News Detail

VACSAL RTO Graduation Ceremony 2018

Dec 16 2018

VACSAL’s RTO held their 5th graduation ceremony on the 6th Dec 2018. Twenty nine graduates completed VACSAL’s Certificate IV in Community Services.  We were all very pleased to share the ceremony with our other graduates who joined us on this special night – 15 students who completed the Diploma of Community Services (Statutory and Forensic Child, Youth and Family Welfare) in partnership with RMIT. Our other graduands were the year 12 graduates from the Northern region. Eight remarkable young people made the night even more special. VACSAL recognises the enormous commitment these 52 students and their families have made. There were over 140 guests who came to witness their family member’s success in completing their qualifications. The atmosphere was extremely positive with lots of optimism for the future.  The food, entertainment and the ceremony combined to make an amazing night to remember.

The students who completed the community services qualifications are extremely keen to maintain or access employment in the community services sector so they can support their community – an admirable and meaningful career path.

Dr Alf Bamblett’s dream of VACSAL becoming a quality RTO is well and truly alive.  His legacy continues to inspire the students and staff.  His dream was to ensure cultural integrity was at the heart of every learning journey.

Pam Aplin (VACSAL’s Deputy CEO) provided the opening speech at the graduation. Pam acknowledged the students on their exceptional accomplishment and also thanked the RTO staff team for their commitment and hard work.

Lewis Brown (Victorian Koorie student of the year and a graduate of VACSAL’s 2018 Certificate IV in Community Services course) provided the ‘address to the graduands’. It was an inspirational speech that encouraged the students to continue their journey for lifelong learning. Melinda Eason (RTO manager and lead trainer/assessor) was MC. Pam, Josh and Michelle thanked Melinda for the leading the program to a successful outcome. A very special thanks to Josh Wanganeen and Michelle Duscombe who provided outstanding training throughout the year, I’m sure the students would agree. Also, thank you to Leah Seeto and Janet Snashall-Woodham for all their hard work throughout the year in office administration and compliance. Thank you for their event management skills and putting on such a great evening.  

The graduation ceremony was mixed with happiness and pride for the student’s outstanding achievements.

RMIT University sponsored several educational awards in recognition of particular student’s outstanding achievements. They are as follows:

  • Professor Robin Goodman presented the ‘RMIT University Award’ for further education to Carli Stanger. Carli has been accepted into the Diploma of Community Services at RMIT.


  • The ‘Dr Alf Bamblett Achievement Award’ was awarded to Mark Mann by Nikayla Bamlbett. This award recognises students who have shown enormous resilience and demonstrated self-motivation despite challenging barriers and achieved educational success.


  • The ‘Aunty Bunta Patten Achievement Award’ was awarded to Kim Harry and Billi Ann Flanders (Mother and daughter).  This award recognises students who have shown enormous resilience and demonstrated self-motivation despite challenging barriers and achieved educational success.

And finally the ‘Mentoring/Elders Award’ was presented to Uncle Kevin Harrison for his outstanding mentoring throughout the year.  Uncle Kevin demonstrated the ability to build and nurture relationships with students, provide encouragement and inspire participation. This award was in acknowledgment and appreciation for sharing his knowledge, advice and wisdom throughout the course.

Mark Mann and Uncle Kevin Harrison provided the final word on behalf of the students. They shared their thoughts on the success of the program and thanked the trainers and class mates for teaching them so much. They both confirmed the importance of having an Aboriginal controlled training provider and how comfortable they felt as students knowing their identity would never be questioned and the cultural understanding and content throughout the course was a main ingredient in the student’s success.  On behalf of VACSAL, we congratulate all students on their excellent success and wish them well in their future endeavours.

Melinda Eason

RTO Manager