We are all thinking about the impact of the unprecedented global pandemic of COVID-19 and the effect it is having on the lives of our students, families and broader community members. In these challenging times it is important that we check our own behaviours with our personal values. We all have a responsibility to each other and must take positive action to prevent the transmission of the virus. This includes proper handwashing, maintaining social distance, avoiding large gatherings and staying away from school if feeling at all unwell. Ultimately, “Respect” for self and each other is a key value of Don College that can be demonstrated in behaviours to minimise transmission and minimise the impact of our behaviour on others.
A focus on our core business of teaching and learning by students and staff will result in the best possible outcomes for all. Regardless of the developments and possible future interruption to our learning programs, staff at Don College are prepared to offer the best opportunities they can to support students to maintain engagement in their learning programs.
We congratulate our students for the efforts they have made so far and we look forward to further celebration and acknowledgement of their achievements. Please enjoy these articles as a celebration of the achievements of our staff and students already in 2020.
Ex-Don College Graduate Jan Richards has been recognised as a finalist in the 2020 Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year Awards for the Colony 47 Transition to Work award.
Whilst at Don College Jan completed multiple certificates including Certificate III in Hospitality and Certificate II in Community Services (Focus on Children’s Services) and before her Year 12 education was finished she was able to secure herself a traineeship at a local Child Care Centre to complete her Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.
The Colony 47 Transition to work award is about acknowledging young Tasmanians that have been able to use their initiative to break into the work force by undertaking further education, upskilling, gaining valuable experience in the workplace by volunteering, completing a traineeship, vocational education and training or even work experience. During Jan’s time at Don College she was able to tick all of these boxes and stands a very good chance of winning this award.
Jan acknowledged her teachers and the College in part of her application, ‘My schooling also wasn’t so great but once I started college and had the support and courage of my teachers, I then actually started to believe in myself. They treated me like an adult and like I was a normal human being.’
We wish Jan the very best of luck as she now has the long wait to find out if she was successful in winning the award when winners are announced at a Gala Dinner in Hobart on 22nd May.
Run Devonport was held at the Devonport Surf Lifesaving Club on Sunday March 15. Joanne Duggan (Certificate II in Business and Tourism Teacher) and myself decided to go down and be volunteer photographers for the event.
There was quite a big turnout but there was only a 10-minute delay in one race. There were not only races for the adults, but also a 1km and 2.5km for the younger ones, meaning this was a fun filled day for the whole family.
With the talented students and staff we have at our school it was no surprise that some of them would shine at this event. With Jonty Armistead coming 4th in the 5km and ex-Don student Darcy Miller coming 2nd in the females 5km.
There were people who came from across Tasmania to participate, as well as from the mainland. The female winner in the 10km had made her way down from the mainland for the event.
There was a massive turnout but the day ran smoothly, with volunteers' help, and is sure to be a big hit once again next year.
On Thursday 12th March Cert III Hospitality students organised an International Women’s Day event. They invited the college community along to Exposures Restaurant for some lunch and to listen to Young Citizen of the Year, GRL in PWR founder & ex-Don College student Caity Walker speak. Caity spoke to them about preparing themselves for life after college by telling them her story. Caity has great energy and is very passionate about working with and inspiring young people to live their best life. She is currently working on her business, GRL in PWR.
So what is GRL in PWR?... Basically they are two girls that are dedicated to creating a space that promotes connection, experience and love. They aspire to create a community of strong, ambitious and inspiring women who seek to do more, create more and be more.
The Trans. Ed. unit has been lucky to have Nigel Baptist joining us for some sessions each week and sharing his maths and science skills. Students have been involved in a project to build some powered balsa wood rockets. They had to assemble the rockets according to a plan and were involved in modifying the fins; with discussion about how different fin designs might impact the flight. The initial test flights took place on the Don Cricket Pitch and all rockets launched successfully, gaining impressive height. This was followed by some discussion about the physics surrounding the rocket flight. The rockets are designed with a nose cone that should separate and descend via parachute. The next session will work on getting this part of the design to work.
Once, paint brushes in hand, they wreaked havoc, staining the wooden walls with Dad’s leftover paint, their hair, blonde and unkempt, caught up in the hurricane of colours. A shower of glitter on her skin, cheap glue peeled off like an old scab. ‘Dinner’s ready,’ would echo through the sky. One after one they would pile inside, leaving the sky dyed a rich crimson.
Now, it is home more to spiders than memories, the wind chime, a dull jangle of cobwebs and rust. Paint becomes confetti on the floor and the door sways from exhausted hinges. The curtain crumbles, brittle and delicate in my hand.
I awake, choking on the black. It floods the room; dust-clogged model ships sink in its embrace, a carved eagle drowns.
Through a wall of vines and leaves the moon lances the night in thin gleams and my room fades in its black ichor.
Swimming between ribbons of white, a moth’s drifting flutter. It is the mumbles of a madman, a slurring sailor on a barnacled pier, the ramble of a tele-evangelist one motel-room over, a hazed junkie fumbling for the next hit.
Sleeping Beneath the Stars
You two lie beside me on flimsy foam mattresses, observing the quiet black sky, flecked with fey jewels, sparkling like sun on water, as we spill our hearts in gentle voices. The faint lowing of a restless cow and the rich scent of churned earth drift to us on a midnight breeze, sharp against our cheeks, but our bodies exchanging heat beneath heavy blankets like some strange currency. A streak of flame, a wish made. Can I tell you how wonderful this is, as if the whole world has fallen away, leaving only us and the stars, like three sailors lost at sea.
Fried Rice for Chickens
Edna, Winnifred and Gladys-May, their feathered crowns, rest on heads bursting with empty space. And my mother,
the frizzy-haired conductor, oversees her wayward orchestra. With a flick of the hand and a smattering of grain, the ladies erupt into a crescendo of feathers, to the applause of my mother’s smile.
Sautéed carrots, browned mince, sweet corn: neat rows on the soft grass.
The afternoon air wilts. Perfectly sliced watermelon, pink as my mother’s nose, dry in the scorch. $8 blueberries, scattered in the dirt.
The neighbourhood cat, continues its tightrope walk, skirting the perimeters of mum’s guard. Never deterred from her watch, my mother sinks further into the soft earth.
Shoes lined up against the wall, as though awaiting their execution.
The door comes in, I go out. The air hits me, trying to start a fight.
On the horizon, Earth’s two blue bodies meet. Gravel underfoot, like crunching potato chips.
Within the chicken wire, a green mess; tomatoes threaten to collapse under their own pride. Have the chillies grown yet?
I used to think cucumbers grew underground – used to. Their leaves like a dad’s stubble, shoved up against the wire.
Upon the hill, a wheelbarrow older than myself, rusty, rotting, with faded white text. Is that an E? an F?
In it, a green cityscape rises, and across the potholed leaves, a trail, like an oil leak.
If I were not myself, I could stay here for hours. Beautiful, lush, but it bores me. And there are no chillies.
Solita Callaghan, Cooper Brumby and Tyler Riley attended the launch of this mentor program initiated within the Central Coast Municipality with a mind to informing other students at Don College about the opportunities.
The overall aim is to ensure all young people between 15-24 within this municipality are supported to achieve their life and work goals. One way in which this can be achieved is by linking with an adult mentor. Some students may need a significant adult in their life to chat about day-to-day things, others might like to be engaged with someone who has followed their intended career path.
If students are interested in mentorship and they live in Central Coast please contact Craig White on 64240200.
We are also very proud of Tyler’s role in the Welcome to Country ceremony led by Guy Grey.
Dance Foundations and Dance, Choreography and Performance students started their long weekend off with a night at the Burnie Arts and Function Centre to attend the Reflexions Dance Studio (almost) sold out season of ‘The Story Book’, written and designed by local North West Coaster, Fiona Bakes. This formed part of the Burnie Arts and Function Centre’s Subscription Season and consisted of a one hour display of outstanding story telling though the art form of Dance. A classic story of Good vs Evil, The Story Book featured a cast of 96 dancers including our very own Courtney Johnson. The performance featured amazing use of lighting, staging, costumes and set and provided many ideas for our own dancers to consider when contemplating creative use of space for our own choreographic pieces. Highlights included the use of fabric as a symbol of power, the creative spacing of performers to build a maze that the lead character required to negotiate, a well-rehearsed and choreographed ‘battle’ scene between good and evil and the polished standard of performance produced by such dedicated local performers. We take this opportunity to thank Fiona Bakes for then following up the show with a visit as our guest artist in class this week where we benefited from reflection and discussion around choreographic devices, the creative process and how to manage large numbers of performers in a show of this scale. We thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated learning from Fiona’s experience and congratulate Courtney, Fiona and the cast of ‘The Story Book’ on a tight, professional, creative and moving performance.
Eisten comes from a background of journalism and PR after a break in career to have a family and study teaching. Eisten likes teaching for the variety it offers in both subject matter and different age groups of students and would one day like to travel overseas with her family to experience different cultures and explore diverse ways of educating young people.
Eisten enjoys bushwalking, especially at Cradle Mountain. In her free time, she likes reading and writing and dislikes ambiguous endings to stories and films, stereotypes, and shopping for clothes.
This is Johnny Peisker. A proud NW coaster.
He's recently returned from two years overseas where he worked as a teacher in Finland and searched for Santa's Reindeer in his spare time. He also worked as a raft guide on the Findhorn River in the Scottish Highlands.
He enjoys attempting to surf, squeezing bagpipes, and sipping tea.
He strongly dislike laziness, arrogance, and tofu.
On Friday the 13/3 and Saturday 14/3 another of Don College's new members of teaching staff, Max Watson, travelled to Maydena Bike Park for the final round of the Tasmania Gravity Enduro Series. Maydena Bike Park is a mountain bike paradise with some of Tasmania’s most dangerous, difficult and technical trails.
In the Open Mens Division, Max placed 3rd for the day and finished the series in 2nd overall just 50 points shy of 1st place. Stage 1 of the race started at 1100m above sea level and competitors were met with a thick blanket of snow. Even though they were covered head to toe in mud by the end of the day, there was still some serious racing! Max rode really well for the day with only a few crashes, as compared to the carnage in the rest of the field! He looks forward to improving next year! Well done.