Cultural Exchange at GOTAFE Multicultural Education Centre

Recently, the GOTAFE Multicultural Education Centre (MEC) and Community Services Department joined forces for a Cultural Exchange Day held at the GOTAFE Shepparton Campus.

15 Certificate III in Spoken and Written English students spent the day with Certificate IV in Education Support (CHC40213) students, playing games and learning about one another, explained GOTAFE Trainer, Jo Fasano.

“Our session began with each MEC student introducing themselves and providing some information regarding how they came to be in Australia. The day included a range of hands on activities and games, all designed to make the students feel comfortable and facilitate an open exchange of information,” said Mrs Fasano.

Chocolate proved to be an appropriate motivator for all. Games included Bingo, Pictionary and a Treasure Hunt – but the fun and laughter was all for a purpose.

“The emphasis was all about exchange of information so that both groups could learn from each other. Everyone was delighted to find that they shared so may commonalities, and were intrigued by the variations in the things they liked and disliked,” said Mrs Fasano.

“Students shared information about their cultures, upbringings, educational experiences and hopes for the future. They spoke openly about everything from tattoos to clothing, marriage and religion. They also used visuals to aid in communication, drawing diagrams and sharing photographs of their families and pets.”

The session was designed to provide all participants with an opportunity to practise their communication skills in an open and safe environment. Not only did it assist with English language skills, it provided an opportunity for the Education Support students to practice skills they will require in a professional setting.

“Students were required to demonstrate features of good communication, such as the appropriate tone of voice, use of gestures and facial expressions to support communication attempts, and asking for clarification if a question or response was not understood.”

The event has proven to be a great success, with newfound friendships formed and a greater understanding of the many cultures that make up our community.

For more information about the Multicultural Education Unit or Community Services courses at GOTAFE, please contact 1300 GOTAFE (468 233) or visit

$1 Million Announced to Establish Skills and Jobs Centres

GOTAFE has received $1 million in funding from the Andrews Labor Government to establish Skills and Jobs Centres.

The Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes, today visited GOTAFE and made the announcement, which will assist in funding the establishment of two centres, one in Shepparton and one in Wangaratta. 

The new hubs will be one-stop-shops for students looking to start training, workers needing to reskill, unemployed workers needing support for retraining and work placement and for employers.

Ms Symes said the centres will help link local jobseekers and employers to ensure they’re engaged in quality training that’ll lead to a job at the end of their course.

“The local Skills and Jobs Centres will eliminate confusion about where to get help for locals who want to start training or re-skill in a new industry.”

TAFEs like GOTAFE will be the key hub for all the Skills and Jobs Centres across Victoria, ensuring that each of the centres are tailored to meet the needs of their local communities and industries, with coordinated, intensive support services.

Ms Symes said the Labor Government recognises that strong industry links are vital in boosting outcomes for students to make sure they get a job after they finish training.

GOTAFE expect both centres to be up and running early next year.

GOTAFE Top of Class After Audit

GOTAFE is pleased to announce that it has successfully secured regulatory reregistration for the maximum possible period of seven years, validating its reputation as a high quality vocational education provider.

GOTAFE CEO Paul Culpan praised his staff for securing accreditation through the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and commented on the commitment involved across the organisation to achieve the result. An ASQA registration is required for a business to operate as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) in Australia.

“I congratulate all staff on this massive achievement for GOTAFE and thank the many staff who put in a tremendous amount of work,” Mr Culpan explained.

“Through this accreditation our reputation as a high quality vocational educator provider has been validated, particularly with the approval of seven years,” he explains.

“Our goal as an organisation is to achieve ongoing sustainable compliance and this proves we are on the right track,” he said.

“To achieve reregistration, GOTAFE had to meet requirements of an audit, testing against national quality assurance requirements – a task involving staff across all campuses in one way or another.”

The organisation also had to ensure that courses met an established industry, enterprise, educational, legislative or community need. In addition, GOTAFE also had to prove their courses provided appropriate competency outcomes and a solid basis for assessment.

Mr Culpan explained the biggest bonus for students as a result of the accreditation is the fact that GOTAFE accredited courses are nationally recognised, opening doors and increasing opportunities for their futures.

GOTAFE’s Quality and Sustainability Manager Peter Watson was heavily involved in the process and said it was a very pleasing reward for the efforts of many.

“The ASQA auditors noted that compliance to standards was enthusiastically demonstrated by very well prepared teams of staff at GOTAFE and that it was evident we had a robust system of compliance,” he explained.

“This is a great result and demonstrates the passion our staff have for their work and dedication to the subsequent success of our students,” he said.

Award Winning Barber to Deliver Masterclass

One of Australia’s leading hairdressers will visit GOTAFE’s Shepparton Campus next month to share his knowledge and tips for creating award-winning styles during an exclusive showcase event.

GOTAFE Shepparton is thrilled to host Aaron Chan from ‘Kings Domain’ barbershop for its annual Masterclass program.

Mr Chan, who was recently crowned A.H.F.A Australian Mens Hairdresser of the Year 2015, will deliver two Masterclass sessions for GOTAFE, including an exclusive evening event open to the local industry.

GOTAFE Hairdressing and Beauty Commercial Manager Kate Storer said the public Masterclass will be a great opportunity for local hairdressers and salon owners to get a real taste of South Yarra right here in Shepparton.

“Barbering is very much on trend – Aaron and Kings Domain have been key to transforming mens hairdressing. This Masterclass is an exclusive opportunity to learn from the very best in the industry. We have to learn from the best if we want to improve our skills and be able to match the quality customers expect,” said Ms Storer.

Mr Chan’s Kings Domain prides itself on providing men with high class salon service in a masculine environment. Taking inspiration from the barbershops of old, Kings Domain was a finalist in last years ‘Salon Design of the Year’.

“Just like Kings Domain, the GOTAFE Harder Auditorium will be transformed into a classic barbershop,” explained Ms Storer.

“Those in the industry are always looking for locally-based training and support and we are thrilled to be able to provide it.”

Mr Chan will also be delivering a private Masterclass for all Certificate III in Hairdressing (SIH30111) students. Students will be equipped with hands-on experience, current knowledge and industry trends that can be brought directly back to the salon.

The public Masterclass with Aaron Chan will be held on Monday 16 November 2015 from 6.30pm until 9pm. Tickets are $100, available through the GOTAFE Hair & Beauty Department or

More information about Kings Domain can be found on their

Boat Building Apprentice Boom

GOTAFE has witnessed a surge in demand for boat building apprentices this year, with the marine industry providing a much needed boost in marine education and training.

This year GOTAFE began delivering the Certificate III in Engineering – Composites Trade (MEM31112) which complements qualifications in marine craft construction.

“We’re now in our third year of delivering the boat building apprentice training and have seen participation numbers grow to 40 students,” said Brett Ambrosio, GOTAFE Commercial Manager for Automotive, Engineering and Marine Craft Construction.

“These numbers are spread state wide and is now giving employers the flexibility to employ an apprentice.”

With most of the hands-on training delivered in the workplace by GOTAFE Trainers, theory classes are delivered each month from the Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) facilities in South Melbourne.

“Students receive quality time with Trainers, providing them the ability to extensively cover the curriculum, interact and ask questions face to face.”

Students have the option of completing either the Certificate III in Marine Craft Construction (MEM30705) or the Certificate III in Engineering – Composites Trade (MEM31112) in order to become a qualified tradesperson.

“This qualification has been specifically developed to meet the needs of apprentices in the above trades. The qualification packaging has been designed on the assumption that competency will be developed through an integrated combination of on and off-the-job learning strategies such as those delivered through a formal apprenticeship,” said Mr Ambrosio.

GOTAFE courses offer competencies in both manufacturing and repair, providing students with a breath of skills and knowledge in a variety of areas. Students are required to perform a range of tasks that may include developing composite parts and tooling, undertaking repairs and modifications, constructing and assembling marine vessel timber components and three-dimensional moulds.

For further information on the boat building programs delivered through GOTAFE, contact Brett Ambrosio by phone on 1300 GOTAFE (468 233) or email

Huge Demand for Animal Lovers at GOTAFE Werribee Campus

GOTAFE is the largest educational provider in North East Victoria, but it may take you by surprise to hear they are also right here in Werribee.

Veterinary nursing, animal care, pet grooming, equine courses and even cheese making are taught by a passionate group of trainers at the Research Close Campus.

The Animal Sciences department opened its doors 18 months ago and it’s been full steam ahead, explained GOTAFE Business Support Officer Karen Davies.

“Our first cohort of students studying Certificate III Pet Grooming (ACM30612) recently graduated which was a huge thrill for us. They were able to achieve an incredible 97% employment success rate which just goes to show the sheer demand for our students in this field,” said Ms Davies.

“Dog grooming is a boom area. We are constantly on the look out for ‘Doggie Models’ to add to our database, so if your pooch needs a pamper, please let us know.”

All the hard work is paying off, with Animal Sciences Trainer Sherryn Smith, along with Ms Davies, recently taking out the top honor, winning the GOTAFE Innovative Training Award for their exciting and rewarding hands-on training program.

Leading by example, student Danielle Jones was awarded the Grooming Student of the Year 2014, and is now an invaluable employee at Pet Stock, Ballarat.

For those interested in finding out more about the animal, equine and dairy sciences courses through GOTAFE, the team will be available at Wyndham’s Pet and Animal Expo on Sunday 27 September 2015.

The GOTAFE Werribee Campus will be open to the public as part of GOTAFE’s Open Month on Tuesday 29 September 2015 at 3 Research Close, Werribee from 10am to 5pm, and we invite every-one to come along. To register your attendance, please visit

For those interested in registering ‘Doggie Models’, please call 9217 5205 to register your pet.

VICROADS Indigenous Secondary School Scholarship Program

The VicRoads Indigenous Secondary School Scholarship program is a broader initiative of the Indigenous Employment Program which aims to help raise the VCE completion rate of Indigenous students. The scholarship provides up to $3,600 financial assistance to recipients and is available to all Aboriginal students approaching years 10, 11 or 12 and studying in Victoria. Application forms are widely distributed throughout communities and schools in Victoria you can also access the form by downloading it from the link below


The application form can be downloaded here

or contact

P   (03) 9854 2967


Facelift Teaches Valuable Lessons

You might have noticed a hive of activity at GOTAFE’s Fryers Street Campus recently as the front gardens receive a long overdue face lift thanks to Horticulture and Conversation Land Management students.

GOTAFE CEO Paul Culpan invited students to create a new vision for the frontage of the McLean Building in Fryers Street, Shepparton.

“While on the surface this design job may appear to be about renovating the tired, 30 year-old frontage, in actual fact it is about branding and the message GOTAFE is sending to the community,” explained Mr Culpan.

Students undertaking a Dual Qualification in Certificate III Horticulture (AHC30710) and Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management (AHC31410) at the GOTAFE William Orr Campus have been getting their hands dirty every Monday, pulling down the overgrown wisteria, building seating and propagating plants ready for the opening at the end of the year.

The works are being completed under the watchful eye of GOTAFE Horticulture Trainer Robyn Saunders.

“The students have designed a concept which offers a more open and welcoming space in front of the campus,” said Ms Saunders.

“New seating will be connected by interesting pathways to create a perfect environment for students, staff and visitors to take a break from GOTAFE life and relax among a refreshed and sustainable plant-scape.”

Each stage of the facelift relates to a required unit of competency the students must complete, including ‘Set out site for construction works’, ‘Operate machinery’, ‘Install irrigation systems’ and ‘Implement a plant establishment program’.

“As a trainer it is hugely satisfying to see our students develop such a wide range of skills and knowledge while building this new landscape. It is great to be working on a site which is highly visible, as it gives our students an opportunity to demonstrate what they are capable of firstly designing, then constructing.”

Works will continue until November.

For further information on the GOTAFE Horticulture and Conservation Land Management program please contact 1300 GOTAFE.