Sharon Mann from St Andrew’s Catholic College won this year and she didn’t let disruptions in the supply chain get her down! She was thrilled to receive this very late Christmas present in early February.
She was kind enough to spare some time to provide us with some insights into her role, how she got into training and give some advice to students on their Learner Journey. Read more in this 60-second interview.
60 seconds with Sharon Mann…
1. Tell us about your organisation and what sets it apart?
I am employed by St Andrew’s Catholic College in Redlynch Valley (Cairns). We are a P – 12 co-educational school of 1750 students and 260 staff.
At senior level we offer a wide range of subjects including a number of VET Certificates on our RTO’s scope. We have a Trade Training Centre with state of the art equipment and very dedicated trainers. We also offer a large number of VET Certificates through Third Party Providers.
Last year 162 students obtained their QCE, 180 VET Certificates were awarded across the Year 12 cohort and 237 VET Courses were completed by that cohort across their senior years of study.
2. Describe your role in one sentence:
I am the VET Coordinator and RTO Manager, I also facilitate work experience and senior subject selection, and offer pathways advice.
3. What got you into the training/education industry?
I became a teacher in my mid 30s teaching Mandarin Chinese and Humanities. I first completed a TAE so that I could deliver Certificates in Applied Language (Mandarin). Since taking on the role of VET Coordinator, I have undertaken further study to deliver Health Certificates.
4. What is the best part of the work you do?
Helping students to create future pathways that they enjoy and that capitalise on their strengths, and assisting students with School Based Traineeships and Apprenticeships.
5. What challenges have you and your business faced and overcome?
Recent challenges have been replacing staff that have left and then up-skilling the new trainers.
6. What is your proudest achievement whilst working at your organisation?
Assisting a student with serious mental health issues to complete a Certificate III qualification in Year 12 so that they could obtain a QCE.
7. When you were a student the person who inspired you most was and why…
The person who inspired me the most was actually a university lecturer. He was my Philosophy lecturer who had a PHd in Higher Mathematics and a PHd in Philosophy. His intelligence was breathtaking, as was his integrity. He made me realise that there was a whole new way to look at the world.
8. What’s the best piece of advice you give to students?
Do what you love, you will be working for more than half of your life, you need to like what you are doing.
9. What is your favourite saying?
Nothing worth doing is easy.
10. If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting out as a training or education professional, what would it be?
Be passionate about what you do, that comes through so strongly in your teaching and students find it infectious!
11. How do you think online assessment is revolutionising the Australian VET industry?
Online assessment has enabled us to keep students working through their Certificates during Covid lockdowns, but it also enables us to use Third Party Providers that are situated a long way from Cairns to deliver Certificates that would not be available without an online assessment platform.
12. What would you say to someone thinking about implementing Cloud Assess?
That it offers flexibility and variety in what you can offer your students.
13. Describe Cloud Assess in 3 words:
Flexible, effective, efficient.
If you are interested to find out more about St Andrew’s Catholic College, click here. To have the chance to get involved in the next years prize competition make sure to follow us on social media.