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A measure of success Wendy’s a proven resource for the oil and gas industry See page 6

A message from the Managing Director, Liz Harris I would like to warmly welcome all staff and students to the first issue of WAVES for 2009. This year we will continue to build on our achievements and maintain close links with our industry partners to continue to find innovative ways to deliver our programs. This will ensure that the College is in a strong position to meet the challenges of a changing economic environment. We are also continually looking for ways to measure the successful impact of our services, particularly as they relate to our industry and community partners. As such, we are very excited about a new College publication, the Challenger Impact Model, a collection of case studies highlighting the substantial impact we are having in industry. Jill Jamieson, General Manager of Training Research and Development, and I recently delivered a presentation detailing these impacts and the success of the Four Paradigm model at the Big Skills Conference in Sydney. The feedback from the conference was extremely positive, which is a reflection on all in the College who strive to nurture client relationships and build our workforce development services in industry.


In this issue, we also focus on some of the great work being done by our lecturing staff, particularly Ian MacDonald, who was awarded WA Lecturer of the Year (TAFEWA) 2008 at the WA Education Awards. This is a fantastic outcome that continues a winning trend for the College, following on from last year’s winner, Ken Gwyer. Furthermore, the Student Satisfaction survey revealed the high regard in which lecturers from all areas of the College are held. We are also extremely proud to profile the great work of the Future Leaders Initiative in this issue. This group consists of dedicated and talented young staff members from across the College who are gaining leadership skills while serving charities and the community. We can be proud that their work is having a positive impact.

Liz Harris Managing Director Challenger TAFE

Equipment Practical training for Challenger TAFE students entering the offshore oil and gas industry received a major boost with the recent donation of two remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) from Esso Australia.

Luke Musgrave and Liz Harris celebrate the ROV donation as students take the opportunity to get hands-on


donation provides training boost The use of unmanned robotic ROVs for exploration and maintenance in deep water and remote areas has become integral to offshore operations in the industry.

“Thanks must go to Rick Glanville and Tim Goold at Esso for their efforts in securing the approvals and organising the logistics to get them here from Victoria.”

The Course Coordinator in ROV pilot training at the College’s WA Maritime Training Centre - Fremantle, Bill Evans, said the new equipment gave students the opportunity to hone their skills in a hands-on environment.

According to Luke Musgrave, Esso’s Vice President LNG (Australia), the College’s ROV pilot training was integral to the industry’s future.

“These ROVs will be an incredibly effective way of providing higher-level technical training to our students,” he said. “It’s obviously a huge advantage to be able to train pilots in a way that mirrors actual industry practice.

"Now more than ever, hands-on training plays a vital role in oil and gas exploration and production. Esso is extremely pleased to support Challenger TAFE’s quality training by donating the equipment for use in their ROV program.” Challenger TAFE Managing Director, Liz Harris, welcomed the donation and emphasised the importance of training partnerships between the College and leading companies.

“This generous donation will greatly expand our training capacity in this specialist area,” she said. “Partnerships with companies such as Esso provide critical support in delivering training that meets the current and future needs of industry.” As the longest established and only accredited College training ROV pilots, Challenger TAFE recently welcomed its first female trainee. Gina Centa, an ex-navy submariner, found the course “interesting and challenging” and was confident that her training on the new ROVs would lead to a rewarding career in the offshore oil and gas industry.

TAFEWA Lecturer of the Year, Ian McDonald in his natural habitat

Photo courtesy of the Community Newspaper Group

Ian McDonald, Principal Lecturer in Metals at the Rockingham Campus, has been named West Australian Lecturer of the Year (TAFEWA) 2008. His commitment to inspiring students with traditional teaching methods in combination with the creative use of technology was rewarded with the $25,000 prize at the recent WA Education Awards.


High praise for Challenger TAFE lecturers Ian McDonald is not the only lecturer receiving praise for his teaching skills. The 2008 State Student Satisfaction Survey indicates that all our lecturers are maintaining especially high standards. We received many encouraging comments from students across a wide range of training areas about the quality of our lecturers. Here is what just a few of them had to say: “The lecturer in my unit is highly intelligent, approachable and provides clear and consistent information. He has an immense depth of experience and knowledge and shares his ideas in a friendly and informative manner.” (Transport and Distribution) “The lecturers are inspiring and have helped me with my studies.” (Floristry) “Overall, I have had a great time learning at Challenger TAFE. Our lecturer was fantastic all year; full of helpful information and excellent at teaching.” (Commercial Cookery)

“My lecturer was very instrumental in my choice of course. He is a great inspiration. I found him very helpful, as did my fellow students.” (Information Technology) “I appreciate how my lecturer had a very thorough knowledge of the subject matter, communicated effectively and was patient with questions.” (Irrigation) “An outstanding lecturer; his knowledge is second to none and is of great benefit to students.” (Electrical) Challenger TAFE Managing Director, Liz Harris, said the student feedback encouraged lecturers to strive for even greater heights. “The student feedback confirms the outstanding quality of our lecturing staff, and provides the motivation for them to further raise the bar,” she said.

Ian’s in a class of his own Ian said that new communication technologies presented a number of teaching benefits. “I have run courses in the Middle East, including Qatar and Abu Dhabi, where none of the participants speak English as a first language, so the web-based content was more accessible for them,” he said. “We’re now trying to incorporate mobile phones as a communication tool because they get more immediate attention from younger students.” State Training Minister, the Hon. Peter Collier MLC, presented Ian with his award and said he was a deserving winner. “Ian is a truly remarkable trainer and deserves to be congratulated for his work,” he said.

“With almost 30 years experience as a lecturer, Ian has developed strong links with industry, which ensures his students are job-ready when they graduate.” Ian was nominated by Challenger TAFE’s Director of Defence and Resource Industries, Greg Guppy, who praised his ability to stay abreast of modern teaching methods. “Ian has spent many hours keeping up-to-date with the latest in online learning tools and has developed them so they have now become standard in his teaching kit,” he said.

The College also boasts another finalist in the WA Lecturer of the Year 2008, with ACEPT Principal Lecturer, Brian Acreman, commended for his innovative teaching programs. Brian was responsible for creating flexible courses that allow ‘fly-in, fly-out’ plant operators to train for higher qualifications while meeting the needs of the work roster.

“Ian uses social learning platforms such as wikis and blogs to create an engaging learning environment that is accessible anywhere, anytime.”


Student feedback reflects the high quality of Challenger TAFE lecturers


Wendy rises to the career change challenge Wendy Wych continued a remarkable career change when she started her two year traineeship at Varanus Island with Apache Energy in February. The former dental nurse set out on a new career path when she enrolled in Certificates I and II in Process Plant Operations at Challenger TAFE’s Australian Centre for Energy & Process Training (ACEPT) in 2008. Her training was delivered as part of a program run in partnership with the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA). The program was female-specific and aimed to increase the workforce participation of women in the oil and gas industry.

“The youngest of my three children was getting ready to start university and I felt it was time to look at my own career, so when I saw the ad for the ACEPT course I was intrigued. I took the plunge and applied, and was happily surprised when I was accepted,” Wendy said. “Once the course started, I was amazed at how much I enjoyed getting my hands dirty, pulling apart valves and gaining an understanding of how it all works”.

L to R State Training Minister Peter Collier, Wendy Wych and fellow graduate Lisa Martley at ACEPT the graduation

“Wendy was one of our star students. She led by example and was a big help to the other women in the class, who are also now poised for jobs or traineeships with resource industry companies,” he said. “It’s obvious that Wendy is enjoying her journey into the industry and excited at where it’s taking her.” Prior to the Certificate II course, Wendy undertook work experience with Apache Energy on an off-shore oil facility, an experience that really got her hooked on the oil and gas industry.

...”Wendy is enjoying her journey into the industry and excited at where it’s taking her”... “I was amazed at how everyone on the rig was willing to spend the time explaining things to me and how welcoming they were,” she said. After applying for a number of traineeships in the industry, Wendy underwent a rigorous selection process to become one of only eight trainees for Apache Energy in 2009.

Wendy excelled in the program and on its completion was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award by State Training Minister, the Hon. Peter Collier MLC.

Wendy said she was enjoying her new career and the ‘fly-in, fly-out’ lifestyle, and was especially proud that her achievement was merit-based.

She said she was greatly impressed with her training at ACEPT, particularly with the commitment of the lecturers to ensure the students succeeded.

“When I found out that the selection for the traineeship was solely based on the results of the tests, and that age and gender played no part in it at all, I was quite impressed with myself.” she said.

“Looking back at my initial class notes now, I can’t believe how much I’ve learned and how far I’ve come,” she said.

“It’s an amazing experience, and a great challenge, but that’s okay because I like a challenge.”

David Pickard, Wendy’s lecturer at ACEPT, said she was a leading light in a group of women who are at the start of successful careers in the oil and gas industry.


David’s dual role drives industry and training Challenger TAFE Automotive Lecturer, David Hall, was recently elected to the position of Chairman of the Western Australian Institute of Automotive Mechanical Engineers (IAME). This prestigious position has been previously held by some of the most prominent members of the automotive industry in WA. David’s passion for the industry is obvious, and he said he was excited to be taking on the role. “I hope to bring a fresh approach to the position and I plan to introduce many new ideas for taking the industry forward,” he said.


The IAME was formed in 1936, and now has a national membership of 21,000, with approximately 3,000 members in WA. The IAME act as a platform for the interchange of ideas and the advancement of automotive technology and assist in maintaining a work force equipped to face the challenges of the future.

One of the challenges for the future of the industry is undoubtedly environmental sustainability... Automotive Program Manager, Geoff Brame, said David’s appointment was not only an indication of his standing in the industry, it also reflected the important role of quality training in shaping the future of the industry. “As the head of the LPG servicing and installation section at the Centre, David is one of our most highly-regarded staff members,” he said. “His role with the IAME allows him to draw on his experience to further enhance the relationship between Challenger TAFE training and the needs of industry.” One of the challenges for the future of the industry is undoubtedly environmental sustainability, something David is well placed to address at the Automotive Technology Skills Centre. The Centre was designed to cater for the anticipated increase in the delivery of courses focused on alternative fuel supplies, such as LPG liquid injection and hydrogen powered vehicles. Specialist learning rooms are used to provide hands-on experience in this area, with course delivery options of one day a week for 10 weeks, or on a block basis over two weeks.

David’s guiding hand helps drive LPG training at the Automotive Technology Skills Centre

WOW! Suzanne’s going from strength to strength

Wider Opportunities for Suzanne 9

Former Challenger TAFE student, Suzanne Bourquin, is one of this year’s new university students, and for Suzanne this is a major achievement. Getting through school wasn’t easy for Suzanne. She found it hard to concentrate and to take it all in. Plus, she was a victim of bullying; a challenge for anyone, but especially hard for her as she had an as yet undiagnosed disability. After finishing Year 12, Suzanne started working but again found it hard to fit in and keep a job and was often told she wasn’t a ‘people person’. She ended up spending a lot of time at home battling depression. In her mid-twenties she was finally diagnosed with High Functioning Autism and ADHD and now that she knew why she struggled more than others, she felt able to start turning her life around. “I realised then I had to get out there, out of the house, and make something of my life” she explained.

When she heard about Challenger TAFE’s Wider Opportunities for Work (WOW) course she thought it could help her find a job, so she decided to enrol. The WOW course is a bridging program that gives students like Suzanne the opportunity to build selfconfidence and learn new skills. It also prepares students for further TAFE courses. For Suzanne, enrolling in WOW was the start of an unexpected pathway. “While doing WOW I realised I was actually a lot smarter than I thought!” she said. WOW helped Suzanne explore her opportunities for a career and, on a practical level, got her used to being in a classroom again. “I think the course should be called ‘Wider Opportunities for Anything’,” she continued.

“The lecturers were amazing. They were encouraging the students to try all kinds of things, not just looking for jobs. They really helped me get ready for the next step.” And that next step was the OnTrack program at Murdoch University, aimed at preparing people with disabilities for University study. OnTrack made Suzanne realise that she could actually start a university degree, something she never thought possible. She is now a first-year Psychology student at Murdoch University and is the first uni student in her family. “Starting uni is exciting and scary at the same time, but because of what I learned at WOW and OnTrack I know I can make it work.” Suzanne is passionate about helping other people with a disability and hopes her story will encourage them to take that first step. “It’s a little bit scary, but it’s good to get out there. Just try a fun evening course to get started without any pressure. And once you like that, you can be confident to take the next step,” she said.

College innovation makes a positive impact


An innovative model for providing enhanced benefits in workplacebased training delivery has recently been developed at Challenger TAFE.

“Our main focus is on sustaining and strengthening our relationships with industry, so in a more competitive environment we need to sharpen what we’re doing,” she said.

Case studies detailing partnerships between the College and organisations from a variety of industries, each with very different training needs, forms part of the Challenger Impact Model.

“In this economic climate, employers can’t afford for their staff to be doing things that aren’t directly linked to the productivity of their businesses, so we’ve worked closely with them to achieve these outcomes.

These case studies, which provide a snapshot of how the College is having a positive impact on industry, community and individual clients, were prepared in conjunction with noted VET strategist Dr John Mitchell.

“It’s more important than ever that clients are very clear about the return on investment from working with Challenger TAFE and the direct impact it will have on their business.”

Managing Director, Liz Harris, recently presented an overview of the successes of the model at the Big Skills Conference in Sydney, and said it promised to continue adding value for clients.

The case studies are drawn from training areas including Horticulture, Aged Care, Hospitality, Information Technology, and Building and Construction, and each has particular outcomes specific to the demands of that industry.

“This model reflects the great results we are achieving with organisations and individuals within those organisations,” she said. “We will also look to identify emerging elements in the model that we can build on to return further benefits to our clients.” Jill Jamieson, General Manager of Training Research and Development, also presented at the conference and said prevailing economic conditions necessitated an innovative approach.

Challenger TAFE’s collaborative approach is having a positive impact in many areas, including Building and Construction and IT

There are, however, some common themes. Each case study outlines a synergistic relationship between the College and the client, which strengthens as they continue to interact. They also show how the College uses multiple strategies to respond to client needs and to customise training delivery. According to Liz Harris, the Impact Model shows that the College is committed to measuring the impacts of its services in industry. “These case studies encourage clients to seek much more from Challenger TAFE than traditional training and assessment services. We are now in the business of collaboratively assisting clients to achieve their changing goals,” she said.

...the Impact Model shows that the College is committed to measuring the impacts of its services in industry...

College staff show charitable initiative The Future Leaders Initiative, a program designed to nurture the College’s outstanding young staff members via professional development and mentoring has been an unqualified success in its first year. Patron of the group and Challenger TAFE Director of Peel Region, Access, Leadership and Community and Cultural Development, Mardi Dwyer, said the program helped identify and develop future leaders while encouraging projects that benefited the community. “This demonstrates the College’s commitment to empowering staff members and recognising their potential for leadership while at the same time producing positive outcomes for the community,” she said. “By developing management skills and community-mindedness within our own ranks, our standing as a preferred employer will become as strong as our reputation as a training provider.”

“We are all so grateful for the brilliant work of the Future Leaders Initiative, and while the donation will certainly help us pursue our research, we’re particularly pleased that attention is being drawn to melanoma,” she said. The Future Leaders also helped deliver a brighter festive season for people in need by organising a food drive across all College campuses. Shirley Thomas, from St Vincent De Paul, praised their efforts, which she said were especially needed in tougher economic times.

The current group consists of Stephne Ceicys, Sylvie Coremans, Angela Griffin, Ed Harris, Mick Paton, Julie Quake, Jonelle Rafols, Lesley Sharp, Kelly Ward and Ashleigh Watson. Throughout the previous 12 months, the Future Leaders Initiative has raised money for melanoma research and coordinated a Christmas food drive to help St Vincent De Paul. The Scott Kirkbride Melanoma Research Centre (SKMRC), set up in memory of young Perth golfer, Scott Kirkbride, who lost his battle with melanoma in 2004, was the beneficiary of the group’s first project, a fundraising luncheon that raised $2500. FLI project co-leader, Angela Griffin, said it was her own painful experience of losing a friend to melanoma cancer that convinced the group to support the SKMRC as part of their first project. “Like many people, I’ve lost someone close to me through melanoma cancer, and the FLI group were eager to respond when I suggested that we make the SKMRC the beneficiary of our first fundraising project,” she said. Yvonne Kirkbride, the Centre’s founder, said that while she was delighted to receive the donation, the awareness raised by the luncheon was crucial to their ongoing efforts.

L to R Mick Paton, Stephne Ceicys and Lesley Sharp deliver the food drive proceeds to St Vincent de Paul

“This wonderful display of charity from the College helped us meet the increased demand last year,” she said. “We saw more and more cases of homelessness and people with children living in cars, so it went a long way to easing that burden.” Stephne Ceicys said she was delighted to be part of the project, and the response from College staff exceeded expectations. “It was a very rewarding experience to co-lead the initiative and promote the cause throughout the College. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the generosity of our staff,” she said.


Senior support for Peel pre-apprentices Local youths in pre-apprenticeships will gain valuable learning and life experience under a new mentoring program being run by Challenger TAFE. The Seniors Supporting Juniors program links volunteer mentors with Metals, Construction and Automotive pre-apprentices at Challenger TAFE, many of which are students at Mandurah Senior College. The program is supported by the City of Mandurah and the Peel Development Commission, and Mandurah Mayor and Challenger TAFE Governing Council Chair, Paddi Creevey, said it offered a number of benefits.

L to R Pre-apprentice Geoffrey Mitton, Robert Martin, Lecturer Dave Roguszka and Paddi Creevey launch the Seniors Supporting Juniors mentoring program

“Seniors Supporting Juniors offers a great opportunity for all participants,” she said. “It is a chance for community-spirited retirees to remain engaged in the community, which is a big part of our Active Ageing strategy, and it also helps young people realise their goals by benefiting from their mentors’ life and career experience.” Challenger TAFE’s Director for the Peel region, Mardi Dwyer, said that while there had been an encouraging response from local seniors, more volunteers were urgently needed to meet the demand.


“We’ve had some wonderful volunteers come forward so far, but in order to fully realise the ambitions of the program we are calling for more seniors to become involved,” she said. The first mentor signed up to the program, Robert Martin, believes the program provides young people with a strong basis for their future. “If I can encourage young people and share my experiences with them, I believe it will give them a solid foundation for life,” he said.

INDUSTRY TRAINING CENTRES WA Applied Engineering & Shipbuilding Training Centre WA Centre for Leadership, Community and Cultural Development WA Horticulture & Environmental Science Skills Centre WA Maritime Training Centre – Fremantle WA Wool Technology Training Centre Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) Automotive Technology Skills Centre Construction Industry Skills Centre Community Services Training Centre Information Technology & Business Skills Centre Quinlan’s Hospitality & Tourism Training Centre Visage Training Centre for Health & Lifestyle plus Access, Bridging & Transition Programs SPECIALIST TRAINING & SUPPORT Kadadjiny Mia – Centre for Aboriginal Learning Peel Education and TAFE Campus

Waves magazine To advise of a change of address please telephone (08) 9239 8377. All other enquiries should be directed to the Editor, Waves magazine, Challenger TAFE, 1 Fleet Street, Fremantle WA 6160. Phone: (08) 9239 8348 Fax: (08) 9239 8088 Email: Website: Waves magazine articles may be reproduced with acknowledgement.

COURSE INFORMATION Challenger TAFE Course Info Centre, 41 South Tce Fremantle 6160


9239 8189

Waves magazine March 2009  

Challenger TAFE news and events, volume 3, number 1

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