VACSAL’s RTO held the 6th graduation ceremony on the 6th Dec 2019. Thirty six 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. There were 17 students who completed the Diploma of Community Services (Statutory and Forensic Child, Youth and Family Welfare) in partnership with RMIT. VACSAL recognises the enormous commitment these 53 students and their families have made. There were over 240 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 students who completed their community services qualifications are extremely keen to maintain or access employment in the community services sector so they can support their communities – an admirable and meaningful career journey. VACSAL would like to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of each and every one of the 2019 graduates.

Dr Alf Bamblett’s dream of VACSAL becoming a quality RTO is well and truly alive. His legacy continues to inspire his community, staff and students alike. His dream was to ensure cultural integrity was at the heart of every learning journey, this has been an instrumental factor to the success of the program.

Eric Edwards played the didgeridoo as he led the procession of students into the function room. Melinda Eason (RTO manager and lead trainer/assessor) MC’d the evening. Linda Bamblett (VACSAL’s CEO) provided the opening speech at the graduation and thanked Melinda Eason, Josh Wanganeen, Leah Seeto and Michelle Dunscombe (the RTO team) for their hard work and dedication that she linked to the success of the program. Nerida Ulapna/Wyman (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 educational journey. Nerida Ulapna/Wyman is a proud Yorta Yorta woman from Cummerajunja. Nerida is a customer service officer at Centrelink. Nerida believes that education will break the cycle of poverty. Thank you to RMIT’s Glenn Blair Dean of Design and Social Context) and Anne Fitzpatrick for presenting the awards to the Diploma students. VACSAL extends their gratitude to the RMIT training team; Fiona McLean and Yolanda Pannuccio with a very special thanks to Anne Fitzpatrick who worked tirelessly in her role as Program Manager for the School of Vocational Design and Social Context to deliver the Diploma of Community Services. They were a great team to work alongside of. A very special thanks to VACSAL staff for supporting the RTO team with setting up the room and preparing food for the event.

VACSAL sponsored several educational awards in recognition of particular student’s outstanding achievements. These awards are peer voted – the students voted for the person they believed deserved them. They are as follows:

Josh Wanganeen presented the ‘Student Leadership Award’. VACSAL’s Student Leadership Award recognises these student for their leadership ability and outstanding educational and professional achievements. These recipients have demonstrated a passion for learning, generosity in sharing knowledge, a commitment to the industry and dedication to their community. This award acknowledges and thanks these recipient for inspiring and improving the quality of the student experience. Congratulations Erin Solomon and Matt Atkinson.

The ‘Dr Alf Bamblett Achievement Award’ was awarded to Lance Schmidt by Linda Bamblett. This award recognises a student who has demonstrated immense resilience and self-determination to complete their qualification. This student has overcome barriers and achieved outstanding educational success. Lance Schmidt proved to us all that dedication can overcome all obstacles. He is passionate, courageous and resilient.

The ‘Aunty Bunta Patten Achievement Award’ was awarded to Norma Bamblett. This award recognises students who have shown enormous resilience and demonstrated self-motivation despite challenging barriers and achieved educational success. Norma is a deserving recipient.

Melinda Eason presented the Mentoring award. This award is to recognise:
Excellence in mentoring.
Excellence in role modelling.
Demonstrated ability to build and nurture relationships with students.
Demonstrated ability to provide encouragement and inspire participation.
Acknowledgment and appreciation for sharing knowledge and experience.

The recipients of this award are Colleen Howard and Josh Thompson

Norma Bamblett and Norma Bamblett provided the final word on behalf of the students. They shared their thoughts on the success of the program and thanked the trainers/assessors and class mates for their commitment and support. They both confirmed the importance of having an Aboriginal controlled training provider and how comfortable they felt as students knowing that culturally integrity would be at the heart of their educational journey. On behalf of VACSAL, we congratulate all students on their excellent success and wish them well in their future endeavours.

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