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Champions of Education

In the sleepy hollows of Glenormiston, Sean Fitzpatrick and his dedicated staff are changing the way students are engaging in education.

The Gnurad-Gundidj Campus of School for Student Leadership is a life changing experience for year nine students from across Victoria and Sean and his team are building confident self learners with strong community connections.

Bringing education back to accountable learning, teaching life skills and open learning are some of the ways they are building future leaders. Decision making and problem solving skills are giving students the skills and guidance in making better choices going forward.

There are many layers that impact on education, including poverty, mental health and the ability to learn. We had insights into the cycles of poverty, the challenges faced and how hard it is to break the cycle. Poverty comes in many different forms, sometimes you may not be aware that someone was struggling and living in poverty. They are very resourceful and often there is a connection with mental health and poverty.

There are now options available for disengaged students to become engaged again, it’s about taking a student centered approach. Schools are Teachers are putting the students in the centre and building education around them, to suit the student, not what the Teacher or a traditional School system dictates. This is a great success.

We learnt that there are options out there for those disengaged from mainstream schooling. There are teachers who are reengaging students, building trust and teaching life skills that change lives. Damian from WAVES is just one example of a school that is doing a great job with students and making a difference in the their lives. We are lucky to have teachers like him in the great south coast.

Overall the day bought new understanding and a positive vibe that there is change in education and options for more personal pathways of learning. There are different ways of educating others and the Teachers we met today are leading the change. They have the students best interest foremost and their passion shines through.

Bradley Collins, 2019 Program Participant

With thanks to Sean Fitzpatrick and staff at the Gnurad-Gundidj Campus, School for Student Leadership for hosting Leadership Great South Coast.

Thanks to our speakers Jon Clegg, Consultant, Damien Farley, WAVE Reengagement School and Simon Perry, Principal Woolsthorpe Primary School

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