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Becoming M.O.R.E. Program

St Thomas More College, Sunnybank is determined to have their students Do More Be More!

In line with this, the college recently held a Becoming More showcase evening.

A-number-of senior students who pursue tertiary education at the end of year-11 and year-12 come from backgrounds where they are the first in their family’s history to study at a university and gain a degree to pursue a chosen professional career. Similarly, many of these students have not had members of their extended family or friends who have gained tertiary qualifications.

As a result, St Thomas More College, Sunnybank, have developed the Becoming M.O.R.E. Program. The program is designed to help high achieving year-11 students who are university bound to enrich their experience of senior secondary education and maximise their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the profession they are interested in pursuing after year-12.

Students who participate in the program complete an application form, nominate why they should be selected and outline a multi-modal project they will generate and present. This will either showcase the career or profession the student is interested in pursuing upon completion of year-12 and/or highlight the knowledge and understanding they have acquired from their mentor and apply this to a piece of work for a subject they are studying.

Each student is teamed up with a mentor from the field of endeavour they are hoping to pursue. Over the course of the program, (which only takes place over a three-month-period), the mentor is a role model, encourager, guide or critic for the student candidate. The aim is to have a professional conversation whereby the mentor discusses their journey and provides the student with a greater insight into the profession. Indeed, the mentor’s involvement in the program helps to enhance the students’ motivation to achieve success with their current studies and boost their confidence to pursue tertiary studies in the future.

Full Becoming MORE Video Transcript

Les Conroy:Okay, good evening to you all, our students, our parents, and of course our mentors. I would like to start tonight by acknowledging our indigenous brothers and sisters, and also acknowledge the land on which we stand, as it has been a place for learning for many generations. I would also like to acknowledge the Elders past, present, and emerging. I’d also like to acknowledge our College Pastoral Board Chair, Mr Chris Lawrence, our P & F President, Mrs Janine Lawrence for coming tonight, you are most welcome. I’d also like to acknowledge our special guests for tonight who have engaged with our students as mentors, and we certainly couldn’t have done it without you. I would also like to acknowledge, of course, the first educators of our young students that are the parents. You are welcome to St Thomas More College, and welcome to our students and staff.
Tonight is a special night, particularly in our school calendar, as we come together for a very specific purpose, and that is to celebrate the work and the partnership of our Becoming MORE participants. It is a poignant programme, I believe, for our students. It is one of our main moral imperatives as Catholic educators to grow our young people and give them every opportunity to reach their full potential. In fact, Brisbane Catholic Education as its motto, is a challenge to schools, for us as a community of learners, to teach, challenge, and transform. So, that translates on the ground is that we involve students so that they can embrace their growth and to become the person that they choose to be without limits.
Our Catholic tradition draws inspiration from St Mary of the Cross MacKillop with one of her most famous sayings that she wrote to the sisters, and I’ll just quote it to you. “We do the work we do so our young people are given the chance to become the person that God has created them to be.” They’re powerful words, I believe, as educators, if we take that on at our core, and in today’s language, and I quite often get this wrong. My daughter tells me when I get it wrong. It’s a statement fully loaded. So I think I’ve got that right. Just when things become cool and I find out about them, they now become uncool.
I think it was also a funny story, my daughter was talking about Snapchat, and she was talking about one of her friends being mean to another friend, and I said, “Well, just unSnapchat her,” and my daughter just looked at me and shook her head and said, “you’re an idiot, Dad.” Don’t even try. Don’t pretend that you’re hip.” So I learned my lesson.
So tonight we recognise and celebrate with very much is echoed in those Mary MacKillop’s words, and I know through your hard work, effort, and commitment the Becoming MORE programme fits nicely with this statement of Mary. I’ll just go in to a bit of statistics here. According to an article in, I think it was the Forbes Magazine I was looking at, it talks about the benefits of mentoring, and I’m not sure I love data and stats, so bear with me because I’m gonna give some today as to why this is so important, particularly in the business world.
It says the benefits to the mentees. “Supporting, attaining skills and knowledge and attitudes and cultural awareness when peers are mentored and is done effectively, the average engagement capital can increase by 66%”. That’s huge, of what they’ve learned. So you can be book smart, but this is a whole other level of engagement and learning, and that comes from the Council for Leadership, so that was a study done in 2011, so that tells me that this programme can have huge impact on a young person’s life, or even an old person’s life. Encouragement for faster learning and growth, both personally and professionally, it gives increased confidence. It gives access to role models outside of the home and the school. It gives greater exposure and visibility for them in their career pathway. It gives increased feeling of being more valued as a person, and that’s very important. Improved communication and expanded networks.
The benefits to the mentors, because they’ve gotta re-go over their learning, it actually says their learning actually improves and it keeps them hungry for thirst and for learning. Expansion of their sphere of influence, reinforcement of their own accomplishments when they passed it on to somebody else, the opportunity to reciprocate, to give back, and if that’s not a Catholic message, I’m not sure what is. It also gives recognition for their work and improved communication and people skills, perhaps one generation to the next.
It also gives the opportunity to change another person’s life, and that’s a pretty powerful thing to do. So, the data is very much supported by social research, and I think it was Ruby Payne that did it. That she talked … that mentoring students or developing a peer-mentor relationship can transform a person’s life. When a peer mentoring is done effectively, the average engagement, again, is 66%, and that’s critical. That can transform their life and develop their network. It also increases, believe it or not, their life expectancy, improves life’s chances, and it will transcend social class structures, so that’s a bit of old language, but that just goes to show the power that can be in this mentoring.
So, tonight we give witness to the growth of our students and to the community of learners that we are thankful for the work that you do with our students. We are thankful to the mentors and the mentees for engaging in this programme, and I’ll now hand over to Julie.

Julie Burkett:Must say it’s been a real pleasure for me, working with the students and the mentors this year. With my first time with Becoming MORE and initially I thought well, this is going to be a challenge, but it’s been a really rewarding experience, and I really appreciate the contribution everyone’s made. There we go. Best of Luck

Keira:So, hi guys. My name is Keira, and as part of Becoming MORE programme I’ve chosen to do occupational therapy and I’ll be very lucky to mentor Andrea O’Brien. I’m hoping to show you what the career consists of and how it can change lives in its varied applications in present and future society.
Occupational therapy is a healthcare profession that focuses on enabling people to live their lives for the full. In OT terms, a full life means engaging in activities that are meaningful, purposeful, and people love, regardless of injury, disabilities, or lifestyle. These activities are what we call occupations, and are essential to all aspects of one’s health. So, all of us find meaning in our lives in the various roles we play, the environment we interact with, and the jobs that we do.
When something happens to us that might compromise our health, like an injury, mental condition, or stroke, it might keep us from doing the meaningful and purposeful activities that make us feel whole. Through creative activities and strategies, OTs can help people suffering from a restrictive injury or illness to get back to doing the things that they love and need to do to live their own, unique life.
OT is unlike any other medical profession. Medicine adds days to life, but occupational therapy adds life to days. OT is a rewarding career. It’s beautiful. You can see directly the work that … the impact that your work has had on the happiness and wellbeing of a wide range of people after an injury, all through fun and realistic activities.
It is a versatile career with many applications in today’s society. Everyone has their own problems and struggles, and with the help of an occupational therapist, someone can overcome these in order to live their life to the full. My mentor Andrea O’Brien works at the Glenleighden School, a lovely little school that focuses on improving learning difficulty, speech, and education through the use of a multidisciplinary team.
In a day of experience I learned much about the career of occupational therapy. The day started off with an assessment of young girl and her fine and gross motor skill development. The tests were comprised of a series of games, including tracing letters, cutting out shapes, an egg and spoon race, and kicking a ball. These tests help to identify her level of gross and fine motor skill in comparison to averages of other children with similar difficulties. This way, her specific needs can be addressed through the use of therapy. For example, the Paper Bag Pal, This is a little activity that focuses on developing fine motor skills, including cutting, glueing , pencil grip, colouring, and while promoting imagination. So, basically you just give the little bag a hair cut, and you make sure to stay on the line, and you can trace over its facial features, and colour in its bow, and you can even glue some googly eyes on there as well. So, anyone want to volunteer, because I have some bags. Yeah? I’ll just quickly hand them out.
So this is a really good activity to promote fine motor skill. It helps with skills, so kids can learn the skills of cutting, colouring, staying within the lines, pencil grip, all that, and these are all life skills that kids will need in their schooling life, and it’s an occupation that kids will need. So this activity combines a series of occupations each child will need in their daily life. Plus it’s lots of fun and disguises therapy in a fun and imaginative way.
At the Glenleighden School, a combination of occupational, music, speech, and physical therapists are utilised to address certain needs. An example of this is handwriting class. It is an activity that occupational and music therapists work together to teach children correct letter form. Students come in and receive a stencil of a letter and a song to instruct the form. Take uppercase M, for example. So, mind my singing. So you go down, dance up, down, dance up, down, dance up, down, and lowercase M, which is down … Oh, sorry, that’s down, dance up, down, dance up, down, and down, lift, down, up, down. So songs help kids just to remember the letter form, so they don’t have to focus too hard on it when they’re writing in the future.
The occupational therapist will then supply sentences with lots of M’s, like “Messy mice making marmalade,” and would instruct and assist with correct pencil grip. All skills that are taught at this school are skills for living, and with the help of occupational therapy, students can effectively participate in life and all its joys independently.
Many children at such schools can suffer from autism and sensory disorders. This can affect a child’s language, school work, and relationships. OT’s can develop strategies to help them make sense of sensory information. For example, a strategy might be to implicate a sensory toy in to a child’s day. Often children with such disabilities seek extra sensory input they might not otherwise be receiving from a particular environment. People require a certain quality and quantity of sensory experience to be skillful, adaptable, and organised in their daily lives. Toys can provide just the right amount of sensory input in a less distracting way.
Sensory toys can build nerve connections to the brain, thus increasing one’s ability to complete more complex tasks, language development, cognitive growth, social interaction, and fine and gross motor skill. Occupational therapists can take all of this in to account when prescribing this type of strategy. The toys can be modified based on age, skill capabilities, and environments. For example, Play-Doh, you might’ve seen me with these at my booth. Some more volunteers would be nice, if you want some Play-Doh. Choose a colour. There you go, you can have two, man. Help yourself. Got two more, none before last time.
So, Play-Doh’s a really good tool to develop strength and fine motor skill. It promotes imagination and all of that kind of stuff, and it’s really good … It’s sensory,iIt’s good for the eyes, so sight, smell, and touch. So this can give sensory information in a nice way for kids, just squeezing it, not too destructive to learning, all that, so, yeah.
So some people might think occupational therapy is a relatively new profession, however, its development is woven in to the fabric of human existence, as occupation has been essential to our survival since the dawn of time. The earliest evidence of using occupations as a method of therapy can be found in ancient times in 100BC. Greek physician Asclepiades treated mental illness humanely, through use of therapeutic baths, massage, and music, and has since developed in to an amazing healthcare profession.
The career owes it’s nearly rapid growth to World Wars I and II, as many ancient soldiers needed rehabilitation when they were injured. Disabled soldiers were taught the skills of wood and metal work, weaving, block printing, and toy making as part of their rehabilitation. Since then, demand for occupational therapy has continued to increase, with new challenges and groups of people requiring rehabilitation. In Australia, the main groups of people who have increased demand for occupational therapy include people on the autism spectrum and those in age care.
So, 1 in every 68 children will be diagnosed with autism. Between 2011 and 2017, autism diagnosis rates have increased by a massive 42% and quickly has become one of the most prevalent psychological disabilities in Australia. As a result, a National Disability Insurance Scheme, or NDIS, has been put into place to help people, support people, sorry, who are paying for therapy as a result of disability. This promotes inclusion, capacity building, and accessibility in the broader community. Due to the scheme, more people have access to occupational therapy at a lesser expense, thus boosting its demand.
A second factor that will increase demand for occupation therapy is Australia’s ageing population. Life expectancy is increasing, and thus the number of aged citizens is, too. In 2014, the median age had increased by a decade, and people over the age of 65 had tripled. These trends are predicted to continue based on population projections of the Australian Bureau of Statistics. By 2096, Australians age over 65 will constitute for 25% of Australia’s population.
An OT can help with practically all issues an elderly person may face, from difficulty walking or Alzheimer’s disease. Due to these factors, OT will be a career with a high demand. Not only this, but forms of technology cannot overtake the career as it’s extremely personal and therapists need to be able to sympathise and understand their client and their needs to aid in their rehabilitation. This is a current and future requirement to be an occupational therapist, as well as being kind, compassionate, and creative.
As you can see, occupational therapy is an amazing career, helping all types of people to overcome their struggles so they can live their life to the full. Occupational therapy is essential to rehabilitate and integrate the injured and ill back into society. This is done through use of occupation and strategies to develop skills and strength. It is likely that someone you know or you love will have had or will use the help of an occupational therapist in a time of physical or mental restriction. Occupational therapy is crucial to promote wellbeing in these groups and all society, promoting happiness and overall wellbeing. Some might say a physical therapist will teach you how to walk, but an occupational therapist will teach you how to put on your shoes and dance the night away. Thank you.

Julie Burkett:Now I invite Lisa.

Lisa:Good evening ladies and gentlemen. My name is Lisa Damons. I had the honour of working … Sorry. I had the honour of working alongside a mentor to study, learn, and gain insight in to the world of marketing. Now, before I begin, I’d like to present you all today with a free gift. What? Yes, you heard me correctly. You’ve all successfully earned yourself free gift by simply just being here, offering me your attention, and allowing me the opportunity to showcase my presentation. Thank you girls. Thank you so much for your help.
You may have noticed a blank piece of paper attached to your gift. For you chance to be in the running for another prize, all you have to do is very simple, really. Louie the Fly will pop up at different places throughout my presentation. Make a tally of how many times you see Louie appear. At the end of the slideshow, you can tally up your score and write down your total and your name in any corner. The papers will then be collected and put in to this box, from where winner will be drawn. The first paper drawn with the correct number wins. Sound simple? Now let’s get on with the show.
I was lucky enough to work with Mrs Lisa Smith, a marketing manager of Sunnybank Plaza and Sunny Park. Oh, why’s it … throughout this programme I’ve learned so much and gained valuable knowledge about marketing and what a marketer’s job entails. To be quite honest, I was very surprised to see just how important a marketer’s job is to a company, or in this case, an entire shopping centre. Most people assume marketing to simply be promoting a product or service, and making sure that consumers are enticed to purchase these goods. Mrs Smith, however, is essentially marketing many stores, making sure they all reach their full sale potential by finding innovative ways to drive and attract consumer activity. Her job involves assisting the Centre Manager to maximise income for store owners, maximise sale potential of the Shopping Centre’s retailers, maximise traffic flow throughout the Centre, monitor and analyse marketing trends and sales performance, explore ways of improving the shopping Centre’s strategic marketing direction to increase market sales and traffic performances, and finally, identifying target markets and developing marketing strategies to communicate with them in an effort to increase market share.
I was very interested to learn about some of the marketing strategies currently being implemented by Sunnybank Plaza and Sunny Park, because, quite frankly, the amount of times I’ve been to the shopping centre, I’ve never once seen it empty. The place is constantly buzzing with activity, so the marketing department must definitely be doing something right. According to Mrs Smith, she considers herself very lucky because the shopping centre has a very distinct demographic, mostly made up of an Asian community. This means the target market is quite narrow, and new or existing marketing campaigns will most likely appeal to most shoppers. A loyalty app, Sunny Rewards, is currently one marketing strategy being utilised, and is an important promotional tool for the shopping centre.
Most marketing activity is supported by a strong social media strategy, using Facebook and Instagram as a key communication and advertising tool. The plaza’s demographic love sales, so school holiday entertainment, value ad offers, and food promotions, such as Sunnybank Plaza’s Award Winning Two Dollar Food Trail are common marketing campaigns.
Now, I was extremely lucky that at the time of the Becoming MORE programme, and working with my mentor, I was able to tag along with Mrs Smith at the promotional event the Two Dollar Food Trail. The event was created to take visitors on a culinary adventure. Food lovers from all over southeast Queensland converged on the precinct to graze on a huge variety of two dollar mini dishes, showcasing a range of oriental cuisine while enjoying live music, traditional Lion dancers, and roving entertainment.
To say that I learned so much about marketing and all the behind the scenes work that goes in to making the event such a success would be an understatement. I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a marketing manager, even if it was just for a few hours. Now, I’ll give you all a run down on the day and what I learned while walking around the shopping centre.
The Two Dollar Food Trail was solely promoted through Facebook. Gone are the days when the event was advertised in a newspaper that would have just reached households around the Sunnybank area. Facebook is a marketing tool that has given the Centre the opportunity to reach a much wider audience, and it was certainly reflected by the great amount of people who attended. All volunteers and people who helped on the day were given this shirt. While the t-shirt’s purpose was to inform shoppers of who would be able to assist them if need be, it also served as a visual promotion. As can be seen, the t-shirt promoted the major competition worth $10,000 on the day.
To have been in the running to win an international foodie adventure for four people with five night accommodation, $100 spending money to any Asian destination was pretty straightforward. At every Food Trail stop, when a visitor purchased a two dollar plate they were given one stamp in this pamphlet. Once they had accumulated eight stamps, they filled in their details, put it in a box located at various locations around the Centre, and was automatically entered into the draw. Personally, I found this an amazing and very clever marketing strategy for this event. Never have I ever seen my parents try everything in their power to get to as many food destinations as they possibly could, just for their chance of winning a competition.
Entertainment, such as traditional Lion dancers, music, and kids’ play area was also a way in which visitors were attracted. Last but not least, many bloggers were invited to help promote the event on their wide platform. It’s safe to say that now I truly understand just how much hard work goes in to making an event like the Two Dollar Food Trail such a success. Before I leave you, though, you may or may not have noticed that before and during my speech, I’ve tried to market my presentation to you all. Now, I would’ve liked to tell you that I handed out free gifts in the beginning because of my generosity and kind nature, but I’d be lying. I adapted the same marketing concept as many stores do. How many times have you either walked past a shop or been browsing through different products online and saw the slogans “Buy One Get One Free” or “Free Sample”? Essentially, I couldn’t physically sell you my speech, but I could do it indirectly.
When consumers or, in my case, audience members, feel like they are getting something in return, or at a discounted rate, they are more likely to buy the product or listen to what you have to say. The Louie the Fly competition was another marketing strategy I hoped would maintain your attention throughout the entire slideshow. Like the Food Trail stamps, people, or audiences, are more willing to go out of their way to buy things, or watch a slideshow presentation, when they know there’s a possibility for a reward at the end. I may or may not have fooled you, but I really do hope you enjoyed my presentation. I also hope that I was able to teach you a little bit about marketing, just as Mrs Smith had done for me. Thank you all so much for your time.
Now for the competition.

Julie:Thank you, Lisa, for another fantastic presentation. It’s very hot competition here this evening, so thanks to Lisa, and now I’ll hand over to Caleb.

Caleb:Engineering. A job with maths and science and buildings and stuff. At least that’s pretty much what I thought at the start of the programme. Over the last few months I’ve learned that engineering is much more than this, and I’m keen to give it a go, and you all should be as well.
To start off, I’d like to say that engineering can be broken into many different fields, so structural engineers, like my mentor, Joe, civil engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, software engineers, mechatronics engineers, and many, many more. All dealing with a wide variety of work, but the field that you guys should all enter is structural engineering.
Over the course of the programme I’ve learned a lot about what structural engineers do, and I’ve also been lucky enough to undertake a day of work experience, and from this, I believe that we should all become structural engineers. So, for those of you wishing to enter the field, the thing I’m sure you’d want to know most is what structural engineers do. Most of the time, when working on a project, an architect will give the engineer drawings of their ideas for a structure, and the engineer is then tasked with making that a reality. This can be done by choosing materials, dimensions, and much, much more. The structure then must be mathematically tested for four different loads. Dead load, the load created by the weight of the structure. Live load, the load created by people and objects using the structure. Wind load and earthquake load, to make sure that the structure stands, and will stand, with these forces acting upon it. And after this and more mathematical testing has been done, the design must be shown to the architect and client again, to make sure they agree, and finally, the structure will be built.
Engineers may also inspect existing buildings and structures to make sure that they are safe, and to see what should be done to make them safe. For example, if a concrete slab is cracking, an engineer may be asked to assess how damaged it is and decide on a cost effective solution to the problem. Most importantly, as Joe said during my work experience, engineers are designers. They use a lot of maths and stuff to make sure their creations are possible, but most of all they are designers, so if you enjoy designing and a bit of maths, engineering is for you.
During the course of the programme, as I said before, I was lucky enough to undertake a day of work experience, and from this it’s fair to say that structural engineering is way beyond my current ability. Sorry about that one, Joe. Yeah, so Joe set me up with a few tasks to give me an insight into what engineers do on a daily basis.
First, I got to study some plans, like that, and … Not those ones, and had to work out where on these the list of construction jobs had to be carried out. Then, after that, Joe showed me a booster cabinet that he was working on. We looked at the architect’s initial drawings, which you can see on screen, and then decided on the thickness of the concrete slabs that were gonna be used to build it, and from there had to work out the pressure on the structure, based on a few earmarked pages of multiple Australian Standards books. This simple maths turned out to be much harder than I expected, and I now know why you need a uni degree to become an engineer. Imagine that for a house.
However, don’t be discouraged. With a bit of practice, Joe tells me this comes easy. After graduation from an engineering degree at uni, you wouldn’t jump straight in to the role of an experienced engineer. As I’ve learned throughout the programme, there’s still much to learn when starting out. Joe has told me that a university degree helps you learn the basic aspects and gives you a basic understanding of the materials commonly used in construction projects.
For the first few years of the job, you would work with a senior engineer to learn the craft and get your bearings in the role, and after some time doing this, you would work on smaller projects, such as a booster cabinet, and eventually widen your scope to engineer larger structures such as houses. Then, after more time you can seek RPEQ registration to take responsibility for your work. This process provides a clear pathway to becoming a senior, registered engineer.
Engineers work primarily from an office, and as I saw during work experience, occasionally leave to go out on site. While on site, engineers may oversee crucial elements of construction, examine existing structures, meet with clients and others involved, and even try to come to terms with the sheer size of the Bunnings they’re looking at on an A3 piece of paper. The number of site visits would also change based on a range of factors, such as the company you work for and the size of the project. This creates a changing and differing working environment for those still interested, and gives you the ability to change how you work in order to suit you.
So, every building requires structural engineering to test its feasibility and help improve its design, but some structures go above and beyond the engineer’s input for your average house, so I’d like to mention the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which you may have seen pictures of at my booth, which stands at a massive 828 metres high. As a structural engineer, there are opportunities to play a significant role in structures such as this. This structure required input from engineers in a different way to most. In the beginning of the design process, structural engineers were employed to determine how to make the structure more aerodynamic, thus reducing the wind load on the building, and design other aspects of the structure, rather than leaving this all to architects. It is interesting to know that if you want to work on major buildings like this, there is the opportunity to do so.
There is generally a demand for structural engineers as there is always a need for houses and other structures to be built. Over time, however, different events occur to change where the focus is being directed. Currently, with the upcoming Commonwealth Games, there was a demand for engineers, most likely only from a selected number of companies, though, to build infrastructure for the event. Moreover, in June this year the Queensland government announced the plan to build over 5,000 new homes in the next 10 years, a project which creates jobs, not only for tradesmen, but structural engineers also. Over time, many other events, such as interest rate changes and other government programmes and future developments in the profession will see changes in demand for engineers. So, for the most part there is stability in the market.
In recent times, a major development in the engineering profession is the use of the computer programme AutoCAD. This programme allows engineers and architects to quickly draw up plans and send them to clients in a very short time frame, which allows structural engineers to accomplish more in one day. However, Joe tells me that most of the job is still carried out with a pen and paper, with the technology used to aid the process of creating accurate plans.
As I’m sure that after today you’ll all want to become engineers, it’s important to know how to get in to the career. A major step in the pathway is achieving a university degree, in which you’ll learn the basics of engineering. This degree is offered at many universities in Queensland, including UQ, QUT, Griffith, James Cook, USQ, Southern Cross, and UNE and many more. To get in to most of these courses, you’re required to study Math B and English in year 11 and 12 and for some, Physics, if you’re still in high school. Across the board, however, it’s recommended to study Maths B, C, Physics and Chemistry for the best chance to succeed in the degree. To become a civil or structural engineer you should also choose to major in civil engineering.
After participation in the programme I have a much better idea of structural engineering, and I’ve learned a lot about the profession and will be keen to pursue it in the future. I hope you all want to become structural engineers now, too.

Julie Burkett:Thank you, Caleb. So, now I’ll invite our judges to, they might like to leave us for a few minutes and deliberate on the … On our finals, first, second, and third, and whilst that’s happening, I’m going to ask Kenny Ariola to speak to us. Kenny’s a former student and a Becoming MORE student from the college, and he was one of our mentors this evening. So, I’ll hand over to Kenny and he’s gonna tell us about his experience as a Becoming MORE student and mentor.

Kenny:Thanks, Julie. Good evening, everyone. My name’s Kenny, as you heard. I had the amazing opportunity to be part of the Becoming MORE programme in 2015, and now I’m a mentor, and one of the main things that really, really, struck me is actually getting a bottle of wine from your old high school. It’s a very eye opener of how far you’ve come in life, or how far I’ve come in my life. I actually got two from you guys, so that was very awkward, I didn’t know what to say. But no … experiencing being a mentee and experiencing being a mentor is such a good experience, because being a mentee … It was such an amazing experience. I looked up to my mentors and I looked at them and I was like, “Wow, you guys are so amazing. You already got your jobs, you already got your life together, and I’m only here doing Math B, I don’t even know what quadratics is,” kind of thing and everything like that.
But now, standing here as a mentee, I had such an amazing time seeing my mentee, a girl, growing up. Not growing up, just growing in the light of learning from me as a student wanting to be a paramedic, and it was such an amazing experience because seeing it from all the mentor’s perspective, seeing students having that spark in their eyes, it’s a kind of like a lift inside your dreams and yourselves, because sometimes when you go in the work force, having to work there for so many times, or being in uni for a long time, three years, four years, sometimes you lose your spark in your eye and you forget why you wanted to be there, but seeing these students tonight … I’m seeing all three finalists here, it’s a lift up because it’s just saying, “That’s why I wanted to be what I wanted to be. That’s why I wanted to do what I wanted to do,” and I just wanted to congratulate everyone here tonight, the students, because they did such a hard job. They did so much effort and it was so amazing seeing you guys and it was such an honour to be one of your mentors. Thank you very much.

Julie Burkett:Thank you, Kenny, and just while we’re waiting for the judges to come back, I’d really like to thank Susanna. All the mentors would’ve had quite a lot of communication with Susanna over the period of the last few months. Okay, so we have a decision, so I’ll have over to Bernadette and Chris.

Chris Lawrence: Thanks, Julie. Can I just say, firstly, thank you, Julie, for all the work that you’ve put in through the whole programme. The organisation of the mentors, the students, the breakfast, and tonight, so thank you very much for your hard work. Thank you. On behalf of the St Thomas More Board, can I just say how awesome is our college? From the food tonight, to the people playing instruments, some of them who are then presenting, to the presentations, I mean, I’ve ordered a new suit. I know if I was to faint there’s someone here that can help me. Building a house, I’m right. I can learn how to play with Play-Doh. What a great time. Thank you, everyone.
Can I just say, on behalf of all of the parents at the college to our mentors, thank you very much for the time that you’ve given to our students. Absolutely amazing. Thank you. I know you’re all busy professionals, but you’ve given up your time and we really appreciate that. To Mr Conroy, just so you don’t feel too bad, if someone told me that something was snapped, I’d want to fix it, so … similarly, when my daughter said to me that they’d just streaked, I locked the doors in the house, so … What is this new thing?

Bernadette:Sandy streaks.

Chris Lawrence: Sandy streaks? Dear … Tonight, for Bernadette and myself, was a very hard decision, because I think all three of our finalists did a very good job. Thank you so much for your presentations. Thank you for taking on board what your mentors have shown you, and, as I said at the breakfast, thank you for stealing with your eyes and with your ears from your mentors, because I think you all did that very well. To … This is in no particular order, just some feedback to our finalists. Did you want to start?

Bernadette:Sure.

Chris Lawrence: You can start.

Bernadette:Okay. Thanks. I’d just like to echo what Chris said, which is that this programme is absolutely fantastic. I’m actually one of those people that went to this school very, very many years ago. Well … Maybe five or six. Is that right, Mr Stanford? 20? No, no, no, no. And when this kind of thing actually started when I was in year 11, the concept was that we had to do an assignment on it and those assignments were handwritten and hand referenced, and hand everythinged. So, the first thing I guess I want to say is that I really appreciate how much effort that you all put into your presentations. It’s not an easy thing to do to pull together a Powerpoint, and many of the people in the circle, public speaking industry, will stand here, speak to you, and speak to exactly what’s on that Powerpoint, so it becomes really, really boring. So, one of the things that I really, really appreciated about what you did was the fact that your Powerpoints assisted you. They weren’t the basis of everything that you did, so that was really, really excellent.
You all had a very good understanding of your professions and demonstrated that really well. You’re all very engaging and bright and bubbly young people, so I wish you the absolute best with your chosen careers. You made tonight actually very difficult for us.

Chris Lawrence: Thanks, Bernadette. Just one thing that I wanted to say in relation to the feedback, I think you all showed very good examples, the three of you, of your chosen careers. You had a good understanding of what the future looks like for those careers as well, because you are the future of those careers. It’s very hard, when you’re standing up in front of people, to deliver a talk, and I would just say to you just try and slow down a little bit. That’s about the only thing, I know that’s hard. You hid it very well, all three of you, with a little bit of humour. Engaging your audience, I thought the engagement of the audience was fantastic. My fellow judge loved her chocolate.

Bernadette:Straight up.

Chris Lawrence: I won’t keep you any longer, Mr Stanford. I know you’re off to the footy. Sh, oh no. Wasn’t I supposed to say that? So we might start with third place. Can you do a drum roll?

Bernadette:No.

Chris Lawrence: No? Okay. In third place, with the occupation of occupational therapist, is Keira. Well done. As I say, we wish that we could hand out three first places.

Bernadette:Absolutely.

Chris Lawrence: Do you want to do second?

Bernadette:Okay. I’m gonna do second. Which is actually doing second and first, right? Yeah. Okay. So, can I say that when we went through and had this skinny little scoring sheet, these are the criteria that we had to judge you against. Reveals the depth of understanding of the profession, demonstrates a cooperation with the mentor, demonstrates originality and flair, sources and other material used for the project are referenced, key issues for the profession are synthesised, current initiatives and future directions are examined, and the presentation is informative and engaging.
Can I say that against all of those criteria, second and first place scored exactly the same, because it was so incredibly difficult to separate your understanding and knowledge about the areas. The one thing that differentiated them, I guess, was … Well, I should say the differentiating factor was the application and the synthesis of the strategies for that particular profession were actually shown in the presentation while talking about the presentation.
So, in that case, we’d like to say that second place tonight goes to Caleb … Which makes our Becoming MORE winner for 2017 Lisa. Congratulations.

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