VAEAI Koorie Big Day Out Comes to SuniTAFE

18 Aug 2023

VAEAI Koorie Big Day Out Comes to SuniTAFE
VAEAI Koorie Big Day Out Comes to SuniTAFE

The Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI) hosted their Koorie Big Day Out event at SuniTAFE’s Mildura Campus yesterday as part of the Toorong Marnong expo.

Theses events are being held across the state, and are designed to introduce Koorie students to the many career opportunities that are available locally and across Victoria.

Held at the Dulka Yuppata Indigenous Training Centre, secondary school students from across Sunraysia visited SuniTAFE to participate in the day.

Students attended a careers expo, health and wellbeing workshops, cultural activities, and listened to Koorie student ambassadors as part of the event.

This is the first year that this event has been held in Mildura. VAEAI’s Toorong Marnong Coordinator Shayne Bates-Gilby is happy with how the day turned out.

“Today went really well. The response from community and from students was great,” Shayne said.

“When you see the students engaged with the exhibitors and you see their happy faces, nothing else comes into account. No matter how much rain there is, if they’re having fun and learning it’s a good event.”

“Seeing a whole bunch of community come together like that was a big highlight for me.”

Shayne grew up in Mildura and was particularly passionate about holding this event here.

“It was really important for me to bring something back home, and the Koorie Big Day Out was a really great opportunity to do so,” Shayne said.

“More than that, we have identified that Mildura is an important location that could really benefit from this kind of engagement.”

Seven major universities in Victoria were in attendance yesterday to showcase their course options.

In addition to this, representatives from various organisations were present to introduce the students to career opportunities outside of university study. These included Ambulance Victoria, Parks Victoria, and Headspace.

The Skills and Jobs Centre put together an impressive display to show students the many opportunities at SuniTAFE.

Manager – Skills and Jobs Centre, Karen Chynoweth believes this is an important event for Mildura to have, and a great opportunity for SuniTAFE to host.

“It was great to be involved in this event, to showcase the services we provide and the facilities available for students,” Karen said.

“It was a fantastic opportunity for local Koorie students, from a number of our partner schools, to visit the Dulka Yuppata Training Centre and chat with the Skills and Jobs Centre team. We have a lot of engagement with local schools but to welcome everyone here on campus, for a face-to-face event, is always special.”

“Something we have noticed during our involvement in events is that students don’t want a piece of paper to take away. They engage better with interactive displays, so we decided to include a bit of everything today."

"Thank you to the departments who provided us with equipment. We were able to have so many great items on display from Horticulture, Automotive, Nursing, Early Childhood Education and Care, Information Technology, Engineering, and the Learning Resource Centre.”

“The Mallee Mobile Vans were also on display, along with the 3D printer and VR goggles, which always attract attention.”

ICT Studies Teacher David Cleary was involved during the event. He chatted to students for the entire expo while showing off his department’s equipment.

“Students are usually interested in this equipment when we bring it out,” David said.

“They ask what they are, and what they do. Then they start to think that, perhaps they’ll get to learn how to use this stuff if they study at SuniTAFE. That is when they start asking what courses we have on offer and how they can get involved in them. Seeing that process happen is what I enjoy most about doing events like this.”

SuniTAFE was proud to host such an important event at the Mildura Campus and welcome so many people from across Victoria.

VAEAI is hoping to make Koorie Big Day Out an annual event in Mildura, to continue engaging with Koorie students in the region.

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