SuniTAFE Foundation Studies Students Celebrate the End of a Successful Year

21 Dec 2023

A celebration evening was held earlier this month for SuniTAFE’s Foundation Studies students to acknowledge their hard work and personal growth throughout the year. 

Students who completed Certificate I in Transition Education (22567VIC) or Certificate I in Work Education (22566VIC) invited their families to share in their success. 

SuniTAFE educators also teach Course in Initial Adult Literacy and Numeracy (22554VIC) at Life Skills on Pine, and those students were invited to participate on the night too. 

Work Education Teacher Renee Scholz says that this is such an important event for her students and their families. 

“They’re extremely proud of themselves to bring their families to a special evening that’s about them,” Renee said.  

“It was a really, really perfect night. There were lots of tears. Good tears of pride and laughter.”

“It is a really nice moment for them to just pause and reflect on how far their kids have come in the year.”

These courses are open to young people with evidence of a permanent cognitive or intellectual disability. They are designed to build the self-esteem of the students so they can confidently enter the workforce. 

For this reason, these celebrations are as much about work completed as they are about interpersonal development. 

“I have had a parent approach me and talk about how one of our courses has changed her son,” Renee said. 

“She was amazed with how well things have gone for him and that she has a totally new person at home. She just really wanted to thank us for what we do.”

Transition Education Teacher Ruth Tankard shares the sentiment that it is more than just the teachers who are involved in the students’ lives. 

“Our department is not just teaching courses,” Ruth said. 

“Throughout these courses we seek to have involvement beyond just our classroom.”

“We have a whole community of people that connect with one another and that includes teachers, managers, parents, external agencies, and of course our students. It’s a real community, and this event is a real community celebration.”

This community involvement is evidenced in a number of projects completed by the students this year. 

Transition Education students have rebranded their student-run café. Under their new name, the Courtyard Café, they have offered many successful services for the students and staff of SuniTAFE. The students have also participated in the SolarBuddy project, which targets energy poverty throughout the world. 

For Work Education students, their Do it for Dolly fundraiser produced much needed funds for the charity. Most notably, their work placements gave them the perfect opportunity to be a part of a new work community, whilst gaining necessary skills. 

The employers who hosted the students for work placement were invited to the celebration and were given a handmade thank you gift. 

The gifts were a collaboration of departments across SuniTAFE, and the Foundation Studies department would like to thank everyone who was involved.

“We would like to extend our thanks to Jason Caruana and Mathew Ablett from Building Studies and their VETDSS students for their hard work building our wooden Olive Oil stands,” Renee said.

“To Nick Moore and extended staff that have been involved in donating the SuniTAFE Smart Farm Olive Oil and to Mon Hockley who has worked tirelessly with the students to make and package the Dukkah.”

“The managers and staff that received these appreciation gifts at our Foundations End of Year Celebration evening were absolutely blown away with such an amazing gift.”

To learn more about the Foundation Studies courses on offer at SuniTAFE, click here