samples.

Further information on Laboratory Operations courses.

 

Central swamps Expo

Central reflected the biggest ever Skills West Expo by having our largest ever presence in the history of the career showcase.

The Expo is so large this year because it is also hosting the national finals of the Australian WorldSkills competition.

On the first day alone, over 3000 people visited the expo, including the Minister for Training and Workforce Development Dr Kim Hames MLA.

Central is out in full force, showcasing the great range of training courses we have to offer and the opportunities they can lead to.

Whether potential students are interested in business, creative arts, engineering, construction and mining, health, education and community services, IT, science, sport or tourism, Central’s stands offer an experiential and engaging introduction to each course.

Central staff are very easy to spot, sporting striking ‘hands on’ branded shirts made specifically for the Expo and taking our brand to all corners of the mammoth Convention Centre.

(Photos courtesy of Chi Hang Ho)

The Skills West Expo runs at the Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre until 20 September. The following day, the Institute will find out whether our four students finish in of the WorldSkills medal spots. They are:

Natasha Webster – Beauty Therapy

Allyana Goff – Web design

Jason Nesbitt – Jewellery Design

Jennifer Newby – Jewellery Design

Good luck you four.

 

 

 

Central graduates make their mark at WAFL Final

For the first time in Australian football history, two females will officiate the WAFL grand final.

Central graduates Lauren French and Sally Boud will take to the field as goal umpires for the deciding game of WA football this Sunday.

The pair grew up together and got into umpiring through the encouragement of their high school Maths teacher Warren Beckwith as 15 year olds. Since then the pair has steadily been climbing the umpiring ranks.

Lauren and Sally’s success hasn’t come easily and both have had to make sacrifices to make it to where they are now, as they juggled their umpiring commitments with work and study.

“It’s been tough, we’ve both had to organise our work and study as priorities and make sacrifices, especially with our social lives, said Sally.

Traditionally, AFL umpiring is a field dominated by men. Lauren and Sally have had to work hard to make it to where they are now, but they don’t see it as a disadvantage.

“It’s really exciting and humbling to have the opportunity to perform at the highest level and a great reward for all the effort we have put in. Lauren and I started umpiring together, so it’s fitting that we both take this opportunity together”, said Sally.

Photo by Liam Ducey

Read the full story at WA today