Delivering More Tafe Training In Northern Victoria

People in Shepparton will be able to access more TAFE training thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government.
Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney today visited GOTAFE’s Shepparton campus to announce almost $7.5 million to deliver 12 new TAFE courses as well as funding to support GOTAFE’s community services.
More than $4 million will be used to fund new courses to address community needs in growth areas such as agriculture industry expansion and innovation, community services, NDIS readiness and more.
A number of new courses will support Indigenous Australians to access apprenticeships, traineeships and training. In one case GOTAFE is partnering with Indigenous National Technology & Telecom Network to provide pathways into telecommunications work.
Indigenous National Technology & Telecom Network expects to create 120 new jobs over the next 12 months with 44 in the Hume region available to well-trained Indigenous Australians.
More than $3 million in TAFE Community Service funding will go to a range of GOTAFE community services including support for Skills and Job Centres in Shepparton, Wangaratta, Benalla and Seymour.
Extra support will also be provided to help boost student’s literacy and numeracy skills as well as creating a supportive TAFE environment for all ability levels and from all backgrounds.
The new courses are being funded through the Regional Specialist Training Fund, which is ensuring students receive high quality training that delivers the workforce skills employers need.
The GOTAFE TAFE Community Service funding boost is part of the Government’s $48.8 million investment across the state to help to give every student the support they need to get the most out of their time at TAFE.
To make it easier to access training, the Government is investing $172 million to make 30 priority TAFE courses and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses that lead to jobs that are most in demand from Victorian employers tuition free.
The Victorian Budget 2018/19 is investing an additional $644 million to strengthen TAFE, address skills shortages and ensure all Victorians can access the training they need to get a good job.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“GOTAFE is vital to delivering quality training to people in Northern Victoria – that’s why we’re funding 12 new courses and boosting support for students.”
“This funding means that more people will have access training closer to home and get the support they need to finish their course.”
“The previous Liberal Government spent four years cutting TAFE and closing campuses – we’re rebuilding TAFE to make sure Victorians can get the training the need to get a job.”

Leitchville Local Takes Greenham Prize For 2018

Ellie Hodge, 20, of Leitchville, is this year’s winner of the Greenham GOTAFE Dairy Scholarship, valued at $12,000.
Keen to keep the momentum up after completing her Science degree, Ellie is in her first year of Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine at the University of Melbourne after being granted accelerated entry into the course.
A classic country story, Ellie is one of three daughters to dairy farmers Cameron and Ann Hodge who milk 400 Holsteins on their Northern Victorian property. The shared experience of lending a hand in the dairy or hand feeding calves had a deep impact on her outlook.
“Mum and dad have always been very open about the challenges of operating a dairy whether it be on-farm efficiencies, the volatility of milk pricing – basically the realities of running a dairy operation.”
“When I was about sixteen, the local vet came out to treat a sick cow and I thought this is pretty cool – and later learnt that I could get paid for it!”
Ellie now looks up to senior Vets and the love they have for their careers. She understands how rewarding it is to treat multiple species of animals and see positive results, particularly in production animals.
“As I have gained more knowledge, I’ve become really interested in the area of animal health in terms of welfare and also production. Unless an animal is in its best condition and its welfare given top priority, it can’t produce to its potential – the two go hand in hand.”
Of particular focus, Ellie is keen to investigate further into areas like dairy cow mastitis and preventative measures to this industry wide issue. “We can look at reducing Bulk Milk Cell Counts (BMCC), improving breeding strategies and tightening up farm practices which can decrease losses associated with the condition.”
“I’m also keen to look further into antibiotic use and the issues surrounding ongoing use and antibiotic resistance,” Ellie adds.
On hearing the news about winning the scholarship – Ellie says she was surprised but extremely happy and was straight on the phone to her dad who said he was very proud of her efforts and application to study.
With the cost of both an undergraduate course and doctor of veterinary science exceeding six figures, the scholarship funding takes some of the financial stress away and Ian Carkeek, Team Leader for Agriculture and Dairy Farming at GOTAFE said, “Elllie has demonstrated outstanding academic capability and outlined her future contribution to the industry really well. Her potential future impact on community and industry will be significant.”
Executive chairman, Peter Greenham, said the scholarship demonstrates company’s long-standing commitment to education, innovation and the Australian dairy industry.
“It’s very important that younger people see a future for themselves in dairy and agricultural production. We have built our business on servicing the dairy sector and we want to see it prosper to help build strong regional communities and local economies,” Mr Greenham said.
Among the criteria considered for the $12,000 prize are personal and academic achievements, the potential benefits and relevance of the chosen study area or career path to the dairy industry (or related industries) and how important the scholarship might be in helping the applicant realise his or her ambitions.
Ellie will certainly be a strong advocate for the Greenham scholarship saying, “don’t think you’re not capable – Just have a go, you’ve got nothing to lose.”

Steamed For A Good Cause

Two senior VCAL students from GOTAFE, Tiahne Ward and Bryce O’Dwyer have taken the lead in running a social enterprise, Dim Sim Wednesdays.
Along with the help of classmates, Tiahne and Bryce are raising funds for the local youth hub ‘The Haven’. 100% of profits are donated to The Haven.
The Haven offers a safe, relaxed space for children and young adults, where they can enjoy a meal, join in activities and receive assistance with their homework.
“We felt The Haven was the perfect organisation to raise funds for; some of our classmates use this service,” explained Tiahne Ward
“It’s such an important place, we want to see it continue to help children and young adults just like us.”
“We’ve been very busy starting the business from scratch and learning heaps of valuable skills along the way. We’re learning about money handling, marketing, designing (students designed the business logo), communications and organisation.”
So far the students have donated over $500 to The Haven, with the aim of raising $1500 by the end of the year.
Dim Sims and cold drinks are available for purchase at GOTAFE’s Fryers Street Campus every Wednesday from 10:00am to 11:30am.

You do have a backup, don’t you?

We’ve all seen the “Don’t click this” and the “Don’t click that” messages, but what if something does happen and you lose all your files, including your family photos or documents you spent hours typing up.

The best thing to do is restore from a backup, you do have a backup, don’t you?

With the ever increasing reports of malicious software or malware in the news it’s important to backup your files. To put it simply: data you don’t have backed up is data you can afford to lose!

It’s easier and cheaper to be proactive and have a backup than to try and recover from a hard drive failure.

There are a few options available, such as a local backup which means you have to copy your data to an external drive such as a USB or hard drive. Typically this is a manual process.

Another option is to use online storage such as Google Drive, One Drive or iCloud to store your files. These options have limited storage capacity, no file versioning and limited recovery of files deleted by either yourself or by malware.

If you have an active internet connection, one of the easiest methods is to use cloud backup such as Carbonite or Backblaze which costs around $6 per month for a single PC. This allows you to backup all your documents, images etc. with unlimited storage and both iOS and Android apps are available so you can access your cloud files whenever you have a data connection.

Having one backup option is a good start but if you can manage to have at least two your data will be more resilient to accidental removal or malware.

By Daniel O’Brien, GOTAFE

RADD Project

The RADD Project is an important, current and topical piece of Australian youth research about harmful technology use in young people’s relationships.

By way of a brief background, overseas research suggests that harmful technology use in young people’s relationships is highly prevalent, but little is known about its impact.  Published data on the prevalence and impact of these behaviours in young Australian’s relationships, is non-existent.  The RADD project aims to remedy this gap in our knowledge by exploring prevalence and impact in youth in Australia.

The project aims to represent voices of the full spectrum of young people living in Australia, spanning all cultures, urban/regional/rural locations, genders, sexual orientations, and more. More than 250 young people have already completed the survey, but to ensure we understand how harmful technology use impacts the lives of the full spectrum of our youth, the project still needs to hear from more young people living in Australia.

Involvement is easy, 16-24 year olds simply complete an anonymous online survey that takes approximately 15 minutes.

If you’re aged between 16-24, please fill out this important Australian youth survey about technology use in young people’s relationships.  It’s online, anonymous and only takes 15 minutes or so. The questions are easy, and your responses are private and will ultimately help to improve the support available to young people. Feel free to share the survey with your friends too.

Free TAFE for Priority Courses

GOTAFE has welcomed the Victorian Government’s budget announcement.

The centrepiece of the Andrew’s Labour Government Budget is Free TAFE for Priority Courses, designed to reduce the financial barrier for students wanting to train in courses that lead to priority occupations – those in demand from employers in the Victorian economy.

“GOTAFE is delighted with the Budget announcement in support of high quality public education and the recognition that vocational education and training is an essential investment in the future of our state and our region,” said GOTAFE Acting CEO, Jennifer Oliver.

“This targeted and strategic funding will provide free training for students enrolling in 30 priority TAFE courses and 18 pre-apprenticeship courses. There are also training places which will support industry and in particular the skills required to support jobs growth in our region and support for our apprenticeships and traineeship delivery including the development of high quality learning materials.

“Our very important VET‐in‐Schools (VETiS) will also receive funding and support for pathways. We very much appreciate this recognition by government of the skills which will equip our students for the future economy. “

Free TAFE for Priority Courses is a Victorian Government program that will pay a student’s tuition fees, if eligible, to study one of 38 priority courses at TAFE.

From 1 January 2019, students who are eligible for Victorian Government-subsidised training will not pay course tuition fees for:

  • An initial 20 priority non‑apprenticeship courses, state-wide – a further 10 priority courses will be confirmed following consultation with industry, in time for students to enrol for the 2019 training year
  • 18 Victorian Government-subsidised apprenticeship pathway courses (sometimes called pre‑apprenticeships)

Free TAFE for Priority Courses will start on 1 January 2019.

Students who are eligible for Victorian Government-subsidised training can access the Free TAFE for Priority Courses initiative to study tuition fee free. View our list of currently eligible courses offered at GOTAFE in 2019.


Skills and Jobs Centres located at GOTAFE campuses across North East Victoria will continue to play a large part in providing expert advice on training and employment opportunities to those wishing to take advantage of this initiative.

For more information about Free TAFE for Priority Courses, including eligibility and course details, contact GOTAFE at or 1300 GOTAFE (468 233).

Russell Thorn returns from study tour of UAE and USA

​GOTAFE Building Construction Trainer, Russell Thorn has recently returned from a study tour of The United States of America (USA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE). He attended the International Network on Innovative Apprenticeships (INAP) conference in Washington DC, followed by tours of colleges in New York and Chicago. His study tour also included a visit to the World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi.

Russell said that the INAP conference, brings together researchers and research institutions with a common interest in vocational education and training.

“The conference was attended by more than 120 visitors from Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and of course Australia and I think that demonstrates that there is new interest in the re-establishment of dual secondary and vocational training, basically VETis or Tech school models.

“The conference discussed the trend towards alternative models of training and the framework of qualifications that each country used.

“Most countries also shared similar challenges like youth unemployment, and the push towards directing students into VET qualifications, trying to create pathways from secondary to VET instead of secondary studies to academic qualifications.

“We visited a number of colleges across America – Virginia NOVA College which is a privately funded institution, most of them are privately owned, so they need to achieve a minimum 70% employment outcome for students for them to be eligible to get government subsidised loans.

“They also have strong relationships with industry, for example all the machinery and equipment is donated by industry, they are not reliant on government funding, they rely on those relationships for support and to get their students into employment.

“What stuck out for me was that their apprenticeship courses are designed with minimum duration of one year, so apprenticeships are really anything, any course.

“But something that I didn’t expect was the standard these school adopted, the professionalism if you like, the students all had a uniform, different colours identified individual trades, that they were expected to wear at all times. Their appearance was to be presentable at all times with shirts tucked in and they were all to acknowledge the teachers when they walked past by looking them in the eye and greeting them. All these practices were enhancing students work readiness building on the values of respect, confidence and community behaviour social skills.

“A large amount of the theory work was assessed through oral presentations in class instead of just handing in assignments. This was to build confidence and enhance student’s communication skills which will assist them when applying for jobs and in the interview process.

“The main take out message for me was that America has had a big emphasis on college for so long, that it has lost its way when it comes to VET, in this way, Australia is a leader of competency based training, we are in a good position, America is just getting into this model.

Russell also attended the World Skills Competition in Abu Dhabi, stepping off the plane to the make the opening ceremony which is his words was like the Olympics Games with all countries represented in the arena.

“My main learnings from seeing the World Skills competition in action was, especially trade areas was the need for those fundamental foundation skills in hand and power tool skills and undertaking problem solving activities, these are both very important in our training programs, I see a need to re-introduce the focus back to these.”

Russell is a big supporter of World Skills Competition and encourages staff to get on board.

“I encourage staff to get involved with the World Skills Competition, I would even suggest becoming involved in the judging at these events. To be selected or nominated to judge you are regarded as one of the best in your field, it’s a big accolade and a great marketing tool for GOTAFE.”

Russell’s study tour was made possible through his alliance with the Apprenticeship Factory (as a board member) and of course the support of GOTAFE. His tour was co-funded by GOTAFE and himself personally.

Student creates video exploring Aboriginal family tree project

During November, GOTAFE student Kheiryn Ridgeway completed placement with the General Manager of ABC, Will Kendrew.


Kheiryn completed the placement as part of her studies with ASHE/VCAL. The subject, Work Related Skills was designed to get students ‘work ready’.

During her placement, Kheiryn interviewed two of GOTAFE’s Certificate II ATSI Cultural Arts students, Simone and Dakota McGee about a project they are currently completing, family tree project.
The short video, created by Kheiryn and Will (click here to view) gives the viewer an insight into the research they are undertaking in Aboriginal art, family and culture . The painting will be displayed at Kaiela Arts, as part of Christmas exhibition ” Design Roots 2″, opening 30 November.

View the ABC Facebook page here 

GOTAFE to receive $4.07 million through Skills First Community Service funding

The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring all Victorians have access to high quality training through our Skills First TAFE Community Service funding.

Student with Minister Mark Gepp and MP Suzanna Sheed

Member for Northern Victoria Mark Gepp visited GOTAFE’s Shepparton campus today to announce the TAFE is receiving $4.07 million from the fund.

Mr Gepp said, “We’re making sure locals in Northern Victoria have access to the support they need to complete their training and to get a job.”

Community Service funding helps TAFEs support students finish their training and secure a job by funding counselling, welfare and library services, as well as language and literacy programs.

GOTAFE will use $977,495 to continue the good work of its Skills and Jobs Centres in Shepparton, Wangaratta, Benalla and Seymour.
“I’m proud to be a part of the government that’ll always put the needs of students first,” Mr Gepp said.

Since they opened last year, the centres have helped more than 1,500 people get the skills development, job readiness, and training and career support they need to find a job or to move into further training.

More than $431,000 will be used for the Trade Apprentice Learner Support program, which provides mentoring and support for apprentices with low language, literacy and numeracy skills.

Through Skills First, the Labor Government is overhauling Victoria’s training and TAFE system, guaranteeing funding to secure the future of TAFE and making sure Victorians have the right skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney
“This funding will help GOTAFE keep students on track to finish their training to get the job they want.”

“All Victorians deserve access to high quality training and that’s exactly what our Skills First TAFE Community Service Fund is delivering.”
Quotes attributable to Acting GOTAFE CEO Margie Fixter

“This funding will ensure GOTAFE trade students are supported with fundamental literacy and numeracy skills to better equip them as the workforce of the future.”

“This funding will provide positive outcomes not only for the individuals but for our regions industry and communities.”

GOTAFE to receive $1.3 million to expand its Reconnect service.

People living in the Greater Shepparton, Benalla, Wangaratta, Mitchell, and Strathbogie shires will have more access to the training and support they need to get a job thanks to a program reconnecting early school leavers and the long-term unemployed.

Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp today announced that Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE will receive $1.3 million to expand delivery of its existing Reconnect service.

Mr Gepp said, “We’re helping early school leavers and the long-term unemployed access the education and training they need to get a job.”
Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE is one of 27 Learn Locals and TAFEs sharing in $19.8 million to support almost 3000 Victorians.

Participants in the Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE Skills First Reconnect program will receive tailored support, including the development of learning and achievement plans that respond to their social and education needs.

They will also develop their skills and confidence through access to training in literacy, numeracy, digital literacy and work skills.
Upon completion participants will be supported to undertake further education and training, and employment.

“The Andrews Labor Government is making sure people living in Northern Victoria get the support they need to take the next step in their education or career,” Mr Gepp said.

The Skills First Reconnect program is an extension to the Back to Work Reconnect grant program that was funded in 2016 and established in response to a decline in the number of young, early school leavers enrolling in vocational education and training.
The Skills First Reconnect program will expand eligibility to support high need learners aged between 17-64 years with low levels of prior educational attainment.

Through Skills First, the Andrews Labor Government is overhauling Victoria’s training and TAFE system, guaranteeing funding to secure the future of TAFE and making sure Victorians have the right skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney

“We’re making sure every Victorian, no matter their postcode or background, has access to the training and support they need to get a job.”
Quotes attributable to Acting GOTAFE CEO Margie Fixter

“GOTAFE are excited to be able to help long term unemployed individuals improve their literacy, numeracy, digital literacy and work skills, giving them a better opportunity to gain a job.”