Celebrating VCAL Excellence

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) Achievement Awards celebrate 2018 VCAL students, teachers and organisations.

The VCAL Road to success

VCAL award winners
VCAL award winners

Monbulk College student Elaya Carbone won the VCAL Student Achievement Award for her achievements in her school-based apprenticeship in Commercial Cookery.

She has apprenticed at well-known restaurants around Victoria like Sky High Dandenong and Attica.  'I'm really enjoying everything about my apprenticeship,' Elaya says. 'Each day is so different and I'm always learning new things.'

Elaya says she chose to do the VCAL course so she could achieve her goal of becoming a chef while enjoying her school experience. 'VCAL allows me to study and continue being involved in the life of the college,' Elaya says. 'I enjoy the mix between study, practical hands on learning and attending TAFE.'

'All of my fondest memories were gatherings surrounded by food, family and friends. Now I get the pleasure to be able to do that all the time.'

The award also commended Elaya's leadership skills. Last year, Elaya was VCAL Dux and this year she became school vice-captain. Elaya says self-development and learning to work with people in her course has developed her leadership skills. 'I am more organised, focused and my public speaking is improving,' Elaya says. 'To be a leader, your actions need to inspire others to be the best person they can be.'

'Don't compare yourself to others - just keep improving on your best and believe in yourself.'

Teaching VCAL

Melanie Brooks
VCAL Teacher Achievement award winner Melanie Brookes

Teacher Melanie Brooks from Lakeview Senior College won two VCAL Teacher Achievement Awards. The awards praised her innovative and effective approach to teaching VCAL Business students.

Melanie says she was 'thrilled' to win and to represent the 'fantastic VCAL team' at her school. 'It was also wonderful for my students who all felt the ownership of the awards too,' Melanie says.

As part of VCAL Business, Melanie developed a coffee cart and catering project. The students learned valuable employment skills like customer service, making coffee, numeracy, literacy and personal development.

'[I] felt a very practical approach was required to have maximum student engagement,' Melanie says.

Melanie has worked on the VCAL program since it began at the school in 2002. She even completed a research thesis on how VCAL has made a positive impact on young people.

'I know that VCAL leads to sustainable and meaningful career pathways,' Melanie says.
Don Elliott
VCAL Teacher Achievement award winner Don Elliott

Holmesglen teacher Don Elliott also won a VCAL Teacher Achievement Award. Don designed the Energy Efficient Vehicle program for VCAL Engineering and Electrotechnology students. 'This was definitely an "OMG" moment,' Don says. 'It is the most prestigious award I have ever received.'

The solar car and solar cycle competition inspired Don to design the Energy Efficient Vehicle program. VCAL students have the task of designing, building and racing a sustainable electric vehicle. They compete at the Energy Breakthrough event in Maryborough with their final projects.

Don says he has watched disengaged school students transform into career-focussed young adults.

'We find that students who are given the opportunity to work collaboratively and to gain experience in multiple and varied industry areas, are better informed when making career decisions beyond their VCAL certificate.'

VCAL winners

VCAL provides innovative ways to encourage the spark in young people to achieve their goals and dreams.

Congratulations to all VCAL Achievement Awards winners