Celebrating the best in applied learning

The recent Victorian Certificate for Applied Learning (VCAL) Achievement Awards recognised students, teachers and community organisations for their community projects, developing excellent work skills, fundraising campaigns and more.

The VCAL Achievement Awards acknowledge students who have demonstrated outstanding achievement and made a significant contribution to their schools and communities. The Awards also recognise the contribution of VCAL teachers and partner organisations in the development and delivery of innovative VCAL programs.

Video transcript

Brittany Finn from The Grange P-12 College in Hoppers Crossing won the School-based Apprentice/Trainee and Koorie Student Achievement Awards.

Brittany says she thought the school-based apprenticeship program would be 'a good opportunity.'

'I was never too sure on what I wanted to do as a career,' Brittany says. 'I thought I'd give it a go and try something new.'

A job well done

Brittany's apprenticeship placed her to work at Melbourne Airport with QANTAS, which she says is a 'fun and exciting' role.

'You're never stuck doing the one same task every day, there's so many other things for us as customer service agents to do, which is really good - and the opportunity to work flexible hours,' Brittany says.

'I also enjoy being able to meet and help so many new people throughout the working day.'

Brittany's supportive parents drove her to work from Hopper's Crossing to Tullamarine every morning so she wouldn't miss a day of work.

The School-based Apprentice/Trainee Award commended Brittany's excellent customer service, and her pride and confidence in her role.

Brittany's skills have earned her a full time role with QANTAS so she can start in the workforce straight away when she finishes school.

The awards also recognised Brittany's pride in her Aboriginal heritage. Brittany celebrates the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week every year with her family and extended family. NAIDOC week celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and society.

She says she was surprised to win two awards. 'I never realised I was getting such recognition for what I was doing, but then after receiving the award it made me realise what I had actually accomplished and that all the hard work had paid off,' Brittany says.

'I felt proud of myself for that.'

VCAL winners

Other winners include Dylan Sgambelloni from Bright P-12 College, who was recognised for Personal Development Skills for initiating a project on wheelchair accessibility in his hometown of Bright.

Media and technology student Hicham Wahid from Narre Warren South P-12 College completed a school-based apprenticeship at a TV production studio,  before getting a work placement with radio station Nova 100 – leading him to a job as Nova's videographer.

Cherie Osta of Lorne P-12 College won VCAL Teacher of the Year for her exemplary work in developing and integrating practical projects in collaboration with local business owners and students.


Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning

VCAL is a hands-on option for Year 11 and 12 students, offering practical work-related experience and literacy and numeracy skills.

Like the VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education), VCAL is an accredited secondary school certificate which is also offered at TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutes and a number of Learn Local organisations.

Find out more about VCAL.

See all the VCAL Achievement Awards winners.

Find out how to become an apprentice or trainee.