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Sydney Road Community School in Brunswick is one of more than 100 that has recognised students through the inaugural IntoWork “Vibrant Futures” awards program.
IntoWork Australia, a leading not-for-profit provider of employment, skills, education and support services, launched the award in 2023 to support schools to recognise Year 11 students who exemplify the values of Integrity and Respect.
The Vibrant Futures Award program builds upon the existing work the IntoWork Group does with young people, students and school leavers across Australia, which includes career advice and mentoring, apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities, transition support services, employment and training programs and youth engagement programs.
Sydney Road Community School caters to students in years 7–12 offering a blend of VM and VCE programs, as well as various re-engagement and hands-on learning initiatives. The school is committed to nurturing students who have disengaged from the education system by creating a supportive environment where students can thrive.
The school’s Assistant Principal, Mel said the award reinforces values held by the school. “We aim to create an inclusive environment where everyone has the opportunity to come to school and feel respected so that they can access education,” she said.
Shelley, a Careers Officer & Hands on Learning Coordinator at the school, nominated Sydney, a humble and respectful student who represents these values effortlessly. “Respect is one of our school’s core values and Sydney lives these values – respect and integrity – every day,” Shelley remarked.
Despite Sydney’s shyness, his actions speak volumes, as he consistently demonstrates kindness and respect to everyone, making him a deserving recipient of the Vibrant Futures Award.
Mel said the award demonstrates that the world values not only what we do, but also how we do it. “This recognition will make the students think and realise that what they do here truly matters.” She believes the award will have a ripple effect, “When someone from outside the school recognises the values we teach, it makes a huge difference.”
“It’s not just another internal thing; it shows that our efforts matter to the wider community. This external validation, along with the award and cash prize, gives our work genuine value,” she explained.
Year 11 student, Sydney, was proud to receive the award and met with applause from fellow students, acknowledging his well-deserved achievement.
“It’s not just about me recognising those values in him, it’s helping him realise it and appreciate that about himself. He’s extremely deserving of the award and he should know that.” Shelley said.
Mas National’s Career Consultant, Steven Roberts, presented the award and provided an information session afterwards for students considering their post-school options. “The traditional academic route is not for everyone and there are so many pathways to success. I always recommend a pre-employment program for young people to ‘try before they buy’,” Steve advised, emphasising, “I’m here to answer questions and help young people find a career that they love.”
IntoWork Australia commends Sydney Road Community School for their dedication to nurturing the values of integrity and respect, along with ensuring positive outcomes through specialised learning programs.
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