Students pledge to earn or learn

Gardiner Working in Dairy Communities
Kyabram, VIC - $1,195

For students living in regional areas, it can be hard to know what to do when you finish year 10.
St Augustine’s College in Kyabram, some 200 km north of Melbourne in the Goulburn Valley, has found an innovative way to get students to commit to further education, or to doing what's necessary to find a job, after they reach the end of compulsory education.

They teamed up with the Beacon Foundation to run a number of activities, which culminated in the Beacon Charter Signing Day, where Year 10 students publicly pledge that by the following year, they will be in further education, training and/or employment. 

The lead up involves a 12-month program designed to help young people focus on achieving personal success through engaging and influencing the attitudes and behaviour of the broader community. By harnessing community involvement, the Beacon Foundation works within schools to ensure young people are either 'earning or learning' at vulnerable transition points in their lives.

On 6th September 2012, all Year 10 students at St Augustine’s participated in the Charter Signing, a ceremony where Year 10 students, families, guests and community members are invited to sign a Pledge Board committing to either staying or supporting the students to remain in education, further training and/or gain employment.

Funding from the FRRR-coordinated Gardiner Foundation Working in Dairy Communities grants program financed the Pledge Board and funded the key note speaker, Sam Cawthorn, a Tasmanian who was the 2009 Young Australian of the Year. Sam delivered a thoroughly engaging address that provided positive reinforcement of the Beacon message that every young Australian can develop an independent will to achieve personal success for themselves and their community. Each Year 10 student was presented with a certificate attesting to their involvement in the day, and the participation and support from parents and the community alike was remarkable.

St Augustine’s Principal, Mr Oronzo Farina, said that the Beacon Foundation program supports young people to develop a positive pathway focus.

“With FRRR’s support and the funding from the Gardiner Foundation, we had a tremendous opportunity to make a real difference to many young people’s lives. The Charter Signing ceremony supports our students to develop quality career education with a strong focus for students on building sustainable relationships with the local business community, who were also invited and engaged in this ceremony.”

Watch the film below to get a sense of the day, and the impact it had on both the students and community members.

Video credit: McPherson Media Group.