The River Nile School (RNS) is located in North Melbourne and offers a full-time program delivering the VCAL curriculum to re-engage Refugee and Asylum Seeker school aged women who have had disrupted schooling or who are struggling to cope with their current education arrangements or settings. Currently around 35 young women are enrolled in the program.
Early in 2018 the LLEN met with the leadership team to discuss a range of possible supports. This was followed by a career development workshop facilitated by the LLEN for all staff introducing them to a range of career development tools they could use in the classroom, including the Victorian Careers Curriculum Framework, Career Action Plans, myfuture, careers NZ, and Guiding Circles / Hope-filled Engagement.
Teachers had fun trying out some of the tools, including completing the Favourite Things / Guided Storytelling activity. The LLEN also participated in the VCAL presentation day where students actively demonstrated their learning about recycling and sustainability.
This was a great opportunity for the LLEN to get to know the students and identify the best strategies to engage them in career conversations.
Next the LLEN facilitated Guiding Circles sessions for students including the Favourite Things / Guided Storytelling activity. A number of mutual interest areas emerged which lead to the LLEN organising a TAFE Taster at Victoria University Polytechnic King Street Campus.
A group of eight students and their teacher attended three separate classes in hairdressing, beauty therapy and makeup.
Students had a fantastic time learning about the courses and getting their own hair, nails and make up done. The Taster provided a real insight into what TAFE was really like and confirmed for some students that TAFE was a viable pathway for them. The LLEN also followed up another student’s interest in ethnic community radio by arranging a meeting with the 3CR Somali presenter.This led to a further meeting with the school to investigate a future partnership. This will be further developed in 2019.
As a follow up to the Guiding Circles session the LLEN facilitated a second session with students using a brainstorming activity to investigate the World of Work. Students particularly focused on two career interest areas – nursing and makeup. Students were able to broaden their knowledge of a range of jobs related to these industries through sharing and presenting their own insights into the world of work.
A pathways session was also facilitated by the LLEN which took all VCAL students through the range of pathways available in further education and training through to employment. Students were introduced to Career Action Plans which they completed through their Work-Related Skills classwork.
Over the next three weeks the LLEN ran three afternoon sessions in which all students could have an individual careers counselling session. All students gained a lot through these sessions with the LLEN researching a wide range of options and presenting students with extensive information to inform their choices. To provide additional expertise the LLEN also organised VU Polytechnic to run a workshop on the TAFE options available and pathways to higher education. Students asked many questions and learnt a wealth of information from the session.
Several students also took part in an industry induction day at the MCG, which introduced them to the wide range of jobs available in a large sporting precinct. The LLEN also participated in the River Nile Celebration Day where all VCAL students were presented with certificates.
Thanks again for your session yesterday. It was highly useful and a good way for many of the students to start thinking about their career goals. The feedback after was overwhelmingly positive.”
“Your support with our team in helping our students develop their career pathways, including meeting with them individually, and connecting our students to TAFEs and Vic Uni has been invaluable.”
“The extensive and highly personalised career and pathways exploration program offered through RNS has led to an increased uptake of a wide range of further study at diverse and reputable institutions.”