Our VCAL students advised about responsible gambling

31 August 2017

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Do you know that you have more chances of becoming a movie star or getting struck by lightning than winning Powerball? Last week our year 12 VCAL students participated in a Love the Game not the Odds workshop run by Julie and Khloe from the Responsible Gambling Foundation and learnt about how difficult it is to win through gambling. They also looked at statistics about how much money was lost in the Mitchell Shire to poker machines in 2015-16 (a staggering $16,394,612) and discussed why gambling is so addictive.

The students heard that this is not an “old persons” addiction as both presenters who are gambling counsellors see people as young as 16. 

While Julie and Khloe's message was not to gamble (the ideal) it was also to educate, and give students statistics and stories that will, hopefully, reduce gambling-related harm. They also outlined how people can get help. 

Some comments from the students included:“I didn’t realise how hard it was to win Powerball”, and “A great presentation that opened my eyes to the amount of money lost on poker machines especially by people who really can’t afford to lose it”.     

In other VCAL news...

Coming events

Year 12 student complete their numeracy assessment for Location next Monday. 

They need to make their own way to the CBD and meet up with Mrs Benkenstein and me by 9am at Federation Square. While in the city they will complete an Amazing Race-type activity. Parents, please give permission on CareMonkey for your child to attend this excursion by tomorrow. 

Structured work placement

A reminder to all VCAL students that structured work placement finishes this term so all students (except those who have a SBAT and work on a Friday) are due back at school on Fridays next term. We are extremely grateful to all the employers who have taken on our students for structured work placement this year.

Students who have not yet completed 20 days of work placement will need to work extra days during the holidays to meet the criteria for work related skills. If you have any concerns about this, students should speak to their WRS teacher.

Where have our VCAL students been working?

Parklands Animal Farm 

My name is Kendall Allen and I’m working at Parklands Animal Farm as a farm hand. I have such an amazing employer that helps me and teaches me all I need to know to run my own farm one day.

I want to finish year 12 and then go to RMIT University to complete a course in youth work. I’ve always had a passion to help youth and young adults to be the best they can be. My main goal is to one day open up my own youth hostel for those struggling in life and assist them to get back on their feet.

Working on a farm allows me to nurture my passion to work with animals. In some fields of youth work and justice, animals have been used to help in youth rehab and mental illness.  And I’ve seen youth and young adults get the biggest smile when they have been with a puppy or an animal. That’s why I have been working in the animal industry because I can use the skill in to help youth in rehab.

I thank Mrs Sally Macaulay for her support and encouragement while I have been working with her during the last two terms.

Kendall is completing Cert II in Animal Studies at Kangan Institute.

Alpha Power Equipment

My name is Mitchell Robinson and I am doing structured work placement with  Alpha Power Equipment in Kilmore. As part of my senior VCAL certificate I am completing Cert II in Automotive and working at Alpha Power is perfect for me as can walk to work every week.

I have been working from 7.50 to 5.30 on Fridays during terms 2 and 3 instead of attending regular classes. 

I am labouring in a workshop making and sharpening chainsaw chains and assembling various products such as mowers and brush cutters.

I am working at Alpha Power because my chosen work pathway - automotive, a fancy word for a mechanic which I have loved ever since I was a kid. The manager of Alpha Power was fantastic in supporting my need to work in the industry this year.

I hope that once I finish school this year that I will gain a mechanic apprenticeship and will combine work with studying at TAFE for the next four years until I am qualified.

I thank Noel Trefz for the opportunity to work at Alpha Power. (Click on photo below to see Mitchell at work.)

Picton Stables

My name is Chloe Cornfoot and I'm working at Picton Stables in Nullavale which has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

I work alongside well-known, two-star eventer Jo Murphy. I have had the ultimate privilege to work with and learn from Jo. 

The owners of the property and horses, Carolyn and Arthur Yenkin, have been very welcoming and given me heaps of opportunities to learn. I am lucky that they trust me to ride and compete on their horses. 

One competition was representing the Assumption equestrian team on the energetic Red which is not for the faint hearted! I also rode Red at the Jump in the Park event in Lancefield, and participated in the Hunter Show at Oakland on a chilled-out mare called Kerri.

I have also participated in hunting on Saturdays, which has been another experience.

Every Friday is busy.  I  feed and exercise the five horses that are in work at that time. I ride two horses, which involves a trot and canter around the property to warm them up.  We may also show jump and/or cross country jump as well, depending on the schedule of the horses and how much work they have had in the past week.  
I then plait the horses in preparation for their regular  Saturday hunt. 

Working at Picton has been a learning curve and I am very lucky I got to experience it. (Click on photo below to see Chloe on Red).

Chloe is completing Cert II in Equine Studies at Seymour Secondary College.

Jenny Pendlebury - VCAL and Careers Coordinator