VACSAK Graduation 2023 photo

VACSAL RTO Graduation 2023


VACSAL’s RTO held our 10th graduation ceremony for the class of 2023 on the 30th November 2023. It is quite an accomplishment for the RTO and Learn Local to be delivering quality accredited the non-accredited training for over 10 years.

Twenty-four graduates completed VACSAL’s Certificate IV in Community Services and twelve completed the Diploma of Community Services. There were approximately 210 guests (including VIP’s) who came to celebrate 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 and Learn Local. VACSAL would like to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of each and every one of the 2023 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 and Learn Local  is highly regarded by the Community who have completed 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. Vascal Graduation 2023 photo

Munyari Johnson, Zaya Wood and Jack Rankine played their didgeridoos as they led the procession of students into the function room. They did an amazing job and was one of the many highlights of the night. Melinda Eason (RTO and Learn Local manager) MC’d the evening. Linda Bamblett (VACSAL’s CEO) provided the opening speech at the graduation and gave heartfelt congratulations to the graduates and thanks to Melinda Eason, Josh Wanganeen, Annie Nguyen, Lousie Purcell (the RTO and Learn Local team) for their hard work and dedication. She also recognised their resilience and commitment to life long learning.  VACSAL was very fortunately that Helena Gonebale delivered the speech to the graduates.  I first met Helena in 2007 when I worked at Swinburne, and she enrolled in Cert IV in Youth Work. I knew I met a person who was on her way to be a leader in her Community. Helena is an amazing person who has achieved so much and is a role model and mentor to many.  Helena Gonebale is a proud Aboriginal woman and is currently a client service director for Ngwala. Prior to this she was employed by the GEO Group as the Aboriginal Programs Manager for Ravenhall Correctional Centre. Helena actively works in the community to help break down the barriers First Nations people face when it comes to participating in sports/netball, to ensure that everyone has a chance to showcase their talents. Throughout her career she has had the opportunity to undertake a wide variety of management roles with portfolios ranging from community development and training, family violence, employment, curriculum development, policy and strategy, continuous quality improvement, integrated family support, foster care recruitment and assessment as well as supporting cultural programs that work with Children and families in Out of Home Care.  Helena is the Western RAJAC chairperson and has a bachelor’s degree in social science and Behaviour studies as well as a Cert IV in TAE. However, her children and family are her greatest achievements. Helena spoke about her own educational journey and the importance of following your dreams and those dreams turn into realties that support Community to continue to grow and succeed. Helena’s inspirational address to the graduates 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/voted so therefore making them very meaningful to the winners.

Aunty Linda Bamblett 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 and skills, a commitment to the industry and dedication to their Community. This award congratulates, acknowledges, and thanks the winners of this prestigious award, Jason Smith (Diploma of Community Services and Kaycee Ah Kit (Certificate IV in Community Services), for inspiring and improving the quality of the student experience.

Congratulations to Tracey Williams 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. Tracey demonstrated the ability to build and nurture relationships with students, encouraged participation and inspired us all.

The ‘Dr Alf Bamblett Achievement Award’ was awarded to Tyler James Tyson Zanella by Aunty 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. Tyler proved to us all that dedication can overcome all obstacles. He is intelligent, passionate, generous and resilient.

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


Jason Smith and Alyia Alassani provided the final word on behalf of the students. They shared their thoughts on the success of the programs and thanked the RTO and Learn Local 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.

Vascal Graduation 2023 photo

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