VACSAL’s RTO held our 9th graduation ceremony for the class of 2022 on the 9th December 2022. Twenty-five graduates completed VACSAL’s Certificate IV in Community Services. There were approximately 100 guests (including VIP’s) who came to witness their family and community member’s success in completing their qualification. 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. The graduation is a proud moment for VACSAL and in particular the RTO. VACSAL would like to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of each and every one of the 2022 graduates. Their achievement is a testimony to what one can achieve through perseverance, commitment, passion and resilience.

Dr Alf Bamblett and Linda Bamblett’s determination to become a quality RTO is highly regarded by the community who have completed of their educational journey with VACSAL. Their shared dream to ensure cultural integrity is at the heart of every learning journey is an instrumental factor to the success of the program.

Liana and Rebekah Liddle played the clap sticks as they led the procession of students into the function room and provided a half time performance. They did an amazing job and was one of the many highlights of the night. Melinda Eason (RTO manager) MC’d the evening. Unfortunately, Linda Bamblett (VACSAL’s CEO) was not able to provide the opening speech at the graduation but sent her heartfelt congratulations to the graduates and thanks to Melinda Eason, Josh Wanganeen, Annie Nguyen, Lousie Purcell and Leah Seeto (the RTO team) for their hard work and dedication. She also recognised their resilience and creativity to adapt to the changes required to return to face-to-face learning after 2 years of remote learning due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, Edward Bryant was not able to deliver the speech to the graduates but sent his congratulations to the students and his message to them was that they continue to thrive in their chosen careers. Eddie was one of the 2021 Victorian Koorie Student of the Year finalist after completing his studies with VACSAL. Josh provided an inspirational address to the graduates that set the scene for the evening.

Although all students’ achievements are exceptional, VACSAL sponsors several educational awards in recognition for outstanding achievements. These awards are peer nominated making them very meaningful to the winners.

Jason Smith (a previous student of VACSAL and previous winner of VACSAL’s Student of the Year) presented VACSAL’s ‘Student of the Year Award’. VACSAL’s Student of the Year Award recognises students for their leadership ability and outstanding educational and professional achievements. The recipient of this award has demonstrated a passion for learning, generosity in sharing knowledge, a commitment to the industry and dedication to their community. This award acknowledges and thanks this recipient for inspiring and improving the quality of the student experience. Congratulations to Melissah Gleeson on winning this prestigious award.

Congratulations to Natashia Corrigan for winning the Mentor and Leadership award. This award is an acknowledgment and appreciation for sharing knowledge, skills, experience and creativity. This award recognises excellence in mentoring, leadership and role modelling. Natasha demonstrated ability to build and nurture relationships with students and encouraged participation and inspired us all.

The ‘Dr Alf Bamblett Achievement Award’ was awarded to Michael Douglas by Jason Smith. 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. Michael proved to us all that dedication can overcome all obstacles. He is passionate, kind, generous and resilient.

The ‘Aunty Bunta Patten Achievement Award’ was awarded to Jacintha Tass. This award recognises students who have shown enormous resilience and demonstrated self-motivation despite potential barriers and achieved educational success. Jacintha is a deserving recipient. Jacintha has a wonderful career ahead of her and will do amazing things with and for her community.

Natashia Corrigan, Dee Peiris and Brad Watt provided the final word on behalf of the students. They shared their thoughts on the success of the program and thanked the RTO staff and classmates for their commitment and support. They 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 success and wish them well in their future endeavours.

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