In March, Boundless embarked on its biggest project to date. A group of 33 students from Shepparton in regional Victoria travelled to Melbourne for work experience with Boundless’ partner workplaces, in hard-to-reach professions like law, architecture, medical research and engineering.
The project brought together Year 10 and 11 students from all four of Shepparton’s public high schools (Wanganui Park Secondary College, Mooroopna Secondary College, Shepparton High School and McGuire College).
UPDATE: We've produced a report summarising this project and its impact on students, based on our student surveys. Read the report here.
Shepparton’s high rate of youth unemployment is well known. Earlier this month, a report by the Brotherhood of St Laurence identified the Hume region, which includes Greater Shepparton, as a hot-spot for youth unemployment in Australia.
Despite this, Tim Warwick (Boundless' Shepparton Coordinator and a teacher at Wanganui Park Secondary College) knows that his students have high aspirations for the future. “They aspire to be architects, actuaries, medical researchers and digital marketers.”
Tim says that the biggest challenge he has found is in keeping these high aspirations on track. This is where work experience programs, like that which Boundless offers, come in.
“Our students often don’t have any exposure to the people in these jobs or the places where people in such roles work”, he says.
“To work hard through the final years of high school and make the leap to university, a student from Shepp needs to be able to imagine themselves having a professional career. Boundless helps them do that”.
We want to thank the workplaces that supported these 33 students, in particular Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific (10 students, across a range of different professions including engineering, business management, law, human resources and public relations) and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute (6 students, in various medical research teams), as well as the following wonderful organisations:
- Willis Towers Watson (actuarial)
- Allens (law)
- Ashurst (law)
- Elenberg Fraser (architecture)
- Merck Australia (life sciences)
- Publicis (advertising and digital marketing)
- Department of Justice & Regulation, Human Rights Division (human rights law)
- Victorian College of Arts (theatre production)
- Writers Victoria and Express Media (creative writing and publishing)
- Victorian Bar, Student Engagement Committee (law)
We look forward to posting more profiles about our students' experiences over the coming weeks. You can also read Teach For Australia's story about our Shepparton project and profile of Xhoana's experience at Allens here.
To learn more about our work in Shepparton and other disadvantaged parts of Victoria, please contact Cameron.
Above: Some of our students at Mercedes-Benz Australia/Pacific.
Below: Photos from our student workshop on Monday 14 March.