I rise to congratulate Ms Lyn Maniz, a teacher at Ballarat Secondary College on winning of the Victorian certificate of applied learning (VCAL) Teacher of the Year award.
Ms Maniz was humble in receiving her award, thanking her colleagues at the college. She did, however, say that it was a huge honour and the highlight of her career.
Over 23 000 Victorian students take part in VCAL every year, and it is teachers like Ms Maniz who make VCAL such a successful program.
It has been a tough couple of years, with the Baillieu government ripping $48 million out of the program in 2012. The teachers and schools that support the VCAL program rose to this unneeded challenge admirably.
A school in my electorate, Bellarine Secondary College, even went into deficit rather than disadvantage its students. When asked about her teaching style, Ms Maniz said it was all about the relationship built with the students.
I would also like to congratulate Mr Liam Price of Hopetoun P–12 College for winning the integrated program teacher award.
The integrated program brings together the many strands of VCAL, including literacy and numeracy, work-related skills, personal development skills and industry-specific skills. This reflects the integration of skills that often occurs outside the school curriculum, in everyday life and the workplace.
Teachers like Mr Price who go the extra yard make a difference and will be the driving force behind making Victoria the education state.