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Students Revel in National Comp

  Three Portland Secondary...

Young Achiever gets a head start at Uni

  Portland Secondary...

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Students Revel in National Comp


Three Portland Secondary College students are on cloud nine after receiving top honours in two separate Australian competitions in history and geography.Year 9 student Maddy Barras, 14, and year 8 students Emily Kindred and Tom Drew, both 13, all received high distinctions for their work, putting them in the top echelon across Australia.Writing in her first National History Challenge, Emily was blown away with her result after four solid weeks of work."The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Triumph and tragedy’," Maddy said."So I used an assessment task for my history elective with Mr Harris and moulded it into my final piece, a 3000 word essay on the Gallipoli conflict."Maddy said she has a strong interest in history, particularly major conflicts.Teacher Andy Harris was full of praise for Maddy, noting that she picked up on several advanced techniques."I’m very proud of Maddy," Mr Harris said."She was using university standard citations and referencing, and was very receptive to ideas and tips."For Tom and Emily, their result in the Australian Geography competition was the result of several weeks of dedication.Both students earned more than 20 marks out of 30, putting them in the top category of entrants."I’m very curious about the world; I love reading maps," Tom said."I’ve spent a lot of time travelling with mum, which means a lot of map reading, and you get to see a lot of the world this way," Emily added.Mr Harris said he was very proud of the entire group of students."This year is the most successful group of late, with 40 students entering the competition."Three students received a HD, while 13 received above average results.

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Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.


To download a pdf of this article click here.




Young Leaders spend time with Young Professionals


Under the backdrop of Portland Aluminium, a group of Portland’s current professionals met with the next generation for a hands-on workshop about life.Six members of the Portland Young Professionals Network (YPN) spent the morning with the Future Leaders of Industry (FLOI), where they undertook a series of engaging activities, all while encouraging the participants to consider their own career paths and to identify opportunities for skills development and networking.The YPN also shared their own personal experiences with the students, which cover a range different career paths, professions, trades and qualifications.YPN member Phoebe Nagorcka-Smith said the workshop covered a number of topics, including skills and education, networking and job applications."As a group we spoke about why it is important to attract and attain professionals in Portland," Ms Nagorcka-Smith said."We also highlighted the importance of developing enterprising skills that are transferable in the workplace, such as leadership and networking, and how they are important in the community."Ms Nagorcka-Smith said the YPN are always looking to connect with other groups in the community, as should the FLOI cohort.It was fitting the two groups met at Portland Aluminium, as they have been a major sponsor of the FLOI program for the past 11 years.The students were also fortunate to have Peter Chellis, Portland Aluminium plant manager, spend some time with them discussing smelter production, roles and responsibilities, leadership as well as sharing his experiences regarding his own career path."I am passionate about education and providing opportunities where we can," Mr Chellis said."Today was simply about sharing information and knowledge about the business and giving some insight into the careers on offer here at Portland Aluminium as well as just being there to answer any questions that the students have – nothing was off limits, it was great to be able to have the one on one time set aside."The FLOI participants also spent time developing their public speaking skills in preparation for their upcoming speeches at the graduation ceremony in September.This afternoon workshop provided the students with a good foundation for the next program event, being the presentation skills workshops at Deakin UNiversity in August.

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Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.


To download a pdf of this article click here.




NAO the Robot inspires Portland students


At just 58cm tall, humanoid robot NAO represents a massive opportunity for today’s students.The small robot visited Bayview College, Portland Secondary College and several primary schools to promote recent advancements in technology, as well as the endless possibilities in taking up a STEM subject – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.A team of presenters from Brainary Interactive showed off NAO’s skills and capabilities to a captivated school assembly; with two cameras, four microphones and a touch sensor, NAO was able to talk with humans and even dance.Each skill is fully customisable in modules through programming codes such as C++, Java and Python, just to name a few.


Zac Jeffries, director of teaching and learning at Bayview College, said the visit was designed to spark student interests in choosing a STEM subject in 2017."Robotics is a very tangible skill," Mr Jeffries said."There is a lot of problem solving and thinking skills needed to write code, and coding is found in both mathematics and science curriculums."So NAO’s visit will hopefully enhance and extend the current curriculum."

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Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.


To download a pdf of this article click here.






Young Achiever gets a head start at Uni


Portland Secondary College alumnus Jake Edwards started his Bachelor of Commerce this year, but the high achiever was no stranger to university life.Mr Edwards got to experience campus life while still in high school as part of the University of Melbourne’s Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program. "It was a great way to meet with other students across Victoria and take advantage of some of the resources at the University of Melbourne," Mr Edwards said."I feel so much more connected and confident heading into tertiary study having experienced aspects of university life already."It means I can spend more time focusing on my studies."The easy transition into tertiary studies now means Mr Edwards can focus on completing his commerce degree and then a Master in Engineering.Year 11 and 12 students selected to participate are invited to events at the university and have access to academics, library resources and opportunities to develop their leadership skills."During year 12 I was able to go to revision lectures, which was very helpful during my exams," Mr Edwards added.Professor Susan Elliott, Deputy Provost at the University of Melbourne, said since the program’s inception in 2007, more than 7000 young scholars have been through the program, including many students from regional Victoria."It brings together students from across Victoria, creating opportunities for them to meet and connect with like-minds," Prof Elliott said."It’s designed for high-achieving students and aims to be an academically enriching experience for them which alerts them to the opportunities provided by a university education."The students take part in events both at our Parkville campus and throughout regional Victoria, so there are opportunities for a diverse range of students to get involved."Students in year 10 can apply from August at futurestudents.unimelb.edu.au/kld

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Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.


To download a pdf of this article click here.




Graduates Shine at P2E Ceremony

The 2016 class of the Passport 2 Employment program are full of confidence after successfully completing an empowering eight-week program. The 11 participants, family members, mentors and industry representatives were all present at the ceremony, held at the South West TAFE Portland campus.The brainchild of the Glenelg Transition Action Network (GTAN) and funded by the Port of Portland, Passport 2 Employment is an innovative program that aims to help secondary aged students build practical skills and access opportunities for further education and training. Highlights during the eight weeks have included sessions on nutrition, daily care habits and fitness, an industry tour, a shopping trip and an amazing race where students enjoyed the opportunity to check out local support agencies, catch a bus and hail a taxi. GTAN member Cathryn Walder congratulated all of the graduating students."I have been extremely impressed with the Passport 2 Employment participants, they have worked hard to learn, grow, develop and build new skills that will be of value in every facet of their lives," Mrs Walder said."Many of the volunteers involved in the program are tremendously proud of what the students have accomplished; it is exciting to think about what they can achieve as they take the next steps in their lives."Now in its third year, Passport 2 Employment has grown into an innovative program delivered in Portland, Hamilton, Horsham, Warrnambool, Geelong, Latrobe and Baw Baw.To date, 172 students from 35 schools will have graduated from the program.

Glenelg and Southern Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network executive officer Anne Murphy highlighted the program’s success."The Passport 2 Employment program is a perfect example of how our communities work together to achieve the best outcomes for our young people," Ms Murphy said."We have seen some incredible differences in confidence and self-esteem, as well as improved knowledge of workplace requirements and skills in this cohort of participants.

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Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.


To download a pdf of this article click here.






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