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VCAL – Rebekah's story

Rebekah's story

Literacy and Numeracy Skills
Oral Communication Senior, Reading and Writing Senior, Numeracy Skills Senior

Personal Development Skills
Units 1 and 2 (Senior)

Work Related Skills
Unit 1 (Senior)

Product Design and Technology Unit 1

VCE VET Agriculture Units 1 to 4

English Units 1 and 2

Food Studies Units 1 and 2

Health and Human Development Units 1 and 2

General Mathematics Unit 1

Outdoor and Environmental Studies Units 3 and 4

Rebekah won the VCAL Senior Personal Development Skills award at the VCAA VCAL Achievement Awards in 2019.

Why was VCAL the right pathway for you?

The VCAL was hands-on learning and related to real-life experiences. I was able to do projects that involved the things I was interested in and passionate about. I was able to grow my leadership skills in projects I wanted to deliver.

How has the VCAL prepared you for the future?

I’ve learnt that things don’t go your way and I know how annoying it can be, but you have to look at the other side of it, and problem-solve to make it work in the end. Public speaking was something I didn’t enjoy at school, but being made to do it really helped. I do feel a little more confident in public speaking now, and I know I do have the courage to do it.

While studying for the VCAL you initiated a fundraiser event to raise awareness of the high rate of suicide among farmers. What was your motivation behind this event, and what did it mean for the local community?

When I was asked to think of a project to do for VCAL I decided I wanted to involve the whole community. It was on social media that I saw many posts by ‘the Naked Farmer’. I thought about that for a while and decided I could do something with this. The Naked Farmer was run by Ben Brooksby, a local man aged in his 20s, who lived not far out of Horsham in Western Victoria. It ticked all the boxes: he was helping farmers nationwide and even worldwide with his message about mental illness.

After talking to the class and teachers, we came up with the idea of holding a community mental-health night based on the Naked Farmer. Mental health is a huge issue, especially in rural areas where there is no or limited help available. Around 100 people attended the evening and it was a really good feeling seeing so many people there especially knowing they were farmers and their families, who were my target audience.

What would you tell future students who are considering VCAL?

Do it, don’t hesitate. VCAL is about real life experiences and is hands-on. You will enjoy it more because you will be involved in negotiating your learning and your own project choices.

What are your top study tips?

Choose something that you’re actually interested in. Choose something you love, that way you will take time to actually do it properly and study it.

Do it the way you want to, so if you have a certain way of laying stuff out, do it your way. Mine was colour: I loved to see colour in my books. I colour coded a lot of things, which helped with laying it out. It looked neat, and it worked best for me.

What are your plans for the future?

I would love to have my own catering and cake business, as I did this type of hospitality in my Year 10 work experience, which I thoroughly enjoyed more than anything. I would love to become a patisserie chef, as I love desserts and learning how to make them using different techniques.