Principal John Thompson and Devonport Lions Club Youth of the Year winner Riley
Courage, Aspiration, Growth and Respect are the values adopted by the Tasmanian Department of Education and Don College. We are very fortunate at Don College to work in a large community and see daily examples of behaviours that exemplify these values. We all have room for improvement and we encourage staff and students alike to live by these values.
Simple actions speak volumes and create a harmonious and productive culture. It is heartening to see students be respectful of each other and accept alternative opinions, perform random acts of kindness, leave spaces clean and tidy, and show care for others.
In this brief newsletter we celebrate the achievements of students who have shown great Courage and resultant Growth. Public Speaking is a confronting activity. This takes Courage. I congratulate all of our recent Lions Youth of the Year participants.
Congratulations to all who are aspiring to be the best they can be. Aspiration in sports, academics, cultural activities or just life in general provides motivation. Aspiration can be infectious. I encourage students to engage with others who aspire to fulfilling futures.
Positive culture and positive personal conduct feed each other. Considering attendance as an example, it is important to remember that every lesson counts. We have high expectations that all students attend all lessons. This allows full engagement in the learning programs which ultimately leads to student success and greater choices in life.
Ryan Mather has joined our HPE department this year, teaching Outdoor Education, Physical Education and Workplace Maths.
After graduating from Don College, Ryan became our Outdoor Education trainee. Prior to undertaking his studies in education, he also trained and worked as an adventure activity leader.
Ryan is now in his third year of teaching and comes to us from King Island where he taught grades 5/6 for two years. He is enjoying his teaching here at Don College and commented on how enthusiastic and willing he finds the students.
Job prospects in the construction industry are good at the moment, and the Certificate II in Construction Pathways is a popular course for students who enjoy practical work.
Students participating in the Certificate II In Construction Pathways program this year have just finished their ‘White Card’ training, which enables them to partake in work placement or enter job sites.
In their practical work, this year's students have so far completed basic hand and power tool techniques and are now halfway through their first minor project, which is to construct a timber saw horse.
Looking back over the years, Don College Construction students have completed over 80 days of onsite industry work placements at various local businesses, ensuring Don students are particularly well prepared for possible work opportunities when they arise.
From Tuesday, 19 March to Thursday, 21 March 2019, Don College student Mason will be among 120 Year 11 and 12 students from around Australia attending the 24th National Schools Constitutional Convention (NSCC), being held at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Canberra. The Convention is supported by all state and territory Ministers and funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.
The topic for the 2019 Convention is ‘A new constitutional preamble for Australia?’. This topic will provide students with the opportunity to explore the present Constitution and whether a preamble is required. A range of stimulus speakers will discuss the issues with students for them to debate with all delegates.
Outcomes from the Convention will be incorporated into a Communiqué that will be presented to the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Sue Lines, for tabling in Parliament, and recorded in Hansard.
As a national delegate, Mason will travel with Nicholas O'Connell from Guildford Young College, Tasmin Chilcott and Rebecca Roberts from Hobart College, and Sasha Massey from St Patrick’s College from Tasmania.
On learning that he had been selected Mason said:
'The National Schools Constitutional Convention is an opportunity for students from across Australia to come together and discuss the need for a new preamble to the Australian Constitution. This is an event that will allow me to collaborate and express opinions about changes that must occur for a preamble that is a true representation of modern Australia.'
Other elements of the program will include a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, The Hon Tony Smith MP, at Parliament House, and a dinner at the High Court of Australia.
Students from the Don College Certificate IV in Hospitality class catered for an International Women's Day event at Home Hill on 9 March.
After the event, the organiser Grace Brown made the following comments regarding our students:
'It was a pleasure to meet them and to observe them serving guests and introducing themselves in a confident and professional manner. The event was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the Don College students’ skills.'
Sharifah Zarliah Syed Rohan was the guest speaker. Sharifa, who is a past Don College student, is now in her fourth year of an Arts and Law degree at the Hobart campus of the University of Tasmania. Sharifah’s speech was truly inspiring!
Sharifa Sayed Rohan, Annette Rockliff and Hospitality students
Riley represented Don College at the Devonport Lions Club Youth of the Year. Along with three other competitors, Riley presented a five minute speech and answered two impromptu questions. The questions were about the major current issues of “Brexit” and, “ What makes me happy?”
'For my speech, I spoke about the very sensitive issue of family violence. Although I made a few people cry, I was the overall winner, and have made it through to the regional final on 7 April'.
Riley received a trophy and her name will go on a perpetual plaque. In April, Riley will take her speech and present it to a new audience, hoping to raise awareness of the painful issue that is domestic violence, and hopefully move even further in the competition.
We wish Riley every success in the next stages of Lions Youth of the Year and we congratulate all the other students who have or will represent Don College at Lions Clubs across the North West Coast.
Every year Don College employs trainees in the key areas of IT Support and Outdoor Education. Trainees receive on the job training at Certificate III level while they work. We pride ourselves in providing an interesting work environment for our trainees, encouraging a high level of skill development in a variety of tasks and responsibilities.
Dylan Stokes is our new IT Trainee. Dylan attended Ulverstone High and Don College. His role in the IT support area is to help out with teachers' laptops, printers and other routine support tasks.
Dylan is really enjoying working at Don College and hopes in the future to find work in IT hardware support. He also has a strong interest in graphic design.
We have really appreciated Dylan's contribution to the college so far this year.
Abby Willcox is our new Outdoor Education trainee. You will most likely see her walking around campus in a hoodie towel with salt ridden hair. The traineeship involves studying at TAFE to complete a Certificate III in Outdoor Recreation, as well being in the outdoors with Don College students.
The job involves helping the Outdoor Education teachers with organising and running activities across six Outdoor Education classes and one Outdoor Leadership class. At this stage, the team has done a lot of activities in the water, ranging from water entry and rescue, snorkelling, surfing and even river sledding at Meander. Later in the year, they will look at mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking, bouldering, camping and hiking, as well as learning valuable skills such as first aid and weather patterns.
Abby is fresh out of Don College herself and thought this would be an excellent gap year to gain some experience and broaden her existing love for the outdoors. Next year, she is hoping to pick up her deferred degree of Paramedicine Practice at UTAS.
In the meantime, she looks forward to all the cool things they get to do in Outdoor Ed!
Don College staff have a wide range of experiences outside their work day, which enriches their contribution to student learning. In this newsletter we are featuring Darren Close, who when he is not teaching English, is a highly qualified cricket umpire on the national stage.
Darren began umpiring cricket at the age of 12, due to a lack of umpires in the North West. At 14 he umpired his first ‘A’ grade game and was fortunate enough to progress to First Class cricket (Sheffield Shield) at the age of 18 - a world record. He went on to do 20 First Class games and in this time umpired the likes of David Boon, Merv Hughes and Dennis Lillee. In his mid-twenties Darren got wanderlust and travelled to the UK where he lost touch with umpiring and ended up staying for 20 years. On returning to Tassie fiveyears ago, Darren returned to umpiring. Quickly progressing through the umpiring ranks he was selected to be on Cricket Australia’s Supplementary Umpire Panel (a group of six umpires from around the country who sit a level below the 12-member National Panel). In this role he has been called on to travel around the country and umpire two National U19 grand finals, two Women’s National Cricket League grand finals, numerous WBBL televised games (both on-field and as third umpire) as well as a fourth umpire role in many BBL games. He has also been lucky enough to umpire two international series, Australia v Pakistan U16s and Australia v Sri Lanka U19s.
Darren explains the following:
'When umpiring you have to show dedication, concentration and unbending impartiality. We take our performances very seriously and in Cricket Australia games we are required to do comprehensive self-assessments of our performance in each game. This involves reviewing decisions (using video footage) and your own performance on the field in terms of technique, field-craft, decision making, teamwork and areas for improvement. Attention to detail and PREPARATION are the keys to successful umpiring and are also very applicable to life in general. It’s a cliché saying but very true – Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! Each game we umpire is viewed by a match referee who prepares a written report and gives verbal feedback at the end of each day and game. This is very similar to the feedback we give as teachers to our students – What have you done well? What do you need to develop/improve? How can you do that? This feedback is then viewed by our umpire coach who we work with to take any necessary actions to help us get better (just like a teacher). These processes are similar to how you learn at college and are very applicable to life and certainly in the sphere of high performance sport and umpiring.'
Students sitting pre-tertiary exams at the end of the year who have a significant impairment or disability may apply for special disability exam provisions with TASC. For example, a student with a learning disability may be granted some extra time in their exam as a result of a psychological assessment which states they require it. Another example may be a student with diabetes who may need to take lollies into the exam to prevent low blood sugar levels.
Please ensure to initially inform the students’ classroom teachers of any disability and/or impairment. This will both enable teachers to tailor learning programs to suit individual needs and allow us to potentially apply for these special exam provisions.
Each application is considered on evidence provided to TASC.
TASC does not provide special provisions for students for:
lack of familiarity with the English language
normal exam stress
Students do not need to apply for special provisions to take an asthma inhaler into an exam. Students need to place the inhaler in a clear zip-lock bag labelled with their name and TASC ID number and hand it to the Supervisor Coordinator before the exam commences.