Community Grant Assists VCAL Students to Achieve

The GOTAFE VCAL Program has finished up the year on a high, with a celebration at the GOTAFE William Orr Campus in Shepparton last week.

Students participating in the Personal Development Skills course reflected on their achievements during a presentation to GOTAFE CEO and Management, along with their family and friends.

Throughout the year the students worked on a number of hands-on projects including building a wood-fired pizza oven and creating a graffiti mural wall. They spent their time learning new skills including stencil and poster art, bricklaying, drawing and spray painting, explained VCAL Coordinator Dani Gow.

“With the assistance of a $600 Bunnings Voucher from the Greater Shepparton Connected Community Grants Program run by the Bendigo Bank, we were able to purchase the paint and supplies required to complete these projects,” said Ms Gow.

Both the pizza oven and graffiti wall are located in the former Billabong Garden Complex. Before the students could begin the creative side of these projects, they were required to get their hands dirty and turn the dilapidated facility into a safe and clean environment once more.

“For one day a week, our students set about transforming the facility, and beautifying it in their own way. They have all done a fantastic job, and through this project they have been able to produce high quality artworks. They have enjoyed the learning process and now have smiles on their faces – which is the most important thing”.

GOTAFE Trainer David Czech, has been assisting the students with their design skills and said the group has really thought about the work they created and have used it as a way to express themselves.

“One student has titled her work Dark Past, Bright Future, describing how she feels about their own life now that she is part of this VCAL Program.”

The artwork displayed on the graffiti wall is a combination of stencil and poster art. Some of the artwork featured on the wall was provided by ‘CzechyArt’, Mr Czech’s own design firm.

Mr Czech documented the entire process and has produced a fantastic 80 page book complete with photos of each stage and reflections from every student on their contribution. Thanks to GOTAFE Management, the students will be receiving a copy of the book, which will act as a lasting momento of their exceptional year of study.

“The grant we received provided us with a fantastic opportunity for the students to express themselves through a long lasting piece of artwork – the students have entitled it ‘VCAL – Its how we think”.

The GOTAFE Learning Skills Unit runs VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) programs at each campus, providing students who need additional support with a hands-on senior secondary certificate of education, practical work-related experience as well as the opportunity to develop literacy and nu-meracy and personal skills.

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Deadli Nu Art on Display

GOTAFE Cultural Arts students will display their works during an exhibition and ceremony entitled ‘Deadli Nu Arteffects’ on Wednesday 18 November 2015.

20 Indigenous students from the GOTAFE Shepparton Campus have been involved in a number of programs throughout the year, many of which are a contemporary twist on the traditional, explained GOTAFE Koorie Arts Coordinator, Robyn Thompson.

“Indigenous art is evolving and this year’s cultural arts group wanted to reflect that in their pieces. Whilst they displayed a deep respect for traditional forms of indigenous art, they were happy to explore new ways in which to express their cultural heritage and used items such as skateboards and mannequins to create works of art,” said Ms Thompson.

A number of students participated in the Kooriez in da Hood program where they researched their cultural heritage and translated what they learnt into wearable art in the form of hooded jumpers or ‘Hoodies’. These students recently celebrated their achievements with a runway show and ceremony in September.

Ms Thompson explained that throughout the year, students have the opportunity participate in workshops with contemporary artists and Indigenous Elders across Victoria to learn artistic techniques.

“This year students had the opportunity to visit the new Koorie Heritage Trust at Federation Square and join a guided tour along the Yarra River exploring urban Koorie heritage. They participated in screen printing workshops at Spacecraft Studio, as well as model their Hoodies during a professional photo shoot.”

Most recently, students engaged with local indigenous artist Troy Firebrace in a painting workshop. Troy is a young Shepparton born Yorta Yorta man, whose career is on the rise after his painting recently won a prestigious Victorian art award: Federation University Acquisitive Award for Work by a Victorian Regional Artist at the 10th Victorian Indigenous Art Awards. At 22 years of age, Troy has been studying Creative Arts at La Trobe University, Bendigo where he has pursued his interest in his Aboriginal identity and art. GOTAFE students were inspired by an idea of Troy’s use of skateboards as canvases for their work. Troy will also host the Deadly Nu Arteffect Ceremony along with GOTAFE CEO Paul Culpan.

The public exhibition will run from 18 November  to 25 November at GOTAFE Shepparton Campus, Fryers Street, with a range of student work available for sale. Gallery Kaiela will then play host to a selection of students artwork during the exhibition ‘Connect to Country for Christmas’ 3 December until 21 January 2016.

For further information on the Cultural Arts program please contact Robyn Thompson via the Koorie Education Unit on 1300 GOTAFE.

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$8.4 Million for GOTAFE to Support Apprentices and Trainees

The Andrews Labour Government is continuing its support of TAFEs with a $50 million package to bolster TAFE training in response to falling training levels.

Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert, announced GOTAFE will receive $8.4 million from the package during a visit to the institute’s Benalla campus this morning.

The money will help support the TAFE to deliver important, relevant training to drive growth in apprenticeships and traineeships.

It will also help the institute better meet the employment needs of the local community and industries by providing relevant skills to meet needs of the changing economy.

Today’s announcement is on top of the $34 million for a regional skills and training package, announced as part of the Regional Statement yesterday.

The program will be led by regional businesses and industry in partnership with local training providers including TAFEs. It will include innovative local training to areas not currently being services.

The Labour Government has promised to invest $1.2 billion into TAFE and training in Victoria and that’s what we are delivering on.

This announcement is on top of funding already announced by the Minister earlier this year for GOTAFE including $4.3 million from the TAFE Back to Work Fund.

The institution also received $1 million towards establishing two Skills and Jobs Centres which will help students, workers needing to reskill and employers.


[As per Media Release from The Hon Steve Herbert MLC, Minister fro Training and Skills, Victorian State Government]

GOTAFE Joins an Amazing Race

GOTAFE staff and students enjoyed an exciting day last week, during The Bridge Youth Service’s Amazing Race.

This community event program based on the TV series ‘The Amazing Race’, aims to increase awareness of local services available within the Seymour community.

“Each stage of the Race involved participants racing around the town, visiting community services, support centres and training providers,” explained GOTAFE Retention Engagement Officer Ursula James.

“Each team of two were required to undertake a series of challenges at each location around Seymour – it was a lot of fun.”

Seymour College’s Year 11 VCAL students joined GOTAFE Student Services, trainers and students in the Race that was held on Friday 6 November 2015 from 10am to 2pm.

The event partners included Nexus Primary Health, Alcocups – Alcohol & Drug Education Specialists and Mitchell Youth Services. On offer for place getters were vouchers, with the winners receiving $250 in vouchers each.

GOTAFE Student Services are available to assist all students though a range of support programs including careers advice, disability support, accommodation, tutoring, parent support and counselling.

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Hair Salon Benefits Young & Old

GOTAFE have formed an exciting new partnership with the Rumbalara Elders Facility in the use of their hair and beauty salon.

Residents have welcomed the students with open arms, explained GOTAFE Hair & Beauty Commercial Manager Kate Storer.

“We have received very promising feedback already, after only a couple of visits.”

“Our aim is to provide our students with the skills industry demand – which also includes working with people from all walks of life, different cultures and ages.”

“The aim of this project is for students to learn to manage and operate a small but busy salon during the later stages of their training with GOTAFE. The students will be required to implement all aspects of their hairdressing training including appointment booking, treatments, ordering and stock take, salon management, and time management, while under the supervision of our highly qualified Trainers. The staff only step in when required to allow students the freedom to really explore their capability.”

GOTAFE Hairdressing students will visit the Rumbalara Elder Facility every Thursday to provide haircuts, blowaves, colour treatments & beauty services such as manicures explained GOTAFE Trainer Craig Ferguson.

“Students are learning what it means to give back to the community. One of our students was moved to tears after her first visit. She said the experience was one of the best in her life, knowing that the skills she has learnt can help lift the spirits of the elderly.”

“One resident has offered to paint an artwork for the salon. It has been fantastic to see the enthusiasm about this new salon in both our students and the Rumbalara Elder Facility staff and residents. We are looking forward to being part of this community.”

To celebrate the Crown Oaks Day and the Spring Racing Carnival, Rumbalara Elder Facility residents will be treated to a special Pampering Day by GOTAFE students on Thursday 5 November 2015. Hair and Beauty students will be offering manicures, blowaves and sets to residents, followed by a special High Tea luncheon.

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Students Learn From the Best



GOTAFE Hairdressing students will again be treated to an exclusive Masterclass from the best in the business.

Freelance Hairdresser Andrea De Deugd is visiting GOTAFE’s Shepparton Campus today, followed by a visit to the Wangaratta Campus tomorrow, to share her extensive knowledge of the industry with students.

Focusing on Long Hair, Ms De Daugd will share her experiences as Hair Director for the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival, explained GOTAFE Trainer Rosa Mandaradoni.

“Andrea is so inspiring. Her experiences are testament to the many different careers opportunities awaiting our students when they complete their qualification. The skills that they gain from their studies here at GOTAFE can open doors in many different areas, competition styling, fashion and advertising just to name a few.”

With over 20 years of experience in the industry, Andrea has won numerous state and national titles in Red Carpet, Catwalk, Bridal and Photographic competitions. Her skills have taken her to New York where she was mentored by Nicholas French for Matrix’s 2013 Digital Edge Trend and has published several of her own collections.

“An important aspect of a student’s learning experience at GOTAFE is their exposure to industry professionals. Experts such as Andrea de Deugd broaden the understanding of students and provide an opportunity for them to learn new and different techniques that they can then use in the salon.”

GOTAFE Hairdressing and Beauty conduct several Masterclass programs throughout the year, providing students with unique opportunities to learn from the best in the business.

“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 Mandaradoni.

Next week, GOTAFE is delivering two Masterclass sessions, including an exclusive evening event open to the local industry.

Aaron Chan from ‘Kings Domain’ barbershop, who was recently crowned A.H.F.A Australian Mens Hairdresser of the Year 2015 will transform the GOTAFE Harder Auditorium into a classic barbershop.

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