Recognising Victoria’s Best ‘Hands On’ Students

Victoria’s top students in ‘hands on’ subjects have been recognised at the Victorian Certificate for Applied Learning (VCAL) Achievement Awards.

Minister for Education James Merlino presented the awards to students at a ceremony at Melbourne’s Federation Square today.

VCAL provides an alternative pathway through senior secondary education for students attracted to applied learning, with many students completing apprenticeships while others move onto further study and training including university.

Between its introduction in 2002 and 2015, VCAL enrolments increased from 545 to 23,784, with 447 providers, including schools, TAFE institutes and adult and community education centres.

The VCAL Awards acknowledge students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and made a significant contribution to their schools and communities.

Mr Merlino presented awards in 21 categories to students, teachers and schools from across Victoria.

Narre Warren South P-12 student Dharna Nicholson-Bux was recognised in the category of Koori Student Achievement for her excellence in all her VCAL strands, and for being a strong advocate for a tolerant and multicultural society.

Thomas Hunter from Goroke P-12 was recognised for Personal Development Skills after forging strong partnerships between his school and the local pre-school.

Mr Merlino also acknowledged the inaugural winners of the Lynne Kosky Scholarship, which honours the legacy of the late Lynne Kosky who created the VCAL qualification.

The winners, Aleks Radenovic and Gemma-Mae Stemp, have received funding to undertake VCAL in year 11.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino

“These awards highlight the opportunities for young people to undertake practical learning in Victoria that will set them up for a whole range of careers.”

“VCAL plays a significant role in keeping more young people engaged in education and training and its practical focus builds links between young people, the community, training providers and industry.”

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