Week of Harmony

Central is an incredibly diverse community with staff and students originating from over 80 different countries.  During the week of 23-28 March, Harmony Day events were celebrated across the Central campuses.

This year’s Harmony Day message – “everyone belongs” was perfectly illustrated by the large, divergent group who came along and shared in the experience.

There were many highlights, including music and dance from the Beleza samba group and performances Central Diploma of Music students Dan Fontan and Federico Chanucci.

This year’s event coincided with Left of Central which brought an additional street carnival feel to the Perth campus event. Congratulations to everyone who made it all happen.

More than a Race Around Town

Once again the Perth International Student Festival brought out the best in Central students with volunteers and participants making it a day to remember.

There were activities galore surrounding the Perth Cultural Centre to celebrate the cultural diversity that international students bring to Perth and Central alike. The day also provided Central Event Management students the valuable opportunity to gain hands on experience in running an event.

Central students assisted in running the festival and used what they had learnt to ensure the day ran smoothly. From marshaling students for the beginning of the City Challenge to running the food stalls, Central students made sure the day went on without a hitch.

The festival, a not for profit event orchestrated by {Study} Perth brings together newly arrived and established international students from school, university, and college. The carnival atmosphere provided a great place to meet people outside of study and learn more about what Perth has to offer.


The main event for the day featured the City Challenge, an amazing race style scavenger hunt across the streets of the CBD. Students teamed up in groups of two to solve clues and take photos, all while gaining a better knowledge of local life in Perth.

Prizes were awarded for the best-dressed team as well as first, second and third place getters. Central student Atiqah Mohammed Rafie took out third place amongst tough competition as she and her partner blitzed the course.


The rest of the day featured food stalls with cuisine from around the world, close encounters with native Australian animals, community stalls from ANZ, West Coast Eagles and the WA police, music and a padded gladiator style, boxing ring. Students spent the day investigating the stalls and testing their strength and skill in the boxing ring to he entertainment of the crowd.

The day concluded with Lord Mayor of Perth Lisa Scaffidi honouring international student contribution and congratulating the winners of the City Challenge.


Sculpting Success

Central Art graduates and lecturers enjoy continued success at the 11th annual Sculpture Walk at Deep Point Mt Pleasant with former Central student Lisa Dymond taking away the top prize.

The event features 27 sculptures and runs from 21 March to 6 April to showcase the talent of both established and emerging artists in an outdoor setting.

“The Sculpture Walk event gives us the opportunity to enjoy Deep Water Point in a new way and gain a deeper appreciation of our surroundings and I would encourage everyone who visits the Sculpture Walk to also walk along the new jetty, which is now wider and accessible to all and is the first phase in an overall redevelopment of the site,” said City of Melville Mayor Russel Aubrey.

Former Central students feature heavily in the exhibition with former students Tich Dixon, Isis Dorado, Lisa Dymond, Jonathon Holding, Belinda Mettam, Karen Millar and Lecturer Tony Jones all exhibiting sculptures.

This year’s Sculpture Walk prize winner, Lisa Dymond took home the top prize with her work ‘Where are the Carters? ‘ a great follow up to her high commendation the previous year. Her piece is all about bringing awareness to the plummeting population of fresh water mussels called Carters that used to be prolific in the Canning River.

Belinda Mettam’s sculpture ‘Illuminated Vessels’ was highly commended for her exploration of illumination from within.

If it’s the only exhibition you see this year, don’t miss the Sculpture Walk – another exhibition that showcases the calibre of Central’s art students.

'Illuminated Vessels' by Belinda Mettam
‘Illuminated Vessels’ by Belinda Mettam
Sculpture Walk
‘Global Division’ by Jonathan Holding
'Medusa Bloom' by Karen Millar
‘Medusa Bloom’ by Karen Millar
'Transit Reef' by Tony Jones
‘Transit Reef’ by Tony Jones


Central’s Rockin’ Daddies Blast Northbridge Venue

At Central, the talent doesn’t stop with the students. Northbridge’s best band room and bar, The Bird, recently showcased Central staff talent with former punk purveyor and now Managing Director, Neil Fernandes, playing support to Predrag (Pex) Delibascih’s new power pop outfit Night Signals.

Predrag Delibascih with Night Signals
Predrag Delibascih with Night Signals

Neil, best known for his work with 80’s group Manikins, started the night with an original set, which someone in the audience described as Ryan Adams meets Lou Reed.

Neil’s guitar playing is raw, jagged, and loud, even in slower ‘country’ ballads. His songs are somewhat experimental and definitely push the boundaries – quite surprising considering his role as a senior bureaucrat managing one of Perth’s largest public sector organisations.

Neil Fernandes
Neil Fernandes

Night Signals on the other hand played more standard rock pop set but did it sure handily and the band has already garnered a strong following.

Central Art Gallery staffer Predrag has been playing in several bands of diverse style – from punkish Soviet Valves, to noisy Bamodi, to downright experimental Abe Sada.

This writer feels his new gig with Night Signals will signal more commercial success as they have the perfect blend of great pop/rock hooks and melodies with a strong rock sound.

Foyer opens at Leederville

An innovative program for homeless young people, the biggest of its kind in Australia, was officially opened by Premier Colin Barnett at Central’s campus in Leederville today.

The multimillion dollar Foyer Oxford  project will provide housing in an aspirational community of 98 young people, including 24 parents and their children, in a new purpose-built four-storey building on the Central campus. It is the first project of its kind in Western Australia.

The ambitious project – a partnership between Foundation Housing Limited; Central Institute of Technology and Anglicare WA – has been five years in planning and development. It is now part of an international movement of Foyer projects, providing a proven model of assisting young people at risk of homelessness to transition into independence.

foyer building and courtyard resized for blog

Foyer Oxford has attracted around $35 million in financial support from the corporate and government sectors, with capital funding received through the WA Department of Housing and Lotterywest. In what is a unique partnership in Australia, BHP Billiton and the WA Department for Child Protection and Family Support will provide joint operation funding over the first five years of the project.

Foundation Housing CEO Kathleen Gregory said the Foyer program attended to the root cause of the complex problem of homelessness which affected thousands of young people in WA.

“Every night, there are about 6,000 young Western Australians without a bed of their own. Most of them bounce from place to place, ‘couch surfing’ with friends, or cycling through institutional care,” she said.

“The Foyer program is different, and successful, because it focuses on people’s strengths and capacities, rather than their problems and deficits. It gives them what they need to really thrive.”

foyer art 2 resized for blog Clinton in apartment resized for blog

Foyer Oxford is the first facility of its kind in WA and one of 1,000 Foyers across the world. The model is considered best practice because it provides at-risk young people, aged 16 to 25 years, with long-term transitional accommodation and comprehensive support, and ready access to education, training and employment opportunities.

Anglicare WA CEO Ian Carter AM said the Oxford Street project was founded on the success of significant overseas experience and the running of an Interim Foyer established in Mt Lawley, in 2011.

“The smaller-scale Foyer was the perfect testing ground. Fourteen young people, including four young parents and their children, were accommodated there and their success stories show that our approach has made a real impact,” he said.

“Many young people who came to the Interim Foyer from difficult circumstances, have now moved into their own home and are on their way to achieving really great things.”

Foyer Oxford provides multidimensional support for residents, facilitated by a skilled and committed professional team available 24/7. Assistance includes mentoring; links to recreational and community groups; workshops on every-day skills such as cooking and financial management; and assistance to find work in the local community.

“This is a great model that has been proved to succeed elsewhere around the world”, said Premier Colin Barnett.

“The facility brings with it a mutual obligation.  An obligation to provide an affordable rental, new, modern, attractive accommodation with security and safety.  With that, goes an obligation on residents to work on getting their lives in order, engaging in education or employment and then moving on to personal and social independence allowing another new group to come in here”, he said.

029 blog

Education is a critical factor and Central has designed a specific course for Foyer residents, called Jumpstart, which concentrates on career development, independent living skills, personal development, literacy and numeracy.

It is the first time an educational institution has been closely integrated into a social project of this kind and the successful model is now being replicated in other states around Australia.

It has been a project close to the heart of Central’s Managing Director Neil Fernandes, who has been a key part of the not-for-profit consortium which has pursued the development for five years.

“When my old colleague Ian Carter, now CEO of Anglicare, approached me about Central becoming involved I was keen,” Mr Fernandes said.

“Actively engaging and contributing to the community has always been at the core of our strategic plan and here was an opportunity to do that like never before.

“We had the land, which was put aside for student accommodation, and Anglicare and Foundation Housing had the skills and expertise. It seemed like the perfect match.

“It is our unsaid motto in TAFE that we change people’s lives and to be prominent in a project that clearly transforms people’s circumstances resonates well with us. “

The Jumpstart training program residents undertake was particularly geared to support people who had previously struggled in the education system.

Campus services, including the library, gym and counselling support, are also available to Foyer tenants.

The architect-designed Foyer Oxford building, on land provided by Central, provides a secure, attractive and affordable living space comprising 98 self-contained bedsit-style apartments and communal facilities, including a common room with entertainment equipment; garden and courtyard; laundry; training room; and barbecue area with platform for music performances.

On the ground floor, which is integrated in the Leederville streetscape, is a café, Pilates studio and meeting space for the Youth Affairs Council of WA. There are also specialised support services and facilities to assist young parents take up work and education.

The sophisticated building features sustainable and energy-conserving design, 24-hour security and electronic surveillance systems to ensure residents feel safe.

Foyer streetfront for blog