Free Meningococcal vaccine for young people aged 15 to 19 years old

The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services asks for GOTAFE’s support in raising awareness of the Meningococcal ACWY Vaccine by encouraging our students aged 15-19 or staff with children aged 15-19 to get the vaccine whilst it is still free, before 31 December 2017.

GOTAFE would like to encourage our students aged between 15 and 19 years of age to get the free vaccine

In recent years the Meningococcal W strain has increased drastically across Australia, with Victoria experiencing 52 cases already in 2017, compared to one in 2013.

GOTAFE will post the informaiton on our social channels, website and other channels including on campus for students and staff so we can assist in preventing this life-threatening disease.

See below for the contents of the e-kit which includes frequently asked questions, key messages of the campaign and printable posters for your use.

Meningococcal Vaccine free for 15 to 19 year olds_fact sheet.pdf

Meningococcal Vaccine free for 15 to 19 year olds_poster for GOTAFE.pdf

From 18 April 2017 until 31 December 2017 immunisation providers (GPs and local councils) in Victoria can offer a free Meningococcal ACWY vaccine to young people aged 15 to 19 years old. The Victorian Government is funding this program to interrupt the spread of the disease.

GOTAFE Launch Youth IT Pre-Employment Course

On Monday 4th September, GOTAFE in collaboration with InfoXchange launched its new Youth IT Engineering pre-employment program, to be offered in 2018.

The launch was well attended by more than twenty key industry representatives including; Rural City of Wangaratta Councilors, council employees, employment agencies, local LLEN’s, business owners from engineering and IT fields, as well GOTAFE staff and Info Exchange representatives.

Attendees were given a presentation of the pre-employment program that aims to give students the IT programming skills they require to support their practical trade skills once they are working in industry. They were also given a tour of the relevant training facilities and the 3D Print Lab.

GOTAFE Executive Manager, Educational Operations (Acting) Brett Ambrosio said that the event was just the start of a number of activities designed to engage the community and seek their feedback.

“GOTAFE will host future forums and feedback sessions where we want to engage with industry, the local community, employers and key organizations to establish what they really need from this pre-employment program and then customize a training program that meets these needs,” said Brett.

“Today is just the start of building a capable and skilled workforce for the future.

“We know that our trades students need to have skills in computer programming, enabling them to operate machinery commonly found in workshops across a variety of industries.
“The course will provide successful students with a raft of transferrable skills that can be used across a number of trade disciplines.

“Local business owner Heath Lloyd from Wangaratta Engineering who attended today is a perfect example of someone who recognises that the way forward for his industry is in training his employees to have both practical trade skills and IT programming skills that enable them to operate computer numerically controlled (CNC) machinery.

“Having someone who has completed this new take on technology training in his workshop would enable him to produce computer aided design (CAD) drawings and the programming of CNC machinery to manufacture a wide range tooling, parts and equipment used in a whole range of industries both locally and around the country.

“The launch also gave us the opportunity to showcase our Print Lab and the type of equipment students might use in their first year of study.

“We also introduced attendees to InfoXchange, a not-for-profit social enterprise that uses technology to tackle the biggest social challenges of our time.”

The launch coincided with the Digital Innovation Festival.

For more information or to get involved contact Brett Ambrosio via GOTAFE.

Anyone can be creative

GOTAFE has launched their latest series of flexible short courses designed for art enthusiasts.

Exploring Portrait Painting, The Secret to Layers with Oils, Pushing the Boundaries with Drawing and Beyond Plein Air are all six week accredited courses on offer as part of a new suite of flexible learning programs at GOTAFE.

“Anyone can draw and be creative. Drawing and painting is a skill that can be taught and learned like any other activity,” explained GOTAFE Trainer Leonie Partridge.

For many years GOTAFE has provided a hub for local artist to meet, learn and exchange ideas. Many of the younger graduates have gone onto establish their own business.

“Former student Holly Tunstall is a great example of where art and design can take you. Holly now runs a successful design company in Melbourne after studying both certificates in Visual Arts and Design at GOTAFE. Another graduate Kate Gorman has made a name for herself as a successful practicing artist exhibiting regionally and regularly in Melbourne. We love staying in touch with our students, watching them grow and succeed,” said Ms Partridge.

GOTAFE is also featuring subject specific workshops focusing on specific elements to art and design include Processing Images in Photoshop and Printmaking.

“Portrait painting is one option where you can learn to capture family members and those magic moments. The course begins with the basic structure understanding and goes through to the application of a range of expressive paint techniques. Beyond plain air looks at a fresh approach to capturing the magic of selected north east locations such as the Warby’s, Winton Wetlands and the Ovens River,” explained Ms Partridge.

‘It’s all about meeting the community needs. Arts training like everything else needs to be flexible and timely.

“We want to offer flexible courses to allow people who are interested in art to pursue their passion further. Students may not have the ability to study full time; this new program allows them to study while they continue with their day job or while still seeing to their other interests and commitments. You might only be interested in completing one or two of these short courses, or you may choose to link them together to achieve a full qualification. Either way is possible.”

Due to popular demand, ‘Open Studio’ (SCOPSTUDIO) will once again allow local artists to use GOTAFE’s Art and Design facilities, brainstorm ideas with their peers and be assigned a GOTAFE Trainer as a Mentor. Open Studio will run daily between 10am and 3pm for eight weeks.

“Open Studio has been designed for those with experience who yearn to gather with like-minded people in a supportive studio environment to share work and ideas with, and get a little guidance from a qualified Trainer,” said Ms Partridge.

‘We have fantastic rooms and facilities. It’s a great opportunity for people to focus on a project and gain access to equipment that they may not have at home or in their own studios. It’s important that the community continues to access and to use these facilities.”

The short course program, based on Certificate IV in Visual Arts (CUA41315) commences in August. For more information visit our website, or call us on 1300 GOTAFE (468 233).


Donated engine to enhance Automotive practical skills

This engine was generously donated by Steve Bell of Mansfield Crushing after it was replaced in one of their mobile screens, Mansfield Constructions Pty Ltd, commenced operations in 1989 under the name of Steve Bell Earthmoving. Specialising in civil contracting works, Steve Bell Earthmoving quickly grew from a one-man operation to employing over 30 local staff and operating 25 pieces on plant.

In 2000, Steve Bell Earthmoving diversified its activities with the purchase of Mansfield Pre Mix Concrete. This included several quarry sites and changed its trading name to Mansfield Constructions.

During the next seven years Mansfield Constructions Pty Ltd continued to expand its quarrying and mobile crushing divisions and in 2007 made the bold decision to sell the civil contracting and the concrete divisions and focus future activities on quarrying, sale of quarry materials and contract mobile crushing and screening, including processing of hard and green waste.

In 2007, over 5 million dollars was spent on the acquisition of additional mobile plant, enabling the company to continue expanding and undertake a more diversified range of contract crushing works.

Mansfield Constructions sold the Mansfield quarries in 2013 to E B Mawson & Sons which saw the primary focus turn further towards mobile contract crushing and dry hire. Mansfield Constructions also operates an earthmoving and quarry support division.
In 2014, Mansfield Constructions Pty Ltd changed their trading name to Mansfield Crushing to better represent the company’s primary focus.

Mansfield Crushing Pty Ltd now operates four mobile crushing and screening crews as well as the earthmoving division. Mansfield Crushing has an extensive list of earthmoving equipment and crushing & screening plant, enabling it to provide a wide range of services and produce a diverse range of quarry materials, including Gravels, Sands, Aggregates and many more.

This equipment will be a valuable tool used to enhance the practical skills and knowledge of apprentice diesel mechanics completing their training at GOTAFE. This equipment will give our apprentices the opportunity to get hands on experience while complete a variety of practical tasks on a modern Caterpillar diesel engine. From the time the engine arrived at our workshop it has been put to good use with our apprentices given the task of designing and building a suitable engine stand and setting it up as a training engine in line with the practical task requirements of their training package.

Click here to learn more about GOTAFE’s Automotive programs.

Horticulture trainer wins second PCA award

Leigh Taig is a Horticulture trainer at William Orr, who facilitates GOTAFE’s Greenhouse Technical Management Course. According to Leigh, “The course is essentially a masterclass in Protected Cropping and is derived from Certificate IV in Production Horticulture (AHC40416).”

Leigh attended the Protected Cropping Australia (PCA) National Conference recently in Adelaide, where he was presented with the Industry Training Award for Greenhouse Technical Management Course. The PCA is the industries national peak body, of which it’s members include hydroponic farmers and allied trades dealing specifically with the hydroponic and greenhouse industry throughout Australia.

This is the second award Leigh has won, his first award was presented in 2009 for his early involvement in promoting training pathways within the industry.

Leigh’s award relates specifically to the GOTAFE short accredited course, Greenhouse Technical Management, a technical training course in greenhouse and hydroponic production. Since its inception in 2008, the Masterclass has been delivered in conjunction with industry to over 300 participants, in more than 15 locations throughout Australia.

GOTAFE is often invited by companies to deliver the course on-farm or the course is scheduled in regions of intensive horticulture such as Coffs Harbour, Bundaberg and Perth. The model of bringing the training to the regions, enables growers and allied trades the opportunity to easily participate in the course and also provides the opportunity to customise the course to meet local needs.

Recently the Masterclass was delivered to a cohort of 15 in Devonport Tasmania, with the next course scheduled at the Hawkesbury Campus at Western Sydney University (WSU). WSU have a recently completed training and research greenhouse and GOTAFE were invited by the University to deliver the course on site. This will mean access to a high tech facility for practical and instructional activities during the course.

Leigh says, “It’s through personal involvement with the industry, and creating essential contacts that has enabled this course to be driven by industry, delivered to industry, facilitated by GOTAFE and remain relevant.”

He continues, “There is a lot of new technology and information emerging, and one of the things we do is explore these changes in the growing environment and help participants to upgrade their thinking.”

The next Greenhouse Technical Management Course is being run at Western University Sydney (WSU) Hawkesbury campus 31 July to 4 August. GOTAFE is excited to be accessing the WSU’s brand new training and research greenhouse and to present one of the largest cohorts to date, with several participants travelling from South Africa and New Zealand.

See our website for more information about GOTAFE Horticulture or contact 1300 GOTAFE.

Verney Road School visit

This week, multiple study areas came together to showcase GOTAFE to the Year 10 students of Verney Road School. Organised by the GOTAFE Youth Engagement team, the students participated in a baking activity, beauty activity, automotive activity, building and construction activity and had a demonstration from our Robot (Robbie).

Our wonderful GOTAFE VCAL students assisted in taking the Verney Road students to their activities and also cooked a BBQ lunch.

The Youth Engagement team would like to thank the following staff who helped make this event possible:

  • Bill Evans
  • Vicky McDonald
  • Kim Banfield
  • Luke Bromley
  • David Czech
  • VCAL students



More than 70 GOTAFE apprentices employed at BF Panels

Since the early 80’s, B.F. Panels, one of the largest workshops in the Albury region have employed more than 70 GOTAFE apprentices. Recently, Mark Capito scored a Panel Beating apprenticeship with the family owned company.

Production Manager Reg Corbitt said every year he approaches GOTAFE Commercial Manager for Automotive Mark Ward for potential apprentices.

“Each year we employ an apprentice panel beater and spray painter, most of them have been through GOTAFE,” said Reg.

“So since the 80’s that means we have employed at least GOTAFE 70 apprentices, that’s a lot of young people who have been given a start by us.

“We have always had a good relationship with GOTAFE, in particular Mark Ward who is respected by industry and the apprentices and his background trade is spray paint so has industry experience, a good reputation with in the industry and always backs the apprentices he recommends.

“We have recently put on Mark Capito, who completed his Cert II Paint & panel pre-apprentice training in Wodonga at the Wodonga Secondary College and came recommended by Mark.
“Its early days but he is doing well, he is very enthusiastic, he has the right attitude, work ethic and is eager to learn.

“In one week alone we can have at least 50 cars put through the repair process, so for our 30 odd employees and especially our apprentices like Mark they get to work on a large variety of repairs each creating their own challenges and learnings.

“We have a points base pay system where our workshop staff have the opportunity to do more hours to earn more points, so the harder they work the better their opportunity to earn more money on top of their base salary, of course it’s all depended on output.

“I think Mark will do well on this system as he is already showing some good skills and the right aptitude to problem solving.”

Mark was almost a qualified carpenter before he made the switch to a Panel Beating apprenticeship and he is glad he did.

“I am currently a first year apprentice, employed by B.F. Panels,” said Mark.

“I completed a pre-apprenticeship with GOTAFE to see if I liked the automotive trade and from that Mark put my name forward to B.F. Panels when they were looking for an apprentice.

“B.F Panels were really welcoming when I first started, there are really good people here, it’s a good, safe environment to work in.

“It’s a family run business which is what I like and they make it work well, with Mark a spray painter by trade and Scott a panel beater.

“They trust you to do a good, quality job and work out the problem yourself but there is always someone I can ask, they have people on the lookout for you to make sure you do the job right and that is great to have that support and backup.

“It’s a big business and there are new cars in every day, so I am always working on something new and presented with a new problem to solve everyday.

“They also use water based spray paint which is better for the environment and better for those that use it so that was important to me.”

Mark works full-time and completes one week block training at GOTAFE, a total of seven during the year.

Completing a pre-apprenticeship like Mark, gives students essential trade skills so that if they land themselves an apprenticeship they already have good basic knowledge of the trade, it also gives the students a good opportunity to see if that’s what they want to do as a career.

GOTAFE is now offering mid year intake for paint and panel out of Wodonga Secondary College and also at its Wangaratta Campus. Contact us to learn more.

New study opportunity lands in Benalla

GOTAFE have begun delivering Certificate IV in Education Support (CHC40213) in Benalla, with a new intake round commencing 29 June 2017.

Previously only offered in Shepparton, the course provides students with the skills required to work as a qualified Teachers Aide or Education Assistant in primary and secondary schools as well as kindergartens.

Benalla resident and mother of four, Cheryl Gray, began her studies in Shepparton in July 2016, but has since been able to transfer to Benalla to complete her qualification. The former ANZ Service Consultant from Gippsland, relocated to Benalla two years ago to be closer to family and chose Education Support so she could better assist students with additional needs, just like her eight year old daughter.

“I saw a need to help assist Teachers in the classroom with students who have additional needs like my daughter. It’s been a huge career change but I’m now passionate about supporting children and now have the knowledge to back it up,” said Ms Gray.

“I love being on placement! I’m currently on placement at Violet Town Primary School and worked at Benalla Primary School last year. I’ve almost finished my studies and hope to be able to work in a school in Benalla; I feel like I have made the right choice.”

The 10 month course will be delivered two days per week in the classroom plus a further one day per week of practical work placement, explained Course Coordinator, Jo Fasano.

“This course is ideal for someone who is looking to make a difference in the lives of children and young people. Interested participants will need to have a good understanding of literacy and numeracy because this is where students need the most support. They will also need to have a sense of fun, the ability to multitask and be able to see things from multiple perspectives,” said Ms Fasano.

“Education Support is an ideal career for people with young families who are looking to return to the workforce. The majority of jobs in this field are based in schools and are part time, so are ideal for working parents. A Certificate IV in Education Support is looked upon favourably by universities and can be used with some Institutes as an ATAR alternative or stepping stone to further study.” And Ms Gray’s advice to anyone thinking about returning to study?

“Come to GOTAFE and talk to a Trainer. They will make sure you understand what you are signing up for and will make sure the course is right for you. Add your study commitments into your routine and you’ll be fine.”

Classes commence 29 June 2017. Information sessions are being held on Thursday 8 June in Benalla at 2pm and 5pm. Click here to register or call on 1300 GOTAFE (468 233).

Womens Health Awareness Week 13-16 June

The second week in June will see the launch of GOTAFE’s inaugural ‘Women’s Health Awareness Week’. The week will feature a series of activities including a Yoga Class facilitated by Aquamoves, a bake sale prepared by GOTAFE Hospitality and Baking students, a lunchtime walking group, Health Seminar presented by GV Health and prizes donated by GOTAFE’s Hairdressing & Beauty Salon.

  • 13 Tuesday June: Aquamoves Yoga Class 1-2pm
  • 14 Wednesday June: GOBake Sale 1-3pm
  • 15 Thursday June: Walking Group 1-2:30pm
  • 16 Friday June: GV Health Seminar & Raffle Draw 10:30am to 12:30pm

The week was initiated by GOTAFE Hospitality Teacher, Anita McFarlane, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Ms McFarlane kick-started the idea in May by chopping off her hair alongside her sister Valerie Low and niece Yolanda Low. Their hair was donated to the Variety Charity to make wigs for sick children.

Ms McFarlane would like to use her experience with breast cancer as a way of encouraging women to prioritise their health.
“As women we are often so busy caring for the needs of our family and friends that we often overlook our own health. Unfortunately, because I did this, I now find myself in a challenging situation,” said Ms McFarlane.

“Being aware of Women’s Health issues is important for everyone in the community. Partners, children, friends and family members should remind the women in their lives to have regular health checks.

“If it wasn’t for my husband nagging me to get a check-up, things could have been a lot worse. So I have that to be thankful for.”  Ms McFarlane has set up a donation page, with all proceeds going to the Goulburn Valley Breast Cancer Special Purpose Fund, operated by GV Health, Shepparton.

GOTAFE’s Women’s Health Awareness Week is open to the public. For updates please visit the GOTAFE Facebook page.

Discovering Nursing as the forever career

At 22, Jack Armstrong has discovered his forever career path, Nursing.

Jack is a Stanhope native, and a current enrolled student in the Diploma of Nursing (HTL54115) at GOTAFE’s Fryers Street Campus in Shepparton. He also works part time as a Health Assistant in Nursing (HAN) at Goulburn Valley Health, also in Shepparton.

Jack went to Rushworth P-12 College, and studied Physics, chemistry, fast tracked biology, english, maths and business management. The sciences were his forte and during year 12 fell into the trap of thinking he had to go to University as his next step.

Jack then enrolled at Ballarat University (now Federation University) in 2013 to study Metallurgy, and got three quarters of the way through first year before realising that this wasn’t the right career path and decided to look for full time employment.

Jack joined his local community groups the Mens Shed and Stanhope Business Centre before finding employment with the Rushworth Aged Care Hostel in 2015. He then moved on to the Tatura GV Health Hospital and Aged Care, and that eventually evolved into a new position looking after the residents group activities. It was then that Jack was then made aware of the GOTAFE traineeship course in Health Services Assistance, which involved six months studying and working part time which he applied for and commenced almost immediately.

After his traineeship concluded earlier this year, Jack decided to take his skills further and enrolled in Nursing at GOTAFE. Jack has been in the course for almost a semester and is currently enjoying the subjects Anatomy and Physiology of Humans (APH), learning about how the body functions and learning Nursing Fundamental Skills. Placements are also coming up, firstly with two weeks of Aged Care in mid June at the Waranga Memorial Hospital at Rushworth.

Jack expects to complete his course midyear in 2018 and move directly into the Bachelors Degree at La Trobe University courtesy of his dual enrolment. Jack plans to stay regional and work with outlying communities once he has completed his degree.  Jack says, “the training facilities are great at GOTAFE in a realistic environment which is important for preparing you for your placements.”

Nursing runs in the family with Jack’s Mother and Aunt working as Nurses, and Jack’s sister is currently studying midwifery. It took Jack awhile but eventually came to the conclusion that he was destined for the family career.  Jack says, “Be ready to be challenged, but if you love working with people and caring for people, you will love the course. There are infinite area’s you can work in in the future and I’ve found my life long career finally and am very happy.”

Nursing sound like a interesting career? Mid year enrolments are now open, click here to apply now.