Aspirations Day aimed to develop comprehension of 21st skills that are aligned to the recommended cognitions of the new senior system. These will prepare students to face the challenges of a changing world. Essentially, it was hoped that this learning opportunity would maximise opportunities for productive and rewarding futures so as to ensure that our future leaders will be equipped to make meaningful and aspirational contributions to the world. We hoped that Aspirations Day roused secondary students to acknowledge and believe that their community and backgrounds should not impede progress, advancement or future pathways. Aspirations Day provided our learners with the opportunity to meet with inspirational representatives from professional organisations, associations and academic institutions. They were inspired by extraordinary Australians and industry professionals who shared beautiful and poignant stories. This learning provision allowed students to personalise, refine and review their aspirational goals before making final decisions surrounding subject selections, ATAR pathways, and vocation preferences. Some of the montages presented were aligned to the English and Literature curriculums. A Q&A segment entitled The Roving Microphone was included throughout the day.
Our impressive panellists included:
Johnny Weiss – Founder and Managing Director of Trans-Tasman Business (Sydney) and son of two Holocaust survivors,
Cathy Devietti – Director of Grant Thornton Australia,
Brigadier George Mansford AM, Keru Ibuai-Singe – Indigenous Mentor for Missions Australia Homeless Program,
LCDR Ian Chill,
Dr Nimisha Aithal – Intern, writer and star of North’s Monster film,
Irene Jacovos – Director Stakeholder Engagement at Townsville Hospital,
Torres Webb – Environmental Scientist,
Peter Morrison – Managing Director of Cairns Central Travel,
Dr Bianka Vidonya Balanzetequi and
Cr Brett Moller.
There were at least one hundred and fifty students in attendance throughout the day. Members of ISC staff, Innisfail Inner Wheel, the Lions Club and P&C also. All proceedings were run by the senior students who returned to school from their holidays and even changed work and other commitments to attend. Six other northern schools had promised to attend but they did not. Parents, students, members from these organisations and our school have all praised the event. It was very purposeful. Lunch was provided for the ten panellists and other representatives from the tuckshop and paid for by the English Faculty as ISC. Cairns Central Travel provided flights for Dr Nimisha Aithal the Honnef family provided transport for Johnny Weiss, Torres Well and Dr Aithal from Cairns as well as Brigadier Mansford from Gordonvale. Mr Hugh O’Brien kindly drove Brigadier Mansford back to Gordonvale.
Our speakers all delivered very engaging and heartfelt montages that included historical anecdotes, personal stories that had a very intricate tapestries woven into their respective pathways. People discussed how they strategized when working with difficult people and the messages were – ‘what is this experience going to teach me?’ The sheer honesty and cleverly delivered messages included the six pearls from Dr Nim provided students with life lessons and advice about continuing with extra-curricular activities that gave them joy! Dr Aithal was in various theatre productions, wrote blogs and also topped her entire medical degree.
All guest speakers have praised the merit of this initiative. It would be desirable to host such an event but the support of other schools would be appreciated. Given the new roles of lead endorsers, confirming and external marking – 2020 is already looking like a very busy time.
Thank you to the BLA for their generosity and support. Mr Hugh O’Brien delivered a very engaging opening to the forum and Mr Brett Moller shared a poignant and very interesting address.