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Are you looking to kick-start your career and gain recognised experience in a large and diverse workforce?

We’re currently accepting expressions of interest for trainees!

With over 1800 staff and an extensive variety of entry-level programs, Toowoomba Regional Council is one of the largest employers of apprentices and trainees in our region. If you’re a 2018 school-leaver, a traineeship with TRC might be for you. Trainees have the potential to fill upcoming positions over the next twelve months. This opportunity could be the beginning of a long and prosperous career with us, so head to our website and submit your interest now!

To find out more details, please call 131 872 or visit

We’re always on the lookout for a range of trainees to suit a range of different skills, including:

Certificate III in Business Certificate II in Civil Construction Certificate III in Warehousing Certificate II in Horticulture Certificate III in Library and Information Services

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Contact us

Cover image provided by Queensland Police

Advertising Debbie Phillips 4672 9915 debbie.phillips@ Writers Megan Masters General Manager Erika Brayshaw 4672 9921 erika.brayshaw@ Enquiries Phone: 4672 9900 Email: advertise@ 12 Mayne Street, Chinchilla Qld, 4413


Student works towards piloting dream ..................6 Crafting the perfect resume ....................................8 Auto shop helps students break cycle .................10 Student Village perfect for students .....................12 Getting a career in council.....................................13 Finding the right university.....................................14 College helps students achieve their career dreams ..................................15

Indemnity Step In The Right Direction is published by News Corp Australia in Chinchilla. Those who make advertising placement and/or supply copy material or editorial submissions to the magazine, undertake to ensure that all such material does not infringe any copyright, trademark, defamation, libel, slander or title breach of confidence, does not contain anything obscene or indecent, or does not infringe the trade practices act or other laws, regulations or statutes. Further to the above mentioned these persons agree to indemnify the publisher and/or its agents against any investigations, claims or judgements.

Tara school among state’s most improved in NAPLAN.............................................16 Resort living for students .......................................17 Narrowing down uni choices.................................18 Home away from home for students....................19 Young horsewoman chases dream......................21 Careers with Queensland Police ..........................22 Grants for Maranoa students................................23 Achieving real-world qualifications at school with Tafe at School ................................25 Confidence vital in interviews................................26 How to climb the career ladder ............................39

A TIME FOR CHANGES You will have few times in your life as exciting or scary as moving out Megan Masters

It’s a time to lay the foundations for the person you will become and the life you will live.

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THERE are few times in your life more exciting than wrapping up high school and planning for the future. It’s a chance to spread your wings, make your first big decisions and even your first big mistakes. It’s a time to lay the foundations for the person you will become and the life you will live. A big part of that is getting a strong start by choosing between university and vocational education, not to mention which of the many institutions is the right fit for you, your financial situation and your lifestyle. While the career you choose as you leave high school may not be what you end up doing in a few decades, it’s still an important thing to get right the first time if you can to avoid getting into wasted debt and experiencing feelings of disappointment or failure. Often making the choice to pursue further study will also involve finally moving out of mum and dad’s home and making a rental or a room in a boarding house into your home as well as learning all the financial pitfalls awaiting you in the big, wide world. There’s so much to learn and it all takes time, but here in A Step In the Right Direction we take some of the confusion out of the many choices you have waiting at your fingertips.

FUTURE AWAITS: Get ready for one of the most exciting times in your life.


1918 - 2018

1919 - 2019

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USQ A PATH TO FLY HIGH Young uni student works towards piloting dream UNIVERSITY of Southern Queensland (USQ) aviation student Matthew Guevarra-Adams has always wanted to be a pilot. He would spend weekends at Archerfield Airport with his father watching planes take off and land, speaking to pilots and visiting air museums. His destiny was to fly, and USQ has provided the take-off point. “During Year 12, I was going through my university options and USQ stood above the rest,” he said. “It had small class sizes which makes it easier to communicate with the lecturer, a flight simulator that is incorporated into the degree and industry-known lecturers. “A real stand-out moment was going out to USQ Open Day and seeing how friendly and kind everyone was.

SKY HIGH: Matthew Guevarra-Adams always wanted to be a pilot and is studying to achieve his dream at USQ. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

It had small class sizes which makes it easier to communicate with the lecturer, a flight simulator that is incorporated into the degree and industry-known lecturers. — Matthew Guevarra-Adams “There are a lot of things that I have enjoyed in my first year at USQ, from attending each lecture and learning about aviation to seeing my mates every day.” At USQ, there are more than 100 degrees to pick from – including Aviation, Engineering, Business, Law and more. USQ is a place where students can become more from more places: Become more with the number one university for graduate employment in Queensland*. *Good Universities Guide, 2018. USQ offers more than 100 degrees including Aviation, Engineering, Business, Law and more. Page 6


With 24/7 access and over 100 online degrees.

Apply at

CRICOS: QLD 00244B, NSW 02225M | TEQSA: PRV12081

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IF YOU dread the thought of writing your resume, keep in mind a killer CV can make all the difference in landing that job interview. Experts say getting your resume right is a crucial step as it is often the first point of contact with a potential employer. It should showcase your skills, education and experience and be well structured, error-free and easy to follow. Darren Buchanan, Queensland director of recruiting firm Hays, said a poorly written or “poorly matched” CV could limit a job seeker’s chances of getting to the next stage. “This is their first opportunity to project an image or persona of themselves to the employer and so it has to be as well written and as well presented as possible,” Mr Buchanan said. Companies were often looking at a lot of applications so a CV should be no longer than three pages, maximum, Mr Buchanan said. “Keep your CV concise,” he said. “It must be tailored to highlight your experience your achievements and your technical skills relating to that particular job.” Another of his top tips for job seekers is to avoid the “scattergun approach”. “Don’t just fire the same CV out to lots of different companies; this happens a lot,” he said. “Target your CV to specific roles or specific companies.”

This is their first opportunity to project an image or persona of themselves to the employer and so it has to be as well written and as well presented as possible

CRUCIAL STAGE: Getting your CV right is the first and most important step in getting your dream job. PHOTO: ALEXRATHS

— Darren Buchanan He advises including a cover letter specific to the role and contact details for referees – after checking with them first and being confident they will give you a positive review. Mr Buchanan said spelling errors were “remarkably common” in resumes so it was essential to use spell-check and ask a friend or family member to proofread it. While candidates want to stand out in a competitive job market, he warns against including a photo in your CV or using artistry, coloured paper or graphics unless relevant to the industry. He said finding a job required a lot of hard work and job seekers could get help from recruitment agencies and ask for feedback. “Try not to get despondent and, where possible, try and get feedback about your CV and how it was perceived.”

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Make sure your CV is tailored to the job rather than sending the same thing to dozens of companies. PHOTO: RAWPIXEL LTD

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Col Wilkie Body Works proud to help with Braking the Cycle program

COMMUNITY MINDED: Proud to help in the Toowoomba community are Col Wilkie Body Works owner Steve Wilkie (left) and estimator Bert Webster. PHOTO: NEV MADSEN

Col Wilkie Body Works is a true family operation...

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COMMUNITY is everything when you’ve been in business for 83 years in the same city. So when the team at Col Wilkie Body Works heard about the Braking the Cycle program, they knew they wanted to help. Steve Wilkie bought his smash repairs business from dad Col Wilkie in 2008, continuing a long family tradition started by his grandfather, Ben, in 1935. Col Wilkie Body Works is a true family operation, with Steve’s sister Kerri Crisp and his wife Hannah, also working there among the 16-strong team that prided itself on quality, fast, guaranteed work. They pride themselves on more than just their work ethic though. Thanks to owner Mr Wilkie and the team, who provided the Toowoomba PCYC with the first car for the program, Braking the Cycle has helped 67 young people get a provisional driver’s licence and 26 of them went straight into gainful employment. Braking the Cycle is all about helping young people to break the barriers to attaining a driver’s licence, which can in turn prevent many from landing good jobs and living life to the fullest. It partners mentors from the community with young drivers so they can complete the required 100 hours of supervised driving in the learner’s log book.

Col Wilkie Body Works ■ 3/5 Instow Street, Toowoomba ■ Phone 4638 0011 ■ Providing spray painting, body works, car detailing, car hire, repairs, towing, pick up and delivery for Toowoomba and southwest Queensland The idea is that without a licence, many young people can become stuck in a cycle of disadvantage, which can in turn lead to antisocial behaviour and an inability to achieve work goals. In the first 12 months, the Braking the Cycle program’s 45 dedicated mentors spent about 34,000 volunteer hours across 22,000 sessions with 107 course participants, driving more than 70,000km around town. He estimated that the first 40 successful drivers went on to contribute about $250,000 in value to the Toowoomba community, a result the Col WIlkie Body Works team is rightfully proud of being involved with. The program would be unable to run without community volunteers and corporate sponsors like Col Wilkie Body Works. To find out more about Braking the Cycle, phone the PCYC on 4592 4500.




VETiS Programs Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETiS) is delivery of nationally recognised qualifications to school students, undertaken in years 10, 11 and 12, and can count towards the Queensland Certificate of Education

Government funding is available to eligible students for selected courses - Contact HB Training for more info



TAE50216 Diploma of Training Design and Development




Certificate I in Construction

Certificate II in Health Support Services

Certificate II in Hospitality

AHC30116 - Certificate III inAgriculture CPC10111 - Certificate I in Construction RII20115 - Certificate II in Resources and Infrastructure Work Preparation

BSB41015 - Certificate IV in Human Resources

BSB10115 - Certificate I in Business

BSB41415 - Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety

BSB20115 - Certificate II in Business

BSB42015 - Certificate IV in Leadership and Management

BSB30115 - Certificate III in Business

BSB51915 - Diploma of Leadership and Management

BSB30415 - Certificate III in Business Administration

BSB51315 - Diploma of Work Health and Safety

BSB31115 - Certificate III in Business Administration (Medical)

BSB50615 - Diploma of Human Resources Management ICT20115 - Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology FNS40217 - Certificate IV inAccounting and Bookkeeping

W o r k s h o p s EXCEL WORD POWER POINT MYOB PAYROLL - Beginner to Advanced Level - Custom Classes Available - Private or Public Sessions - Many more available please call

RII30815 - Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations SIR10116 - Certificate I in Retail Services SIR20216 - Certificate II in Retail Services SIR30216 - Certificate III in Retail SIT20316 - Certificate II in Hospitality

BSB40215 - Certificate IV in Business

SIT30616 - Certificate III in Hospitality

BSB40515 - Certificate IV in Business Administration

CHC33015 - Certificate III in Individual Support

BSB50215 - Diploma of Business

HLT23215 - Certificate II in Health Support Services

L i c e n c e s Standard 11 - Mine Safety Induction Forklift - High Risk Licence Gantry Crane, Forklift, Skid Steer, Excavator, Dozer, Front End Loader - Wheeled, Front End Loader - Tracked, Backhoe, Roller, Tractor, Self Propeled Compactor, Articulated Haul Truck, Tip Truck , more available please ask


HBTraining Course List From Certificate I to Diploma Government Funded Courses Traineeships/Apprenticeships Workshops Licences

HB Training

Custom and Bespoke Courses to suit your needs

Staff are experts,

dedicated to

Clients and helping

Like or Follow us on Social Media for updates on courses, special offers and more information on our services!

you achieve success!

FSK10213 - Certificate I in Skills for Vocational Pathways FSK20113 - Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways

HBTraining J & B Personnel Pty Ltd t/a HB Training ABN: 52 099 130 677 88 Russell Street Toowoomba City 4350 Phone: 07 4646 2665 or 1300 012 466 Email: Website:

HBTraining /HBTrainingAu

1300 012 466



Foundation Skills FSK10113 - Certificate I in Access to Vocational Pathways

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EVERYTHING YOU NEED The Student Village might be your perfect accommodation option

The Student Village is the closest off-campus accommodation facility to USQ

THE Student Village provides quality, budget, share accommodation for students and associates of the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba TAFE College and other approved tertiary educational organisations. We aim to create a harmonious community where all residents can experience quiet enjoyment of their accommodation whilst ensuring their time with us is both academically productive and enjoyable. The Student Village is the closest off-campus accommodation facility to USQ and is conveniently located close to shops with public transport available directly outside our facility. The Student Village consists of 144 fully furnished three-bedroom villas and four five-bedroom townhouses and operates under the Residential Services Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 . Single rooms available starting from $95 per week which is inclusive of gas, electricity and water usage. The Student Village welcomes Short Term Accommodation Bookings (conditions apply). ■ Private, lockable bedrooms with built-in wardrobes, bed, mattress, study area with bookshelves, chair and telephone outlet ■ Internet access available ■ Single lock-up garage with storage space ■ Your choice of Female Only, Male Only or Mixed

LIVING LIFE: Student Village provides comfortable, budget accommodation. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED Units Applications can be submitted via our website, Inspections welcome by appointment. Our office hours are 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. For further information, phone our friendly staff on (07) 4690 0000.

Looking for a career in counselling or communities? Study a Diploma with the specialists

Counselling (CHC51015) Youth Work (CHC50413) Community (CHC52015) Education to fit your lifestyle. Start anytime - study at your pace: •Study at home, in class or online •A leading education provider (28 years)

•Tutors available via phone or email •Practical Coaches

-- Toowoomba, Sunny Coast & Bris

•Australian Counselling Association (ACA) accredited (Dip. Couns) •Monthly or weekly payment plans •Study Majors - Abuse, Addictions, Grief & Loss, Family + more

P: 1800 359 565 Page 12

RTO: 0670

TURNING YOUR GOALS INTO PLANS AND PLANS INTO ACTION SO YOU CAN BELIEVE, ACHIEVE AND SUCCEED We will: • work with you to understand what’s important to you • find service providers and supports to meet your needs • provide support to resolve any difficulties you may have • help build your independence and confidence.

(07) 4699 5222



•Affordable nationally recognised qualifications


CAREERS IN COUNCIL Complete your studies while getting valuable hands-on experience


Western Downs Regional Council boasts over 16 per cent of under 30s in its workforce...

A TRAINEESHIP or apprenticeship with Western Downs Regional Council is a step in the right direction. Just ask previous council trainees Brianna Allen and Shyann Doyle. Brianna and Shyann both completed their Certificate III in Business with council and went on to receive the Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year for South West Queensland Region. In their roles, Brianna and Shyann were able to complete their studies while applying what they were learning to their work and developing a positive experience in the corporate workforce. With over 30 traineeships and apprenticeships around the region, council offers traineeships to suit everyone from Business to Information Technology to Water Operations. Western Downs Regional Council boasts over 16 per cent of under 30s in its workforce, demonstrating that Local Government is still a popular choice for youth in our region. Western Downs Regional Council is just 2.5 hours west of Brisbane and an easy drive to the Sunshine and Gold Coasts. The region’s growing population of over 34,000 people proves that the Western Downs is a great place to live and work. Applications for traineeships with Western Downs

HANDS-ON: Brianna Allen and Shyann Doyle completed traineeships with Western Downs Regional Council. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED Regional Council open in October for commencement in February 2019. If you are interested in a traineeship or apprenticeship with council visit to keep up to date when applications open.

Convenient, affordable and secure student accommodation adjacent to USQ Toowoomba

Kickstart your career... With a traineeship or apprenticeship at Western Downs Regional Council

Set on close to 5 hectares adjacent to University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Student Village has 144 fully furnished 3 bedroom villas and 4/5 bedroom townhouses set amongst established native gardens, communal pergolas and pathways. Conveniently located shops, public transport at the door and a real community atmosphere mean that students from around the country and the globe feel at home at Student Village.

Visit our website for vacancies and more information

537-561 West Street Toowoomba P: +61 7 4690 0000 Page 13


FINDING THE RIGHT FIT Trying to find the right university course to study can be a challenge

Thankfully there’s an opportunity to attend study expos and institution open days...

THE thought of choosing a course and career path can be overwhelming. For thousands of hopeful Year 12 students looking to do further study next year, this is one of the big life changes they are grappling with at the moment. It’s soon that time of year when prospective high school graduates are contemplating their options and having to lodge an application for tertiary courses then begin next year. Schools give students a free copy of the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre Guide which provides information for more than 1600 courses and details about the application process. Some schools even host an information evening for students and parents interested in gaining more insight into what QTAC is all about. However it’s still a daunting task. Unless you have a clear understanding of your skills, interests and career goals, the choices are immense. Thankfully there’s an opportunity to attend study expos and institution open days to find out more about courses, institutions and study pathways. But if you live in remote areas it may not be that easy to get to them. And if you’re from a regional or rural area it may mean living away from home to study, for the first time. Another thing to take into consideration.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK: There is plenty of information for those eager to move into tertiary study. PHOTO: JACOB AMMENTORP LUND The QTAC website ( is very helpful and gives plenty of hints and tips. Come January next year the first round of tertiary offers will be released and the whole process will seem a distant memory. Preferences can be changed after the applications have been submitted and applications can still be made after the closing date, but you will face an extra processing fee.

WEIGHING UP OPTIONS Is university your best option or are you better suited to doing a trade?

While many think going to university is the best way to earn the most money, it’s often not the case...

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IT CAN sometimes be tough deciding whether to go to university or to try for an apprenticeship or traineeship. Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s really up to you to think long and hard about what’s best for your situation. While many think going to university is the best way to earn the most money, it’s often not the case, particularly as deregulation of universities has led to degrees being driven by student demand rather than employer demand. So one important step no matter what you decide on is to do your research on job availability. Think about whether you would be happy to move towns or cities to attain your dream job, because in some cases that might be your only option if you want employment. Also think about your financial situation. Would you rather earn a modest income while you get your qualifications or are you happy to take the risk of leaving with a stack of debt? Another thing you can take into account is your learning style. Vocational education is hands-on and industry-focused, while university tends to require a lot more book work and self-regulation to meet project and assignment deadlines, so it pays to have confidence in your ability to meet those deadlines.

THINK HARD: There are pros and cons to university versus vocational education. PHOTO: SHAPECHARGE


GETTING PERFECT CAREERS Students encouraged to start career paths early

Our Careers Advisor, together with our unique Careers in Action Day and Where 2 Next Day, offers students exposure to a range of opportunities. Our experienced and dedicated staff know how to encourage and guide students in deciding what might suit them, while ensuring subject choices allow for flexibility and change. Every student at Our Lady of the Southern Cross College is supported and encouraged to work to their potential so they can achieve their dream career.

THINKING AHEAD: Our Lady of the Southern Cross College ensures students are thinking about career pathways early. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

P-12 Approach - Continuity in Learning Family Climate - Supporting All Students Catholic Co-Ed - Based on Catholic Principles Great Staff - Embedded in Our Community

2 Nicholson Street, Dalby (07) 4672 4111



OUR Lady of the Southern Cross College leads the way in innovation when guiding students through their career choice and how to help them create the pathway to their dream career. The college offers a unique Careers Education program from Year 9 to Year 12 and also beyond to senior graduates under the guidance of a qualified careers advisor. One-on-one careers advice is offered to students in partnership with their family on options both in the trade industry and tertiary study. Students are shown how those options can be developed into flexible and advantageous pathways right through their senior years. This gives students the opportunity to gain a clear understanding of how they can choose subjects, develop work skills and understand the ever changing face of the workplace both in Australia and globally.

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REACHING POTENTIAL: Tara SSC is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment in which all students can strive to reach their full potential. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

IMPROVEMENT IS KEY Tara Shire State College among the state’s most improved schools

Tara SSC is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment in which all students can strive to reach their full potential.

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ESTABLISHED in 1912, Tara Shire State College offers a seamless education from Prep to Year 12 in a co-educational setting located in the Western Downs region. The college curriculum framework offers a diverse and rich education to students in the early, middle and senior phases of learning. Based on the comparison between 2017 and 2018 NAPLAN results, students have demonstrated significant progress, particularly in Year 5 relative gain. The college has been acknowledged as one of Queensland’s 60 ‘top improvers’. A special education program supports students with a disability by providing individualised education plans which address academic needs and life skills. Embracing the ethos of positive behaviour, the college emphasises values education through weekly social skilling lessons. Thanks to local community support, approximately one-third of senior students undertake a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship across a broad range of industries. All students benefit from a range of extra-curricular activities, including sport, instrumental music, agriculture, camps and eisteddfods. The range of Tara Shire State College provides a high quality co-education from Prep through to Year 12. Our college is a proud state school nurturing the development of the individual through all phases of learning. The college consists of two phases for learning, Primary (Prep-Year 6) and Secondary (Year 7-12). It is the mission of the college to offer a caring and supportive approach to individual learning coupled with high expectations in performance and behaviour to provide the educational pathways families are seeking for their children. Our college values – ‘Believe, Achieve and Succeed’

Co-curricular activities

The following Enhancement and Enrichment Programs are offered to students: Instrumental Music, Optiminds, Camps and Excursions, Premier’s Reading Challenge, Readers Cup Dynamic Deadly, Robotics, Art Club, Careers Counselling, Wonder of Science, STEM, Agricultural Shows-Cattle and many more. – embody the desire to nurture the spirit and life-long learning within each student, complemented by instilling the skill and determination to succeed at all we set our minds to. Our staff support all students throughout their years at the college. They have high expectations and recognise that every student can achieve academic success. We share the responsibility with families and students for assisting each student in attaining his/her educational goals. Tara SSC is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment in which all students can strive to reach their full potential. The social climate of the school is characterised by a wide variety of school support processes for students. Our college climate is continually improving with the development of more intentionally inviting classrooms and learning environments. The staff of the college recognises the need to have high expectations, engaged learning and focused teaching in their classrooms and with this comes a dynamic curriculum that caters for the wide variety of students that attend our college. We welcome you to take a tour of our facilities and discuss your expectations with our school leadership team.


RESORT LIVING AT UNI Student accommodation doesn’t have to be all boring and basic

UniResort is a great place to live for students from several tertiary study institutions...

IF YOU are planning to or already study at a Brisbane university and are looking for student housing in Brisbane, UniResort can help. We are Brisbane’s most affordable student accommodation, and are ideally located in Upper Mount Gravatt, just a short drive from the CBD. UniResort is a great place to live for students from several tertiary study institutions, including the University of Queensland, Southbank Institute of Technology, Griffith in Nathan and Mt Gravatt and the Queensland University of Technology. Being located at Upper Mount Gravatt, and a short stroll to the South-East Busway, all the tertiary study institutions are within a short bus ride. Our resort style complex offers a great range of room options, access to a range of facilities and lots of inclusions (like unlimited internet, free car parking and all utilities included in your weekly rent). Most student accommodation providers are focused on convenience and price. We take this a step further and try to make it affordable while also providing a resort style environment. With features like a swimming pool and spa, an outdoor gym, sauna, tennis court and barbecue area, all surrounded by tropical palms and resort style apartments, so you can study in style! We have four different types of rooms at UniResort for

THE GOOD LIFE: UniResort offers students a range of accommodation options close to a number of campuses. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED varying student budgets. These include classic, deluxe, studio and superior rooms. All apartments have air-conditioning, wireless internet, private bathrooms and secure parking. Prices start from $190 per week. If you would like to arrange an inspection of the apartments or resort grounds, phone (07) 3457 5588 or email

DELUXE From $210 p/week

Accommodation Rates 2018 - 2019

k K IC ee QU 1 w nt* BE ve re cie E Re RE F

CLASSIC From $190 p/week

STUDIO From $220 p/week SUPERIOR From $230 p/week


Visit or call 07 3457 5588 for more information

* This offer is available to all new and existing tenants who sign on for 3 month minimum lease before October 31st 2018. For all enquiries please contact administration on (07) 3457 5588 or


Brisbane’s most affordable student accommodation

Utilities All U Unlimited Internet FREE Secure Parking

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TOUGH CHOICE: It can be hard to figure out which university is the best fit for you.


PICKING A WINNER UNI With 43 accredited unis around the country, it can be hard to pick one

The whole process of exploring the best options consists of weighing up a number of factors...

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HAVE you ever noticed advertising by universities? Unless you are looking to enter tertiary education or have a family member who is, the messages are probably irrelevant. The whole premise of these promotions is to encourage potential students to choose the right path to their dream career by attending the university in question. Catch phrases like “get a more amazing career”, “a university for the real world”, “ready for life and work”, and “it’s all about U” are meant to inspire budding scholars to select one university over another. It has become a competition. According to the Australian Government, competition drives innovation, value and choice. Encouraging more competition between universities and non-university higher education providers evidently gives them more freedom to specialise and tailor courses to your needs. After the ridiculous amount of pressure placed on their final-year ranked results, high school students can often be faced with the fact that their life will be ruined if they don’t get into the university or degree of their first choice. Now more than ever, high school leavers and non-school leavers considering returning to education have an incredible array of choices when it comes to furthering their studies. With a total of 43 accredited universities in Australia and higher education courses and qualifications also offered by many non-university providers, how do you go about choosing the right degree at the right university? Advice on your next move can be found in bucket loads with information on course options and pathways at your fingertips but with so many things to consider it can be overwhelming.

The whole process of exploring the best options consists of weighing up a number of factors and taking into account different aspects and issues. Consider this: ■ Financial circumstances and costs. There’s tuition fees and living costs but don’t let these stop you as most universities are investing in student scholarships and financial support. ■ If you didn’t receive a place in the degree of your choice, enrol in a more general degree and then see if you can transfer in. Sometimes enrolling in a general degree gives you more options in the long term. ■ If you can, visit the university and talk to the students already attending to find out what the overall student experience is like. This can give you a general vibe of the campus and the courses on offer better than any website can. ■ Ask questions. Do they have active student clubs? Are there opportunities for internships and work placements? Are there good support services including libraries, sports facilities and health services? ■ Keep an open mind. Learn a broad range of skills as the world of work is rapidly changing. No matter what your final result is at school, if you are considering attending university straight out of high school, or after working or raising a family, it’s an exciting period for personal growth and intellectual expansion. But remember, it’s not the be all and end all. There are many ways of achieving career goals these days and sometimes all it requires is a bit of persistence and creative thinking to find the path to your goals that will work for you.


JUST LIKE BEING HOME Boarding accommodation provides all the comforts for its residents

During the week we provide all the comforts of home...

LEICHHARDT House is a comfortable and secure facility that allows boarders not only the opportunity to attend Chinchilla State High School and Chinchilla Christian College, but also to participate in school extra-curricular activities and social functions as well as community-based sport, music tuition and dance. Eligible students may also obtain employment locally, by negotiation and with parental consent. Transport to and from all local activity/employment is provided free of charge by the hostel. During the week we provide all the comforts of home in an environment where the health, well-being and safety of all boarders is measured and managed through a carefully planned pastoral care system, underpinned by the structures necessary for a successful, contemporary, communal living experience. This includes three meals and fresh lunches daily; laundering of school uniform daily; formal supervised study periods each evening; monitored and secure, fast internet access. Numbers at Leichhardt House are limited. Prospective boarders are asked, at their earliest convenience, to return a completed ‘Application for Enrolment’ form which will hold a place at the hostel, pending an enrolment interview. Leichhardt House Student Hostel is a not for profit organisation.

CREATURE COMFORTS: Leichhardt House is perfect for high school students. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Leichhardt House Student Hostel Chinchilla


Located close to Chinchilla State High School, Leichhardt House provides weekly boarding that allows students from the Western Downs region to attend Chinchilla schools. Leichhardt House managers’, Shaun and China Hall have an extensive background in residential education which has enabled them to have a well-developed understanding of many of the difficulties facing young people living away from home, some for the first time. Shaun and China see the value in developing and maintaining good systems and structures as the basis for this friendly and happy community. Features of the service at Leichhardt House include: all meals including fresh lunches made daily; formal study sessions with access to Maths and English teachers; uniform laundered daily; modern and secure facilities and accommodation; access to community actitivities such as swimming; music; sports; art. Leichhardt House has been in operation for more than 20 years, consistently offering a cost-effective way for rural and isolated students to continue their education in mainstream schools.

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LOVE OF LEARNING: Ella Paine chose to study a Certificate III in Rural Operations Horsemanship and Breeding.


REAL-WORLD TRAINING Passion pays off for young horsewoman on pathway to dream job

Studying with QATC has given me the confidence to pursue a career path I would not previously have considered. — Ella Paine

PASSION for life-long learning and growth has led Ella Paine, 20, to study a AHC32816 Certificate III in Rural Operations Horsemanship and Breeding with Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (QATC), one of a range of courses offered through the Longreach Pastoral College. Growing up in Winton, Ella spent her high school years in Toowoomba before embarking on her study with QATC. Ella said studying a QATC course provided the perfect stepping-stone into the industry, the real world training has encouraged her to take the next step to study a degree which will enable her to take a more advanced skill-set back to agriculture and rural industries. QATC has seen thousands of students just like Ella develop their specialities for a bright future in agriculture. Courses are forward focused, with innovation and technology adaptation at the forefront of units designed to provide more than just technical skills. “The best thing about the program was getting to learn in a practical, hands-on environment, from instructors with a lifetime of knowledge and experience, about something I am passionate about,” she said. Since 2016, QATC has partnered with CQUniversity to deliver a Bachelor of Agriculture, providing a pathway to direct to university. Ella’s advice to other students considering study is to have a go, and never to be afraid to extend yourself and study something you’ve always wanted to. “Studying with QATC has given me the confidence to pursue a career path I would not previously have considered,” she said. “Without the skills and experience gained from my time at QATC, I would not have applied to the job I currently hold, and I would not be planning my future

Ella Paine is using a course with Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges as a stepping stone to further training. with the same professional focus.” QATC staff saw Ella’s talent straight away, and employed her post-graduation, a valuable stepping stone in her career. “I currently work with a professional horse trainer and it has been an invaluable investment for me both professionally and personally,” Ms Paine said. “I am learning every day, working with like-minded people, and using many of the skills I improved at QATC on a daily basis.” Ella’s next step is working towards her ultimate dream to run her own business in the future. Page 21


MANY OPTIONS: While all recruits start out as general duty constables, a job with the Queensland Police Service can take you in many directions. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

REWARDING CAREERS Make a difference in community by working with Queensland Police Samantha Mawdsley

Academy training provides you with the resources to do your job, but it’s tough.

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FEW things in life are quite as daunting as deciding what to do when you leave school. Deciding what to do next is often your first major life decision. Do you want a job that makes a difference in your community? Would you like to feel proud of what you do? Are you hoping for variety, both in your day to day work and throughout your career? Then consider a career with the Queensland Police Service. All officers start as a general duties constable – the frontline of the QPS. However, did you know the service has over 70 specialist units? Like any job, there are realities that must be faced. The application process is highly selective. Academy training provides you with the resources to do your job, but it’s tough. And this work will expose you to confronting situations – accidents, injuries, abuse, violence and death. Dealing with victims of crime or grieving loved ones is difficult. But managing these scenarios is an important aspect of the job and is exactly why police officers play an integral role in the community. To apply, you must meet pre-application requirements regarding age, integrity, education / employment history, driver licence, residency, fitness and health (both physical and mental). Successful applicants are accepted into the Recruit Training Program where they spend six months at the Queensland Police Service Academy. In addition, recruits undergo extensive training in driving, firearms and field craft – all while being paid. After successful completion, recruits become first

There are more than 70 specialised units within the Queensland Police Service. year constables where they receive further on-the-job training. To prepare for applying, it is recommended that you keep up your fitness and undertake community or volunteer work. Officers are expected to be comfortable engaging with diversity, so a breadth of life experiences is highly valued. Additionally, the QPS proudly employs people who reflect the diversity of the Queensland community. In line with these values, alternative entry pathways are offered to applicants with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds as well as people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent. Visit for more information.


GRANTS UP FOR GRABS Maranoa students, researchers and professionals can apply for funds

The Endeavour Leadership Programme offers a once-ina-lifetime opportunity... — David Littleproud

STUDENTS, researchers and professionals in Maranoa are encouraged to apply for a share of up to $119 million to study at leading institutions both nationally and internationally, Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud announced. “The Endeavour Leadership Programme offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study and research at some of the best institutions worldwide,” Mr Littleproud said. “We’ve got a generous grants programme on offer. We hope to encourage as many applicants as possible with grants starting at $2500. “Our economy depends on a skilled workforce and we want to make sure our students, academics and researchers are the leaders in their chosen field.” Mr Littleproud said the programme was open to undergraduate, postgraduate and vocational education and training students, as well as higher education providers and registered training organisations. “The grants would make a huge difference to people from remote and regional communities that may have limited access to further education,” he said. For more information or to apply, visit the Department of Education and Training’s website at Applications close on Thursday, November 15.


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GET YOUR HEAD START You can get started on real-world qualifications while still at school

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TAFE Queensland’s award-winning teachers, purpose-built facilities and strong industry partnerships will help you get the real-world skills that you need to achieve your future career or study goals. We have more than 400 practical, nationally recognised qualifications for you to choose from, and hundreds of university pathways to take you even further. Get a head start with a Tafe at School course Most Year 10, 11 and 12 students are eligible to participate in a Tafe at School program. You can choose from more than 50 exciting and varied certificate level vocational education and training (VET) courses. Best of all, a Tafe at School certificate can be achieved in conjunction with your senior studies and counts towards your Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). Tafe at School is a great way to: ■ Get a qualification while still at school ■ Gain access to our diploma courses ■ Gain valuable credits towards your QCE ■ Gain credits towards an apprenticeship, diploma course or university studies ■ Get work ready ■ Build practical skills in an adult learning

environment ■ Learn from professionals, bursting with current industry knowledge Enrolment is subject to eligibility requirements. Please visit our website or contact our Tafe at School team for details. Flexible study options Tafe Queensland offers flexible study options so you can gain a vocational qualification while you’re still at school in way that best suits you. ■ Training at Tafe Queensland - so you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to study in a higher education setting. ■ Training at school - if you undertake your training at school, you will still receive a Tafe Queensland certificate when you complete your course. ■ Tafe Queensland offers both school-based apprenticeships and traineeships, which get you work-ready and a step ahead of your peers, giving you skills in a vocation or trade and allows you to earn money while you’re still at school. A school-based apprenticeship or traineeship also contributes credits towards your Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). For more information about school-based apprenticeships or traineeships, phone 1800 210 210 or visit Page 25


SHORT LIST: Just remember if you’ve made it as far as the interview stage, your potential employers think you have what it takes to get the job done well. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

CONFIDENCE THE KEY You might have plenty of skills, but confidence is most important one

You might not score 100% on every selection criterion, but remember that you’ve outscored most of the other applicants.

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A JOB interview can feel a lot like a police interrogation, minus the bright lights, handcuffs and lawyers. While a poor showing at a job interview is never going to see you wind up in jail (we hope), there are plenty of ways to make sure you leave a great impression and maximise your chances of securing that great new job. Key to everything is confidence. Feeling like you might not have the skills for the job? Get over it. You’ve been invited to the interview, probably as part of a shortlist of only a handful of candidates, culled from likely dozens of quality applications. If you’ve made it in the door, your potential employer believes you could do the job, and do it well. They’ve seen your potential, so you should do the same. You might not score 100 per cent on every selection criterion, but remember that you’ve outscored most of the other applicants. Remember too that you know the answers to pretty much every question you’ll be asked. The panel will be asking about you – how you like to work, how you fit in a team, how you handle pressure or challenging situations. Answer honestly and truthfully and you’ve got no reason to be anything but confident – you’re talking about yourself, and you’re the world’s foremost expert. Don’t ever walk into an interview without knowing everything you can about the company. More than likely you’ll be asked why you want the job, or why you want to work for the organisation. You’re confident in your response, because you’ve done your research. Please don’t answer the why-you-want-this-job questions with anything close to “because I don’t like my current job” or “I hate my boss”. You’re not being asked about your current job.

Do your research and project confidence to increase your chances of success. Answer confidently and directly. Since you’ve done your research you know the company is headed in an exciting new direction because of x, and you can really contribute because of y. Even if you’re not feeling take-on-the-world confident, you can still project the impression that you are. Walk tall – lift your chin just a touch, pull your shoulders back and down. Be confident. Maintain comfortable eye contact. Shake hands firmly, but without trying to crush knuckles. Be confident.


TAKE YOUR BEST BET It pays to check the likelihood of employment when choosing a degree

Creative arts, science and mathematics, psychology and communications were a lot more risky...

THERE is plenty of talk as you approach the end of high school about choosing the right career. And while it’s really important to take your interests and strengths into account, one key area people often forget about is post-graduate employment. It’s all well and good to graduate with honours after three years of doing what you do best, but what happens if there are few jobs in your area of interest? It might be better to save a lot of heartache by checking what areas have the best rates of graduate employment and luckily, the 2017 Graduate Outcomes Survey has all the information you need in one place. The report is a snapshot of outcomes for university students in terms of labour force participation rates and the time it took for most graduates to get a job in their chosen field. It found medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and rehabilitation undergraduates had the highest rates of full-time employment at 95.9 per cent, 95.2 per cent, 86.8 per cent and 85.7 per cent respectively. Rehabilitation, nursing, teacher education, and business and management undergraduates had the highest labour force participation rates. Creative arts, science and mathematics, psychology and communications were a lot more risky, with full-time employment rates of 53.2 per cent, 59.0 per cent, 60.3 per cent and 60.6 per cent respectively.

DUE DILIGENCE: If you want to land a job after uni, research your options. PHOTO: KITTISAKJIRASITTICHAI The areas with the lowest proportion of graduates employed were creative arts, science and mathematics, computing and information systems and humanities, culture and social sciences all of which had overall employment rates under 84 per cent. It’s not all doom and gloom for these students, however. When it really comes down to it, your enthusiasm and professionalism could go a long way towards you being one of the lucky ones with a job.


SO YOU’VE finished school or uni and it’s up to the most important part: getting a job. You craft what you feel is an excellent resume, tailor all your cover letters to each job you want to apply for and confidently address the selection criteria. So what happens when the weeks drag into months without a job eventuating? Many career areas experience peaks and troughs when it comes to graduate employment, with those troughs leaving many with an expensive piece of paper and very limited job prospects. The worst thing you can do is lose hope.

So how do you maintain your enthusiasm when dealing with constant rejection? Keep a Plan B Never pin all your hopes on a single job. By spreading your eggs around a few baskets you will be less likely to feel crushed when you receive a rejection letter. Ask for feedback Don’t be afraid to ask a prospective employer who has turned you down what you might have done better. Sometimes it was simply that another candidate had more experience, while other times you may have made some kind of error

it would benefit you to know about. Don’t forget your strengths It can be easy to feel despondent, so take some time out and go back over the things you know you excel at and while you’re at it, make sure you’ve made it clear in your application letters and resume. You’re in good company Plenty of very famous people have suffered the pain of repeated rejection but have gone on to become raging successes. Even JK Rowling received 12 rejection letters before her manuscript for the first Harry Potter book was published.

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You may never have had to think much about money but you soon will Megan Masters MOVING out of your parents’ place can be a lot of fun as you create your own home out of a boarding room or share house. But one of the biggest worries many young university students and apprentices face is making ends meet financially. Plenty of people joke about their consumption of instant noodles during these years, but you’ll soon find those jokes have a resounding ring of truth to them. So while it might seem a lot more interesting choosing what to put on your mantelpiece and which photos to hang on the walls, a little pre-planning on the budget front could save you a lot of problems down the track. Here are some tips to help you get more bang for your buck at uni: Get that resume sorted One of the easiest ways to ensure you don’t struggle financially is to get a job. The only problem is, in university cities there are often thousands of students looking for the exact type of work as you. You’re really going to need to stand out from the crowd to get an interview, let alone a job. You can help yourself by brushing up on some skills in the lead-up to university and maybe even get some volunteering under your belt instead of lazing around throughout December and January. Make a list Think long and hard about all your expected expenses and make a detailed budget. Get your parents to help you figure out what to put on that list, but it will likely start with rent, phone, electricity, internet and groceries. Once you know exactly what you need each week it’s not so easy to accidentally spend more than you meant to on a night out with friends. The list can be a lot easier if you stay in college accommodation as most utilities and some food will be included in your fees. Watch out for specials and plan your food You’ve probably never had to put much thought into what’s what at the supermarket, but now is the time to

TOUGH TIMES AHEAD: Every dollar counts when you’re living on a meagre student budget. PHOTO: PAUL BRAVEN keep an eye out for what you need when it’s on special. And remember big supermarkets aren’t always the cheapest. Hitting up your local farmer’s market or greengrocer can save you a lot of money. If you plan out your meals you’ll know exactly what you need and you can research easy, cheap meals or ask your parents for help teaching you how to magic up a tasty feed with what you have in the pantry. And remember, you can always pimp your instant noodles with a few vegies or some leftover meat out of the fridge. Use your concessions Most university cities are filled with businesses looking to cash in on the student dollars and they often go a long way to get you in the door. Many will offer special deals aimed at students including cinemas, restaurants, bars and book shops, not to mention public transport, particularly on weeknights when business is slow.

Hitting up your local farmer’s market or greengrocer can save you a lot of money.


HELPING HAND: Scholarships can take a lot of pressure off. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED Page 28

BUDGETING is a major concern for most students no matter what you do, but one thing that can take the pressure off is a scholarship or grant. These can be very competitive, so how do you maximise your chances of gaining some free money to help you study? The most important thing is to start early. The earlier you get in, and the more organised you are, the better your chances are of making the cut. There is a limited kitty and late-comers aren’t likely to get a look in. Next up is research and your university of choice’s website is a great place to start. Many universities have a list of available scholarships, so you can find the ones that

best apply to you. But don’t forget there are other avenues open including local businesses and government organisations. Your parents’ work may even have a small fund for the children of employees. After you’ve found a range of funds to apply to, you need to make sure your application is relevant, well set out and, most importantly, spell checked. You won’t inspire much confidence if your application is riddled with errors, so check it carefully and have a few other people read over it as well. Lastly, apply for everything you can, even if you’re worried you might not get it.

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If you’re thinking about changing careers, there is plenty to think about

CHANGE OF PACE: If you’re thinking of changing careers it can be daunting, but rewarding.

Your contacts and social network (both online and off) can be a great starting point for finding your new career.

the uncontrollable factors are weighted as heavily as possible in your favour. As well as the employment classifieds in your local paper, it’s worth spending time online too – there’s a range of employment websites listing hundreds of vacancies. More than just looking at vacancies, you can do valuable research into employers, required qualifications, expected salaries and so on. Put value too on the people you know. Your contacts and social network (both online and off) can be a great starting point for finding your new career. More than likely, a career change will mean some form of study or self-education. If so, great. You’re extending yourself, even if you have a further change of heart about where your career needs to head. Don’t be disheartened by knockbacks. You probably won’t get the first job you apply for.

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WHILE they might still exist in some sectors, a job for life is no longer a realistic goal. Years ago it wasn’t uncommon for people to spend their entire working life with the one employer, whereas now it’s not at all uncommon for someone to chop and change jobs multiple times through their career. But there’s a big difference between changing jobs and changing careers. Leaving your current job to take up a similar role with a new employer would be daunting enough, but imagine deciding you want to do something entirely different. Where do you start? Foremost, you need to understand what your new job would require of you. The employment market changes, employers’ expectations change and the demands of our jobs change. What doesn’t change though is the importance of controlling what you can, and by doing so ensuring that


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MORE TO MCDONALD’S Far from just flipping burgers, a job at Macca’s can take you places Megan Masters COUNTLESS young people across the country have used a job at their local McDonald’s restaurant to help them make ends meet through high school or university, but there can be so much more to a Macca’s career. Many young people think there is no more to a job at McDonald’s than flipping burgers and filling cups, but the range of qualifications you can achieve is amazing. In fact, McDonald’s is a registered training organisation with the ability to help you gain certificates and diplomas that will help you climb the career ladder. And far from helping you reach your goals and sending you on your way, many of the company’s most successful managers started out as crew members while still in high school or university and chose to stay on thanks to the wide range of career opportunities. Macca’s offers a range of traineeships throughout your development: Certificate II in Retail Services (SIR20216) and Certificate III in Retail (SIR30216). Traineeships combine theory and practical workplace experience in a flexible learning environment. Macca’s also offers a Diploma qualification through the Management Development Program. So whether you’re aiming to become a restaurant manager or climb to the dizzying heights of the corporate sector, you can do it while earning money. Not only that, but should you choose to eventually move on to another job, your experience and further training would stand you in good stead with any potential employer. So while you might start out in the kitchen or manning the drive through, if you were determined enough you could slowly work your way to the corporate office, where a range of career opportunities can come up including operations, field service, marketing, human relations, safety, training, finance and law. McDonald’s CEO Andrew Gregory said the company was proud of its ability to employ and continually build the skills of young Australians. “McDonald’s invests more than $40 million annually on training crew, managers and corporate employees, offering all of our employees tremendous opportunities to gain the skills to forge a career within the McDonald’s network or outside of it,” he stated as part of the

BIG OPPORTUNITY: McDonald’s Chinchilla manager Kyarnnah Wooler (left) and crew member Tahlia Ashen are proud to build their careers with McDonald’s. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

Macca’s careers ■ Crew and crew trainer ■ Shift supervisor ■ Department manager and assistant manager ■ Restaurant manager and assistant manager ■ Corporate office ■ Leadership company’s prospectus. “McDonald’s is a nationally recognised training organisation, and given our reach across Australia, in many communities we are the only training provider.” He said more than 4500 employees could achieve recognised training qualifications in one year. “We consider it a great privilege that McDonald’s is one of the largest employers of young Australians,” he said. To find out more about McDonald’s careers, visit

McDonald’s invests more than $40 million annually on training crew, managers and corporate employees... — McDonald’s CEO Andrew Gregory

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THINK CAREFULLY: If you pay attention to your strengths and interests you can have a career that you will love for life. PHOTO: UTAH778

SPOILT FOR CHOICE Think carefully about strengths and interests when picking a career

Trying to find something that can utilise and deliver both is your ultimate goal.

ONCE a career was much simpler; sometimes even a matter of following in a parent’s footsteps and thinking no more of it. And yet this was in some ways limiting also. These days there are so many options it can seem overwhelming. There are however plenty of resources to help you find something that you are not only interested in doing, but that will keep you engaged and stimulated for years to come. The first step is making a list of what you want out of a career and a list of what your strengths or talents are. Trying to find something that can utilise and deliver both is your ultimate goal. After all, you want your job to be something you enjoy waking up for each morning. Have a chat to someone whose opinion you value for some advice. A school career counsellor or teacher, your parents,

an older sibling or someone in your local community are all good options. But make sure you have had a think about it on your own first. Contemplate what it is you really want, and don’t worry how long this takes. It’s important to realise that it is ultimately your decision and your life, so you have to be happy with the choice you make. Taking on an apprenticeship or traineeship will give you a skill that you have for life, and can even lead you into a higher level of that job or on a totally different career path. Before you begin your training though it is important to make a personal commitment to yourself so you aren’t wasting your time and resources doing something just for the sake of it. Try and get the most that you can out of the training as this will help you in a real workplace.

There are so many options available that choosing the right career can seem overwhelming. Page 32



FINDING THE RIGHT FIT There are plenty of options for accommodation so choose what suits

Remember to investigate your financial assistance options too...

ONE of the most exciting things about beginning tertiary study is the opportunity to move out of home and start making some of your own choices, including where you will live. If you’re at the very start of the process and need a few pointers, we have some tips that will get you through the process. Look for accommodation that suits your budget While this probably isn’t the part you’re most looking forward to, the first thing you’ll need to do is consider your budget. This will help you sift through your accommodation options and decide what’s suitable— whether it’s a college, student apartments, a hostel, homestay or a share house with friends. You also need to be realistic. While you might want to pursue your city-living dream by renting a glamorous apartment, you’ll find that this may not be possible on a student budget. Remember to investigate your financial assistance options too, such as scholarships and bursaries from your institution and government allowances. Do your research One of the most important things is to ensure that you have researched each accommodation option. This means attending open days and visiting on-campus accommodation, speaking to the

MOVING OUT: Getting the keys to your first place is exciting, but first you have to find the right fit. PHOTO: ANTONIOGUILLEM institutions’ housing advisers and showing up to rental inspections and having a thorough browse. Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages As you consider each option, ensure that you are taking note of both positive and negative aspects. Try to remember that finding perfect accommodation will be near impossible and that each option will have its flaws, but with a little due diligence you can find the best fit for you.

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WORTH A TRY: Plenty of people incur debt and leave university without a diploma, but many report walking away feeling like the experience was still worth it. PHOTO: XIMAGINATION

WHEN UNI GOES WRONG If you don’t finish up in a cap and gown, is university still worth a try? Megan Masters

IT’S not uncommon to feel like a complete failure when your university course of choice just doesn’t pan out. There are so many reasons students fail to achieve their course goals and wind up in careers completely different to what they intended as a bright-eyed school leaver. This leaves many in debt and empty-handed while the rest of the course cohort graduates, but is it all bad news? The Grattan Institute suggests otherwise. There are actually a surprising number of benefits to attending university, even if you don’t graduate or graduate in a career you never expected. The Grattan Institute’s report, The Benefits and Costs of Trying University, found students didn’t often leave truly empty-handed when abandoning a degree. “Dropping out is not always a bad outcome,” the report said. “Surveys of school and first-year university students

show that many are uncertain about their direction. “Enrolling can help students decide what they want to do. If students discover that university is not for them, and leave quickly, it costs them little in time and money. “Partially complete degrees can have other advantages. “Many people who did not finish their course found it interesting, learned useful skills, and made lasting friendships and connections. “Often they say that if they had their time over again, they would still begin their course, suggesting they believe that their enrolment brought more benefits than costs.” It pays to be aware, however, that nearly two-thirds of university drop-outs felt they would have been better off if they finished, and nearly 40 per cent would have completed the degree if they had their time over. So choose carefully, but never be afraid to change tack when it comes to your dream job because you can still learn plenty about life and gain benefits even if you finish up without a degree.

Many people who did not finish their course found it interesting, learned useful skills, and made lasting friendships and connections.

Even if you don’t graduate, you can still learn valuable skills and make friendships. Page 34



KEEPING A CLEAR HEAD There are plenty of ways to get in the right headspace for interviews

The benefits of daily exercise are well documented and include helping with mental focus...

THERE are plenty of things you can do to maximise your chances at getting a job, from crafting the perfect resume to doing your research and dressing the part. But one often-neglected area is health and fitness. Anyone who has ever had a big interview scheduled for the next day would be well aware of how hard it can be to get a good night’s sleep when all you can think about is the possibility of failure. But nobody could deny the value of turning up fresh-faced and with a clear mind, so what can you do to help? One idea is to leave yourself physically tired so getting to sleep is a bit easier. In the days leading up to your big opportunity, make sure you do plenty of exercise, avoid drinking alcohol, lay off the caffeine and eat healthy food. This will be guaranteed to put an extra spring in your step and leave your mind as clear as it can be, not to mention improving your physical appearance. The benefits of daily exercise are well documented and include helping with mental focus, so it might even pay to do a workout on the morning of the interview. It’s sure to get the blood pumping and leave you feeling refreshed, focussed and enthusiastic. One last tip is working on your meditation skills, which can help you calm your nerves and can even be used as a tool to help you get to sleep.

INTERVIEW READY: Exercise can help you sleep and focus your mind. PHOTO: SCOTT POWICK

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AS YOU get through the last few years of high school it’s not uncommon to be asked several times a week by well-meaning friends and relatives “what will you do once you leave school?” For many it’s simply a case of deciding on further studies in a traditional area or gaining an apprenticeship. But what happens if you have your heart set on a career that’s really outside the box? Chances are you’ll hear plenty of cautions to keep a more mainstream back-up plan in place, if not outright admonitions to forget about silly dreams. Many will be confused by your dreams and wonder out loud what your chances will be of gaining a job in your chosen area. Yet stranger things have certainly happened than a determined youngster working their way towards a niche job. So how do you set the wheels in motion to get that career as a filmmaker, musician, radio presenter or fashion designer? First and foremost, you can hit up the internet and take a look around at your job prospects. If there are jobs going, you have an instant reply to well-meaning caution. If not, don’t despair as you wouldn’t be the first person to carve out your own niche and create a lucrative business.

The old saying goes “it’s not what you know, but who you know”, and it couldn’t be more true. After all, there are plenty of jobs and business ideas around today that simply didn’t exist a decade or two ago. Your second move should be networking. You can even get started while still in high school. If there are others doing the job you dream of, it makes sense to not only find out how they did it, but to create a professional friendship that could lead to mentoring opportunities. The old saying goes “it’s not what you know, but who you know”, and it couldn’t be more true. The more people you know that can help give you a leg-up, the more likely that it will happen. Finally, tenacity is everything. Many famous entrepreneurs got there by never giving up. They were the annoying kid always asking questions and the annoying young adult always hanging around in the hopes of getting to help out. One of the most famous sound recording engineers in the world, Jimmy Iovine, got his start pushing a broom in a recording studio after dropping out of college, but after kicking around for so long he seemed like part of the furniture, he was given his first gig in the recording booth and these days is worth millions. Page 36

HAVE A GO: Whatever your unusual career choice, determination and networking can help you get there. PHOTO: KATARZYNA BIALASIEWICZ

Just because there are no ads in the paper for your chosen field, it doesn’t mean you can’t carve out your own niche if you’re determined. PHOTO: KEAGAN ELDER

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BRIGHT FUTURE: One thing many successful people have in common is clear goals for the future.


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graduate employment. Obviously fresh graduates tend to migrate into entry-level roles and it’s important to make sure there are plenty around before starting your studies, but what opportunities exist for specialisation? Next you can create a plan for how you would achieve that specialisation. What extra qualifications might you need? Think about what promotions would help you on your way and how you might convince your boss you’re the best person for the job and set your plans in motion. You might need to do additional courses, professional development or take on a mentor to help you. Networking with other industry professionals is also valuable for opportunities and inspiration.

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SOMETIMES it can seem difficult to get a clear picture of next week, let alone next decade, but one thing many successful people have in common is clear goals. It often really pays off to have an idea in your mind of where you would like to be in 10 years, whether you end up there or not. The important part is to have a constant picture of growth and development in your mind to prevent career stagnation. Without it, you could find yourself in the same job for years without ever getting off the bottom rung of the career ladder. So in a fast-changing world, how do you go about painting a picture of your future? Once you’ve settled on a career and organised your study, you can look up career opportunities beyond


GETTING AHEAD: Whether it’s getting the job or securing a raise, there are simple ways to impress your boss.


CLIMBING THE LADDER There are plenty of ways to set yourself apart from the crowd at work

Many people fear showing their ambition will make them appear over-confident and ruthless...

THE corporate world can be a tricky environment to navigate. It is vital to work out the right approach for each individual facet of your career. Here are some tips for getting ahead in your career: Dress the part: It may seem obvious that if you’re going for a job interview you should dress as smart and appropriate as possible, but you’d be surprised at how many people stumble at this first hurdle. First impressions count, so you need to convince your potential employer you’re a responsible, respectable person worth their time. Opt for natural make-up, a tidy hairdo and definitely no open-toed shoes. Be ambitious: Many people fear showing their ambition will make

them appear over-confident and ruthless, when in fact the opposite is the case. Taking charge and making your intentions known could mean the difference between you receiving a promotion or not— how else is your employer supposed to know you want progression? Ask for a raise: If you believe you’re not receiving the pay you deserve, silently hoping it’s going to change is not going to solve the problem. Instead, do your research into the market value of your job and confidently ask your boss for a raise. Make sure you pick a time when you’re excelling at your work and explain why you deserve more, not why you need it. As long as your goal is reasonable, and you are confident and polite, the worst that can happen is your boss says no.

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RIGHT CANDIDATE: There’s a fine line between crafting a resume that stands out from the crowd and going too far and putting off prospective employers. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

PERFECTING YOUR CV A little attention to detail can go a long way when applying for jobs Adam Norris

If your work experience is on the thin side, or you’re lacking in references, there’s no need to panic.

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AT LAST, you’ve worked out what you want to be when you grow up. Your dream job has been identified, and now it’s time to fulfil your destiny and become a ninja astronaut, or cheese architect, or whatever career speaks to you. But how do you prove to your future boss that you’re the right candidate for the job? Whether this is the first time you’re submitting a CV or the tenth, you should always cater your submission to the specifics of the job. A generic list of your achievements is all well and good, but make sure whatever you’re sending away is actually relevant. The people who hold your dream job in their hands are going to be reading a whole lot of resumes, so make sure yours stands out by being presentable, clear, and not crammed with unnecessary details. There are thousands of resume templates online, and that’s a great place to start. You want your resume to be eye-catching, of course, but also professional, so ditch any that are too colourful or over-the-top. Include your personal details (generally in the top right-hand corner), but there’s not much need to go beyond your name and phone/email contacts. Outline your past work experience and the dates you were there, and add a short paragraph explaining what you actually did in the role; what skills you learned, how beneficial that time was to your career development. Address the criteria of the job you’re applying for, but don’t go overboard and start writing a novel. Remember, this resume is one among many that your potential employer is going to have to read. If you have achievements or awards that are outside of the role, it’s fine to include them towards the end as

There’s no need to put in every tiny detail. A snapshot of your work history is perfect. PHOTO: DEMAERRE an indication of your character and aptitudes, but no need to go into any great detail. Less is often more. The same can be said for references. You might include an extract from your references (the most glowing paragraph, of course) with a note advising that the entire reference letter is available upon request. If your work experience is on the thin side, or you’re lacking in references, there’s no need to panic. A cover letter is a common component of resumes, and allows you to speak directly to the recruiter. Here you can outline your passion for the role and your commitment to bring all of your skills to this exciting opportunity. Don’t forget to keep a brisk pace, though; two or three paragraphs should be plenty, and make sure you edit the whole thing before sending it away. A CV full of spelling mistakes won’t inspire much confidence. Finally, it might take several attempts until you find success. Don’t lose your confidence.

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A little preparation goes a long way when it comes to living with friends

FUN TIMES: Moving into your first share house is an exciting time, but there are some pitfalls to be aware of if you don’t want lifelong friendships to become lifelong animosities. PHOTO: THINKSTOCK/MONKEY BUSINESS IMAGE

Your bills are likely to be quarterly, and if you’re unprepared they can be a major hit on your savings.

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THE secret is in the name. Share housing is often the first real taste of independence, and can be the source of fondest memories, lifelong friendships... and lifelong animosities, if things get out of hand. As exciting as living away from parents can be, this isn’t your very own Truman Show, and you’re not the only one trying to shape this new house into a home. It should go without saying that you should pay your rent on time. If you’re struggling financially, it’s up to you to find a way to make ends meet, or do the right thing and let someone else take your room before everyone risks getting kicked out by an unhappy landlord. But rent isn’t the only shared cost. Your bills are likely to be quarterly, and if you’re unprepared they can be a major hit on your savings. The trick is to establish a house kitty; either an account or physical container that everyone contributes a set amount of money into every week. Similarly, you might each want to contribute something to the kitty to cover general house items, like toilet paper, milk and detergents. A cleaning roster is another invaluable system. It’s fine if you never make your bed and the pile of

The freedom of moving out of home is exciting, but comes with responsibilities. PHOTO: ANTONIO GUILLEM clothes in the corner has started breathing, but leaving your dishes unwashed or wet towels scattered through the bathroom won’t work. Your housemates aren’t your parents. Just remember that although the schedules and standards of your housemates might not match yours completely, you all need to find common and respectful ground. Otherwise, it’s back to Aunty Ethel’s cat-infested granny flat.


SOCIAL MEDIA SAVVY Facebook is now first stop for prospective employers looking at staff

The saying that once it’s out there, there’s no getting it back is completely truthful.

IN THIS day and age, social networking plays a vital role in not only our social lives, but also in our professional careers. But with greater connectivity comes greater responsibility and this is a concept many are failing to grasp. So for those who are unsure of where you stand with what you put online, here are some fundamental rules. First, you need to understand how Facebook turns a profit. When you sign up for a slice of internet, one of the terms and conditions is everything you post is data that can and will be sold to companies and advertisers who, in turn, can use that information. The saying that once it’s out there, there’s no getting it back is completely truthful. Facebook is the first port of call for employers seeking prospective employees and whether you’ve got your profile set to private or not, they can find you. The next step is to realise Big Brother is always watching; this means, don’t post about work. Sure, there are positive things that can happen that you want to share, but if it’s not positive or is something that is not supposed to be public knowledge, step away from the keyboard. Also think carefully about the statuses you post and how they may paint you to your boss.

BE CAREFUL: Social media has brought many successful careers unstuck. PHOTO: BRETT WORTMAN

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BEACH LIVING: Caloundra Holiday Centre is a rare specialist business in Caloundra, providing a large and diversified range of well-maintained holiday apartments and homes, many in prime positions. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

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IMAGINE if you could have a holiday apartment on the Sunshine Coast for your annual holidays for the rest of your life (intended pun) for about $500 a week, when the cost of owning the property would be $500,000. There would be nothing extra to pay – no electricity, no council rates, no repairs, no water or waste charges, no cleaning, no gardening, no general maintenance, no pool cleaning or chemicals, no capital outlay, no insurance. Is this too good to be true? Well, it is available to you right now. Short term holiday rental is the answer. Many waterfront apartments, near waterfront holiday homes and resorts are located in prime positions around the Caloundra waterfront, and the cost for a month’s family holiday may be less than half of one per cent of the cost of buying the same property. Caloundra Holiday Centre is a rare specialist business in Caloundra, providing a large and diversified range of well-maintained holiday apartments and homes, many in prime positions. These beautiful properties may be short-term rented for anywhere between one night and three months, and ranging in price from $75 to $750 per night for the whole family. You will be amazed at the huge range of properties and prices. A freecall will have a free printed full colour 56 page brochure and price list in the mail to you same day, or if you’re on the internet you can find it all online. The really knowledgeable friendly staff will help you make the right decision, and help you through the phone booking service 1800 817 346 (Monday through Saturday). It’s easy... And they don’t even charge a booking fee for talking to a real human!

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NO COST TRAINING AVAILABLE IN A RANGE OF SECTORS & REGIONS Career Employment Australia (CEA) are a community-based not-for-profit, ethical Registered Training Organisation (RTO 0104) We offer Nationally Recognised Training in several sectors including aged care, disability, community services, business, retail and I/T. There is also a Year 10 program available that allows you to link to further training courses, also with apprenticeships and the armed forces. CEA are currently operating in Toowoomba and Dalby. A further site may be opened in Chinchilla early in 2019. There may also be limited-time training courses offered in other locations in the Darling Downs depending on local interest and needs. CEA training is generally fully-funded (‘no cost’) to eligible clients, with child-friendly hours.

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ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS YOUR WAY SOMETIMES mainstream schooling isn’t for everyone. Whether it’s learning styles, behavioural issues or other obstacles, a traditional high school isn’t always the right fit. Flexi schools have been popping up in larger centres, but not everyone fits the entry criteria or finds the distance to their nearest one manageable. Career Australia Employment (CEA) is a not-for-profit Registered Training Organisation that has the perfect solution for many of these students. As long as they are prepared to do a minimum 10 hours each week of face-to-face learning, these students can achieve their education goals in a much more relaxed and informal setting. Whether that involves hands-on teaching or working independently at their own pace, there are several options available, including Year 10 and a range of vocational training certificates. The Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) program is popular among students struggling in mainstream schooling as it enables them to brush up on literacy and numeracy skills, as well as helping students learn the skills required to get out and start applying for jobs. Eligible participants receive up to 650 hours of training in language, literacy and numeracy, as well as learning how to put together a strong resume, write letters, fill in forms, work in a team and communicate effectively. Students can also pick up vocational electives and work experience to get them started on the path to a new career.

Eligible participants receive up to 650 hours of training in language, literacy and numeracy... “A lot of people don’t want to be in school and we would love to have them,” CEA’s VET Manager said. “We find people leave mainstream schooling and come to us predominantly because they’re being bullied or it’s just not their way of learning. “We provide an informal environment, not a school, and some young people prefer to sit in a corner and do their work with headphones on, while others are more actively engaged with the group. “We give them learning goals and some go quickly while others take their time. “So, it’s self-paced in a supportive learning environment.” Career Australia Employment offers training services in a range of locations, with more to be added soon. The team would love to hear from people looking at getting into or returning to the job market, whether they are in an existing CEA location, or hoping to find enough interest to get a new location up and running. To find out more, phone (07) 3457 1234 or go to the CEA website and make an enquiry

YOUR PACE: No matter how you learn best, Career Australia Employment can help you achieve your goals. PHOTO: BEV LACEY

Career Australia Employment can help people brush up on all the skills they need to get into the job market. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED Page 47

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