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VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (VET) COORDINATORS NETWORK MEETING CATHOLIC EDUCATION OFFICE OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA Perth, Wednesday 21 March 2012. Follow the Dream: Partnerships for Success Presentation. Addressing issues of engagement during schooling. Educationally Engaged
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COORDINATORS NETWORK MEETING
CATHOLIC EDUCATION OFFICE OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Perth, Wednesday 21 March 2012.
Follow the Dream: Partnerships for Success Presentation
The research tells us that much student \'activity\', regardless of movement, intensity as children do tasks, and colourful classrooms results in little serious, systematic and sustained learning of knowledge and complex reasoning processes of the kinds required in today\'s world (Ministerial Advisory Committee For Educational Renewal, 2004). For a variety of reasons, being at school does not necessarily mean engaging in learning.
Munns, McFadden and Koletti (2002) consider that engagement implies a longer term commitment to school and education in which the student develops "an emotional attachment and commitment to education". Rather than being an outsider in the learning process, the student identifies with the school and becomes an insider in the culture of the classroom (Durrant & Green, 2000, cited in Munns, McFadden & Koletti, 2002).
Munns and Parente (2003) found that the characteristics of family life for
students who finished their secondary schooling were typically as
Munns & Parente examined the students\' attitudes and relationships and
found that students:
Yet they are the most likely to succeed, they are motivated, family supported and capable.
With support they can be very successful in the mainstream school environment.
Provision of money and resources for the following:
a study centre
trips and camps
transport of students
equipment and materials
food and drink for learning centres
Expectations of jobs on graduation
Scholarships, apprenticeships and traineeships
By supporting strong education at a local level and particularly a
strong Indigenous education and getting those graduates through,
it’s a sustainability issue for those communities and for the
businesses we operate in those communities. Local employment is
a huge commitment that we have... it’s not only about employment,
it’s about retention of employees, it’s about employees at the
higher level, so graduate positions and ... and management
positions and those kind of things, and part of it’s about kind of
obviously some kind of sustainability in the community.
Coordinators liked having an industry sponsor:
There\'s never been a problem between [the company] and Polly
Farmer and the Department that I can think of. I can\'t think of one
instance where we\'ve had any tension and they work collaboratively,
cooperatively. X will ring up and say look, I need this, can you do it?
Yes, okay I\'ll organise people for the ... enough students during the
holidays. I\'ll organise that and whatever else is you know ... and I
really appreciate their can do attitude. They\'re ... they\'re very
professional, very switched on as you see by Y. They\'re all ... they all
seem to be like that.
Sponsorship is not unconditional:
Sponsorship is for support that is not normally provided by the school.
The sponsorship must be effective: sponsors may request evaluations of their contributions.
Sponsorship is not a binding contract: the sponsors are at liberty to redirect their support.
Consequently, the FTD/PFS program has to be seen to be effective.
Thirteen years is a long time to be in a relationship. For Rio Tinto this number is especially weighty as it represents our longest standing community partnership. Rio Tinto’s Hamersley Iron business became the first supporter of The Polly Farmer Foundation in 1997; helping to establish the groundbreaking Gumala Mirnuwarni Aboriginal education centre for aspirational students in Karratha and Roebourne.
Since those early days the partnership has grown, resulting in the establishment of similar projects around the State, including in Roebourne, Tom Price, Carnarvon, and Kununurra. To date 122 students have graduated from these locations, with 43 gaining entry to university; 56 starting apprenticeships and traineeships and 2 going directly to employment.
These results are nothing short of incredible. Graduates have demonstrated what can be achieved with a bit of help and a lot of hard work; ensuring younger generations have positive local role models. Now replicated throughout the country, the Polly Farmer Foundation model is celebrated as best practice. Its link to local industries like ours is a feature that has set it aside from many others.
For Rio Tinto, the relationship with The Polly Farmer Foundation has come to represent everything we look for when entering into a partnership. It has a logical link with our business; it delivers long-term sustainable benefits for the community, and is categorised by mutual respect and shared goals.
I would like to congratulate The Polly Farmer Foundation for their achievements and acknowledge the hundreds of students and graduates whose hard work and determination has been fundamental to the organisation’s success.
Chief executive, Iron Ore and Australia, Rio Tinto
Governance and Project Management
Key activities and outcomes in 2011
Follow the Dream / Partnership for Success is an effective program with great potential to make a difference to educational outcomes of Aboriginal students.
There are a range of factors that contribute to an effective program, including good leadership, a structured program with an appropriate mix of program elements, motivated Program Coordinators, carefully selected students, high but realistic standards and partnerships with stakeholder groups.