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Agribusiness at MSC

Agribusiness at Mansfield Secondary College

Operating in our local government areas the NE TRACKS Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN) supports young people 10-19 years of age and works with schools and other organisations to achieve higher rates of school retention and participation in education, training and employment.

The Workforce Development Project is a strategic solution to the mounting need for skilled workforce development in North East Victoria.

The project is based upon a prototype  (see video) established at Mansfield Secondary College by Julie Aldous, a former teacher and now Industry-Education Liaison Officer (Agriculture/Horticulture) with the project

It is great that the school's work is being recognised across the state!


This term we have a team of four students attending the School for Student Leadership at Gnurad Gundidj near Glenormiston in western Victoria. The team, Zoe Allen, Hayley Cotterill, Lani MacMunn and Kate Thomson have been at Gnurad Gundidj for two very full weeks. The focus for the first period of their stay has been on developing skills in the areas of: social awareness, personal management, cultural diversity, resilience, team building, decision making and metacognition. Most days are filled with activities to build these skills and involve discussion sessions in the classroom reinforced by outdoor activities such as hiking, bridge building and mountain bike riding. The team are also working hard on their Community Learning Project (CLP) which they will complete once they return to Mansfield Secondary College in Term Four. Each day the students have a quote to ponder for the day. I leave you with my favourite so far which sums up what the School for Student Leadership is all about. ‘Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do, and let them surprise you with their results’ … George S Patton, US General

With the second round of university offers now released, 94% of Mansfield Secondary College’s 2018 Year 12 cohort have received offers for their preferred courses for tertiary education. A substantial number of last year’s graduates are seeking careers in the health industry as midwives and nurses reflecting the caring and compassionate nature of many of the students, as well as in business and sports management.

Former College Captain, Ely Hardiman received her first preference in the first round of university offers and will commence a Bachelor of Business at Deakin University, Burwood this year. “I was very excited to receive an offer; beyond happy. I decided to do a business degree to build upon all the great opportunities I had at school to organise events.” Fellow Captain Nelle Cousins is “absolutely stoked” to be starting a Bachelor of High Performance Sport at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) this year which she hopes will lead her to a career as a strength and conditioning coach in a sporting club.

Tilly Appleby and Bec Watson are thrilled to be pursuing degrees in nursing. Both young women are taking a gap year before beginning their degrees by working in the local community. Bec has been accepted into Charles Sturt University in Albury to study nursing and midwifery whilst Tilly has been accepted into nursing at Latrobe University in Bendigo. For both women, the courses were their top preferences. “I’m very excited, this course was exactly what I wanted,” said Bec. As for Tilly, nursing has been her life-long goal. She completed a school-based apprenticeship as a Personal Care Attendant working at Bindaree and Buckland House whilst completing her VCE.

College dux Klodi Ward will begin a Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery at Latrobe University, Bendigo this year having attained a number of scholarships to assist with her education. In particular, Klodi won the McPherson Smith scholarship, now known as ‘Youthrive’, which assists young people in rural areas. Klodi is very grateful for the assistance from college staff in helping her to secure these scholarships.

Ethan Lee has opted for a gap year in Mansfield whilst he weighs up his options. However, a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management at Charles Sturt, Albury is a likely choice for him.

In addition to those planning to attend university, a large proportion of students have attained apprenticeships and traineeships. Many of these students have completed TAFE courses whilst attending Mansfield Secondary College. Around the state, normal completion rates for TAFE courses are in the order of 40%. With our support structure, our students’ completion rate is close to 90%.

We are proud of our students and their wide-range of achievements across a range of academic, sporting and co-curricular areas whilst they are with us at Mansfield Secondary College. Of the cohort who graduated from Mansfield Secondary College in 2018, more than 90% of students have indicated to the College’s Careers Guidance staff that they are pursuing their preferred pathways in 2019. In recent years students have been accepted into a broad spectrum of courses across a wide range of tertiary institutions. Of the universities this year, Deakin, Australian Catholic University, Latrobe, Charles Sturt, Swinburne and Victoria University have been the preferred options.

Timothy Hall

Mansfield Secondary College facilitates the biggest School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (SBAT) program in Victoria. Every year about 95 students do an SBAT. The College would like to thank all the local businesses, organisations and employers who have supported the program this year by employing local students. Across Victoria, approximately 750 students undertake SBATs, making Mansfield Secondary College one of the largest providers.

A School Based Apprenticeship is very different from work experience. It takes 12-18 months to complete, contributes to a student’s satisfactory completion of VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) or VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) and in some cases contributes to the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank).

Students undertake a Certificate 2 or 3 qualification and are paid employees. Most begin their SBAT in Year 10 and complete it in Year 11. This equips them with in-depth, practical work skills, which enhance future employment opportunities.

This year Mikkie Cummins completed Certificate 3 in Education Support through the School Based Apprenticeships Program. She won an award from Apprenticeships Matter for her achievements at Mansfield Autism Statewide Services (MASS).

According to Mikkie, who is passionate about the course she did, completing an SBAT provided her with the opportunity to gain valuable work skills from experienced staff, while working with people aged from 8 to 18.

Mikkie says she learned, “lots of patience, commitment and determination to do my best, while developing relationships with students and colleagues through my work. I enjoyed meeting new people, helping kids develop to their potential and making families proud”.

Mikkie completed her entire SBAT as a Year 12 student this year. She says this was challenging, because she had to work at MASS one day a week. She missed classes at school on those days. However, it taught her valuable time management skills because she had to catch up on work missed.

Mikkie highly recommends the School Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship program for all students, but says it is best to start one in Year 10. She has already been offered a full time job in medical business administration.

Mansfield Secondary College is always interested in sourcing new employers who are interested in employing a student as a School Based Apprentice. For further information, please contact the careers office at Mansfield Secondary College


In term 3 last year, I applied to take part in an intensive Indonesian language course in Indonesia. Fortunately, my application was successful, so, I spent two and a half amazing weeks in Indonesia during January 2019.
The course was run in Yogyakarta by the Australian Indonesian Association. Yogyakarta is the capital city of Central Java.
Only eight of us did the course. We each lived with an Indonesian host family. On weekends we spent time with our host families. During the week we attended classes where we learned Indonesian grammar, culture and language in the morning and then took part in field trips in the afternoon. This gave us the opportunity to practice speaking Indonesian with Indonesians and also to begin our Year 12 VCE Indonesian course.
I learnt so much from this trip because I lived in a new culture. Every day I was able to experience many of Indonesia’s interesting customs and learn Indonesian from my host family.
My most enjoyable experience in Indonesia was when my host family took me to see two of Indonesia’s most famous, magnificent, ancient temples; Prambanan and Borobudur. I had studied these temples in class but actually going there and seeing them was amazing.
This trip is an opportunity that must be taken by all students who study Indonesian, if they wish to have a broader understanding of Indonesia outside just learning the language. It is a great way to learn Indonesian, and make lifelong friends while experiencing living in a different country. For me the trip was a real eye opener. I saw how Indonesian people live and work, as well as learning Indonesia’s amazing history from visiting some of the best places I’ve ever been, which are Indonesia’s ancient temples.
If you are interested in applying for this year’s course, applications are now open. Please contact me through the College or Ibu Lowing for more information.

Jacqueline Lewis
Year 12 MSC Student

Mansfield Secondary College was privileged to welcome the Minister for Education Hon James Merlino MP, to officially open the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) building on Thursday March 14.

A crowd of several hundred people; students, staff, parents, friends, architects, builders and a media cohort, gathered for the ceremony.

At the Minister’s invitation, the whole student body counted in Indonesian to herald the cutting of the ribbon and unveiling of the plaque.

Both the opening and closing of the ceremony show-cased skills developed in Mansfield Secondary College’s outstanding Music program. The VCE band accompanied Allison Crawford, who sang several songs. Charlotte Howie and Sally Beautyman also performed musical items.

When welcoming Minister Merlino, Principal Mr Timothy Hall expressed excitement about the opportunities the new facility will provide, to deliver high end academic outcomes for students.

 ‘Maths, Science and Technology classes have already been held in the new, state-of- the art building since the start of the 2019 school year. When the second stage of the building is completed next year, there will also be state of-the-art facilities for teaching Creative Arts, Manufacturing and Design’, he explained.

Prior to declaring the new building open, Minister Merlino spoke at length with school captains, prefects and year 9 students Mitchell Russell, Max Bennett, Alicia Fox and Kate Thomson, about their school, tertiary education aspirations and career plans.

Year 12 prefect, Jacinda Dixon-Rielly later commented that in discussions with the Minister, students had explained that,

‘Mansfield Secondary College offers students a variety of unique opportunities, from the school music program to Agribusiness, the ski program, Mt Buller Annex, School Based Apprenticeships and a popular Indonesian language program from years 7-12. VCE Indonesian classes are currently studied by Distance Education. Hopefully, there will be Indonesian classes at VCE level soon.’

In his opening address Minister Merlino noted that the students had expressed their desire for more new facilities, to match the high quality teaching at Mansfield Secondary College.


Minister Merlino drew attention to the fact that students who are 15 years old now, can expect to have 17 jobs, across five different careers in their lifetime.

‘75% of our growth industries will need employees with Maths and Science skills,’ he said.

‘To grow those industries, employers will need people with skills in collaboration, leadership, initiative and innovation’.

Both Mr Hall and Mansfield Shire Council Mayor Mr Harry Westendorp highlighted the changing demographics of Mansfield.

Young families make up the biggest growth sector.

 According to Mr Hall, this has dramatic implications.

‘The number of students attending Mansfield Secondary College is predicted to grow from 440 this year to 770 by 2023. That is an extra 320 students.

So, we need to plan for a lot more facilities and more staff to cater for so many more students.’

Shire President Harry Westendorp highlighted how Mansfield Secondary College and Mansfield Shire Council enjoy a close working relationship for the benefit of the whole community.

‘Together, we provide shared facilities for the Secondary College, community groups and individuals. The Performing Arts Centre, owned by Mansfield Shire, is located on school land and the Shire’s Sports Stadium is extensively used by College classes. The school is an integral part of our community.’

If funding is provided for a second indoor basketball court, the Secondary College’s new basketball stadium will meet the burgeoning needs of not only schools, but also the community.