Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney MP today congratulated Megan Balcombe from Terang College, who was today named a winner in the statewide Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) Achievement Awards.
“Megan should be exceptionally proud of her achievements in VCAL,” Ms Tierney said.
“The VCAL certificate is an excellent alternative to the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and provides senior school students with the practical skills they need to succeed after school in work, and also as active and valued members of their communities.”
Ms Tierney said Megan’s VCAL project has benefited the community enormously.
“Through this VCAL project, Megan should be incredibly proud of her achievement in making her school and also the wider community a better place.
Having maintained a high level of enthusiasm throughout her School Based Apprenticeship, Megan has shown genuine flair for her work as a personal care attendant at Lyndoch Residential and Community Care Centre and has now completed Certificate III in Aged Care Work.
Dividing her time between classes at Terang College, VET training at South West Institute of TAFE and work 50 km away in Warrnambool, Megan balanced these three aspects of her studies with great maturity.
Through her training and experience, Megan has gained a strong general knowledge of nursing and a firm understanding of people living with dementia.
She freely shares her expertise with colleagues and classmates but does not shy away from seeking advice where necessary.
Megan frequently suggests strategies for overcoming problems and challenges in the workplace and she has made a terrific impression on Lyndoch’s residents.
Megan is among the many school students keeping the community spirit alive and well in Victorian schools, and their teachers should also be commended for their good work in guiding them through such important projects.
Ms Tierney said VCAL is an increasingly popular school certificate option for students.
“VCAL is now being offered to more than 17,700 students across the state, which is a huge vote of confidence in the program which began in 2002 with just 550 students.”
About 9000 students successfully completed a VCAL program last year. Of these, 60 per cent have secured an apprenticeship, traineeship or employment. A further 26 per cent have re-enrolled in further training, other VCAL studies, VCE, TAFE or university.
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority CEO John Firth said VCAL was having an enormous impact on student achievement.
“VCAL has proven to be a successful strategy in applied learning that has invigorated students and teachers alike,” Mr Firth said.
Student award winners received a crystal trophy and a gift voucher.