GOTAFE CEO fundraising to tackle homelessness


On the 20th June, GOTAFE CEO Travis Heeney is joining the fight against homelessness by participating in the 2019 Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

The event will see more than 80 business, community and government leaders sleep without shelter to help change the lives of Australians experiencing homelessness.

Mr Heeney said he was alarmed to hear the statistics for the regions GOTAFE operates in. More than 250 people across the Werribee region were homeless. In Shepparton it was more than 320 people, in Seymour 67 people, Benalla 42 people and Wangaratta 79 people.[1]

More than 4,400 people were living in poverty[2] in the Wangaratta region. In Werribee it was 5,700 people, Shepparton 3,880 people, Seymour 900 people and Benalla 1,300 people.

As business leaders it’s important to do all we can to highlight the plight of the most vulnerable members of our community. Through our actions and fundraising efforts, we hope to help to improve the lives of people who live within our communities.”

The funds raised will assist the St Vincent De Paul Society with projects across Victoria.

Mr Heeney stated “GOTAFE is committed to providing a welcoming, respectful and inclusive environment for all, in the communities that we serve. To ensure these principles are embedded in everything we do we are developing a Social Justice Charter to guide and inform our programs and priorities.”

The development of the Social Justice Charter will be guided by a community reference group incorporating a broad range of representatives.

The CEO Sleepout will allow participants to hear first-hand from people experiencing homelessness and experience what some people endure each and every night. “I am sure it will be a very humbling experience.” Mr Heeney said.

This year, Vinnie’s fundraising goal is $1.1 million. Mr Heeney is calling on industry, business, community organisations and individuals to donate to this cause. To help support Mr Heeney’s fundraising please visit https://www.ceosleepout.org.au/fundraisers/travisheeney/melbourne

[1] Source: ABS 2016 Census Data – https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-20/homelessness-mapped-australia-by-suburb/9551556

[2] Source: Victorian Council of Social Service Data – http://www.povertymaps.vcoss.org.au/

2018 graduates celebrate their success


2018 nursing graduates from GOTAFE’s Seymour campus​ celebrate their success at the graduations held During March

More than 250 GOTAFE graduates were honoured during March, at ceremonies held in Wangaratta, Benalla, Seymour and Shepparton.

The 2018 graduates, from a wide range of courses, were entertained by MCs Tim Campbell and Ella Hooper and enthralled by keynote speakers Tom O’Toole (from Beechworth Bakery) and shark attack survivor Paul de Gelder.

GOTAFE CEO Travis Heeney thanked the graduates for entrusting GOTAFE with their education and training needs, and said he was proud they had been given the opportunity to study locally and stay connected with their community, friends and family.

He said GOTAFE was determined to ensure the best possible training and employment outcomes for every student, and said the ceremonies were an acknowledgement of the work by students and GOTAFE’s educators.

“If our region’s future prosperity rests with the skills, knowledge, talent and spirit of our people then it is in good hands,” he said.

The graduation ceremonies recognised students who successfully completed their studies in 2018 across a range of study areas including business and IT, art and design, community services, health, animal sciences, and building and construction.

GOTAFE students access world-leading technology


An almost $170,000 synthetic human has made the long trip from Florida to Benalla – to benefit students studying Health & Community Services courses at GOTAFE.

The human anatomy technology model, which was developed by American company SynDaver Labs, was purchased with funding from the Victorian Government’s Regional and Specialist Training Fund (RSTF).

A Sectra Table, which is an interactive learning and teaching tool that uses real anatomy and clinical cases to develop critical thinking in critical training was also purchased through RSTF grant funding. This will be used for all applications across the health educational sector.

The RSTF program supports training for specific skills in regional and specialist areas that are not being met by the current training market.

GOTAFE’s interim education executive director, Louise Pearce, said GOTAFE was fortunate to be the only registered training organisation in Australia to have the SynDaver resource. “We are also the first VET training organisation to utilise a Sectra Table in our training programs. Up until now, it was a resource only available in university degree programs.”

“Our students will benefit enormously from being able to learn with the anatomy model and the interactive workstation,” said Ms Pearce.

The SynDaver Anatomy Model is an alternative to human cadavers in basic anatomy classes and has been designed to mimic the physical properties of live tissue.

The Sectra Table is a large, multi-touch medical display that uses real anatomy and clinical cases and allows students to interact with an image. Students can navigate inside the images, as well as remove layers of skin and muscle and dissect the body with a virtual knife.

“GOTAFE is proud to provide students with the opportunity to study locally, and having access to world-class facilities helps ensure they are job-ready when they finish their training,” said Ms Pearce.

Ceremony Celebrates Wangaratta Graduates


About 100 GOTAFE Wangaratta campus graduates were honoured at a ceremony this week at the Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre.

The 2018 graduates, from a wide range of courses, were entertained by MC Tim Campbell and enthralled by keynote speaker and shark attack survivor Paul de Gelder.

GOTAFE CEO Travis Heeney thanked the graduates for entrusting GOTAFE with their education and training needs, and said he was proud they had been given the opportunity to study locally and stay connected with their community, friends and family.

He said GOTAFE was determined to ensure the best possible training and employment outcomes for every student, and said the ceremony was an acknowledgement of the work by students and GOTAFE’s educators.

“If our region’s future prosperity rests with the skills, knowledge, talent and spirit of our people then it is in good hands,” he said.

The graduation ceremony recognised students who successfully completed their studies in 2018 across a range of study areas including business and IT, art and design, community services, health, and building and construction.

The graduation ceremony was attended by students and their guests, Cr Ken Clarke from the Rural City of Wangaratta, and GOTAFE Board and Executive members.

Minister’s announcement Strengthens GOTAFE’s industry partnerships


GOTAFE CEO Travis Heeney has thanked the Minister for Training and Skills, the Hon. Gayle Tierney, for more than $5.6 million in funding, which was announced during her visit to the Fryers St, Shepparton, campus today.

Mr Heeney said the funding boost for courses in baking, dental assistance, nursing, cabinet making, engineering fabrication and health services enabled GOTAFE to continue to strengthen innovative partnerships with industry and other key stakeholders.

“GOTAFE has develop strong partnerships with employers and industry and they often approach us with specific training needs,” said Mr Heeney.

“We work with those employers and industry to customise a training solution, and today’s announcements are a terrific outcome from some of that work.”

Local industry partners that were instrumental in informing and supporting GOTAFE’s funding applications  included Beechworth Bakery, Higgins Bakery, GV Dental Group, GV Health Dental, Tatura Dental Care and GV Health.

The Minister’s funding announcement was for courses and programs that will be delivered by GOTAFE under the Victorian Government’s Regional and Specialist Training Fund, and Workforce Training Innovation Fund. These funds aim to address skills gaps in regional areas and improve training outcomes.

GOTAFE programs and courses receiving funding are:

  • Certificate II in Baking
  • Certificate III in Baking
  • Certificate III in Dental Assisting
  • Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade
  • Certificate III in Cabinet Making
  • Diploma of Nursing
  • Certificate III in Health Support Services
  • Industry-wide Upskilling Training and Assessment Model for the Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Industry

“We are working to ensure our curriculum is fully aligned to the current and future needs of local employers, industries and communities, and this funding boost will help that work,” said Mr Heeney.

“We are resolutely committed to ensuring the needs of students and industries – especially across regional Victoria – are at the heart of all we do.

“GOTAFE will continue to strengthen innovative partnerships with industry and other key stakeholders critical to our success in enhancing career opportunities for our students across regional Victoria.”

The Minister also spoke about Free TAFE, and said GOTAFE had more than 420 students enrolled in Free TAFE courses across its five campuses.

Mr Heeney said: “Free TAFE has provided affordability and accessibility to many GOTAFE students who might otherwise have not been able to undertake a course.

“Many of our Free TAFE courses have rolling enrolments or mid-year starting dates so there are still plenty of opportunities for people to apply for a course.”

The Victorian Government’s $172 million Free TAFE program is making 30 priority TAFE courses and 20 pre-apprenticeship courses free from tuition fees from this year.

GOTAFE is offering 47 Free TAFE courses across its campuses.

To view video Click Here

 

GOTAFE 2018 Apprentice of the Year Announced (Wangaratta)


GOTAFE’s Benalla & Wangaratta Campuses held their annual GOTAFE Trade Awards Gala Dinner on Wednesday 5th December at Oaks at the Wangaratta Turf Club. The awards saw us recognise the achievements of our apprentice students at a gala dinner, attended by apprentices, their employers, business owners and guests.

Awards were presented to apprentices in the first, second, third or fourth years from Automotive, Building & Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Hair & Beauty, Hospitality, Baking and Plumbing learning areas.

This year, Paul de Gelder was our special guest speaker. Paul spoke to guests about his life journey that led him to a career as a navy diver, how he survived a shark attack in Sydney Harbour where he lost an arm and a leg, and how he now travels the world as at top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids.

Jessica Plum from Badaginnie was announced as GOTAFE’s 2018 Apprentice of the Year for Benalla & Wangaratta campuses. Jessica, a Hospitality Apprentice, was one of the eight final year apprentices who were awarded the Outstanding Apprentice Achievement Awards for their respective learning areas.

Jessica recently completed SIT30816 Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) with GOTAFE and is now working with Benalla Gallery Café.

“I am proud to have been nominated. I have always been made to feel comfortable by my trainers at GOTAFE. Food is my passion and GOTAFE has equipped me with the skills I need to be able to go into the future. I feel like I can go anywhere with the training I have undertaken here at GOTAFE. It has allowed me to believe in myself.”

GOTAFE Trainer Glenn Kealy has nothing but high praise for Jessica. “Jessica joined this group of apprentices in 2016 while completing Certificate III in Hospitality. She then took the next step and commenced an apprenticeship.”

“From the very beginning, Jessica always wanted to learn and took everything on board to better herself. Jessica has continued to be a standout and in July of this year, she competed in the AUSTAFE Culinary Competition where she won a bronze medal. Her true character shone through earlier this year when the group faced adversity. Jessica was practically the glue that held the group together. She was an exceptional support to the other students and also to me as her trainer.”

Jessica is a dedicated apprentice who gives 100% at work. In her downtime, Jessica likes to tend to her garden where she grows her own produce to use in her cooking. She also enjoys yoga and also is a current Lions Club Member where she assists with raffles and fundraising.

As long as she can be creative and continue to learn, Jessica plans to continue to work in food as it’s her passion.

2018 Trade Awards Newspaper Spread_Wangaratta

 

GOTAFE 2018 Apprentice of the Year Announced (Shepparton)


GOTAFE’s Seymour & Shepparton Campuses held their annual GOTAFE Trade Awards Gala Dinner on Monday 3rd December at the GV Hotel, Shepparton. The awards saw us recognise the achievements of our apprentice students at a gala dinner, attended by apprentices, their employers, business owners and guests.

Awards were presented to apprentices in the first, second, third or fourth years from Automotive, Building & Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Hair & Beauty, Hospitality, Baking and Plumbing learning areas.

This year, Paul de Gelder was our special guest speaker. Paul spoke to guests about his life journey that led him to a career as a navy diver, how he survived a shark attack in Sydney Harbour where he lost an arm and a leg, and how he now travels the world as at top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids.

Kyla Wagner from Echuca was announced as GOTAFE’s 2018 Apprentice of the Year for Seymour & Shepparton campuses. Kyla, a Baking Apprentice, was one of the eight final year apprentices who were awarded the Outstanding Apprentice Achievement Awards for their respective learning areas.

Kyla recently completed FDF30710 Certificate III in Retail Baking (Combined) with GOTAFE and is now working with Beechworth Bakery in Echuca.

Kyla is pleased she was nominated for this award. “I am very passionate about baking. I wanted to learn as much as I could. I didn’t enjoy high school very much. Once I started working at the Beechworth Bakery, I haven’t looked back.”

GOTAFE trainer Kim Banfield says “Kyla displayed all the traits of a top student. She was always in front with her theory assessments and at times. She has always been a very polite and well-mannered student in class who got along with everyone and never showed signs of stress or disharmony. Her willingness to learn and ability to get on with any person from any background or stature made her the perfect candidate to take on competitions like Excellence in Baking and Worldskills. It was a pleasure to have Kyla in our classes and we wish her every success in the future.”

Kyla is currently exploring her options and is looking at continuing her studies with GOTAFE in 2019 by completing her Certificate IV in Baking qualification or possibly a qualification in management.

2018 Trade Awards Newspaper Spread_Shepp

Who will be crowned Apprentice of the Year?


Finalists for this year’s Victorian Training Awards will be feeling the nerves ahead of tomorrow night’s event at Palladium, Crown. The Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of Vocational Education and Training (VET) students, teachers, training providers and businesses that train them.
GOTAFE features in this year’s Victorian Training Awards with the following named as Finalists:
• Apprentice of the Year Award Finalist – Matthew Shipard, Engineering
• School Based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year- Sophie Babycz, Business

Visit the VTA Awards website to view the Finalist profiles:
https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/awards/vta/Pages/vtafinalists.aspx

We are crossing our fingers for back-to-back wins for the Apprentice of the Year. Jeremy Connell, our talented Engineering Apprentice took home the title last year and represented Victoria at the Australian Training Awards in 2017.

Watch Jeremy’s Story:

About the Awards:
This year’s Awards feature 13 categories including awards for individuals, employers, industry collaboration and training providers all taking centre stage. The Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement and the People’s Choice Award for Apprentice of the Year will feature again this year.
Employer awards, including the employer award for Apprenticeship Development, recognise the key involvement of businesses, small and large in the continued development of training and skills programs in Victoria. Finalists include Capital S.M.A.R.T, Gforce Employment Solutions and Transport Accident Commission and Nazareth Care.
Now in its 64th year the Victorian Training Awards celebrate excellence in the training and TAFE system, showcasing innovation and collaboration between industry and training providers.
Individual, employer, small and large training provider categories winners will go on to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards on 24 November 2018.

GOTAFE Trade Students Set To Power Ahead


Milwaukee Power Tools Australia’s Vocational Training Specialist, Daniel Ventieri today presented GOTAFE Building and Construction Team Leader Jeff Gleeson with an array of new tools and equipment.

The equipment will be a welcome addition to the newly appointed work stations and skill bays housed at the new GOTAFE training site in Archer Street (known as the Goulburn Murray Trades Skills Centre) set to open in the coming weeks.

Building and Cabinetmaking Apprentices, VET in school participants and students undertaking pre-apprenticeships in related streams will have access to the new Milwaukee tools as part of their practical training at GOTAFE.

Mr Gleeson said it was important for GOTAFE apprentices to use equipment reflective of what’s used on site and in the workplace to gain the hands on job ready skills that will set them up to succeed.

“We’re very pleased to partner with Milwaukee as a provider of good quality tools.” he continues. “It means our students will be using the best while learning new skills.”

Mr Ventieri said the introduction of his role, ‘vocational training specialist’ further demonstrated Milwaukee’s commitment to TAFEs and the next generation of tradies. “Visiting TAFEs to deliver tools like this is one of the best parts of my job especially regional TAFEs like GOTAFE.”

“Milwaukee tools shares GOTAFE’s vision of equipping the workforce of today with skills for tomorrow. I know these tools will be put to good use and it’s even better knowing they’re going into a brand new facility which will no doubt produce heaps of good quality tradies for many years to come.”

The Goulburn Murray Trade Skills Centre is an initiative of the Better Together Alliance comprising of GOTAFE and the regions four public secondary schools, McGuire College, Shepparton High School, Wanganui Park and Mooroopna Secondary Colleges.

The purpose built facility was co funded by the Federal government and will provide the perfect learning environment for building and construction and cabinet making students initially with scope to expand delivery in the future.

Werribee Biggest Morning Tea


GOTAFE Werribee campus staff and friends gathered on 26 May to show their support for the Biggest Morning Tea.
The Biggest Morning Tea is an event in coordination with Cancer Council Victoria, with all donations going towards the Cancer Council. The donations will go towards funding for research, prevention programs and support services for family and friends of those effected by cancer.
GOTAFE staff Janice Roberts and Karen Davies helped organise this year’s Biggest Morning Tea.
“We were proud to be one of thousands of hosts across Victoria. Together we raised $1,000 for Cancer Council Victoria’s prevention programs, life-saving research and support services.
“I would like to sincerely thank the GOTAFE staff and their families and friends here in Werribee for their generous support of Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea this May and June”.