Annual Report 2019
Rose Lewanski – Chair Future Connect
I feel privileged to have worked closely with our Executive Officer, Deirdre Hardy. I am in awe of her positive attitude and commitment to the principles of supporting young people’s employment and training aspirations and facilitating greater community inclusion for all young people and their parents. I must also acknowledge the amazing work done by our previous Chair, Ollie Gladwell who stood down from the position at last year’s AGM.
2019 has been a big year for Future Connect, with many great achievements and a year of change.
Future Connect registered as an incorporated entity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). The Committee of Management decided it was time to review the current governance arrangements prescribed in 2002 for Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLEN) by the Department of Education. A governance sub-committee was established in February 2019, who have worked extremely hard on developing new model rules that provides stakeholder input, organisational stability and good governance. At our Annual General Meeting, the current Committee of Management will be asked to accept the new governance arrangements, followed by the election of a new Board.
There were many activities during the year, such as our always successful Brimbank Careers Fair. The partnership with “Deakin University” to carry out research to understand how people in Brimbank and Melton view Vocational Education and Training courses and to explore how accessible VET courses are in Brimbank and Melton. Engagement with industries that are large employers in the Western corridor, broadening students’ knowledge and undertstanding of the types of jobs on offer. I would like to thank the Future Connect team on their achievements – Deirdre Hardy, Lea Lucas, Robin Lockington, Dianne Debrincat and Lyndsay Mandaru for their dedication and hard work.
Finally, I would like to thank the Committee of Management for their dedication and participation over the past year. I know all of them are extremely busy people and their time and contribution is really appreciated. I know we look forward to an exciting 2020-2021 year for Future Connect.
Executive Officer's Report
2019 was another year of innovation at Future Connect. Several exciting new activities were added to our events schedule. Our regular events such as the Brimbank Careers Fair and the SBAT Breakfast were very well received and generated great feedback.
Each staff member at Future Connect has led at least one major project and should be acknowledged. The Future Connect Logistics Project was a new way for us to explore the disconnect between young people’s interests and the jobs on offer in our area now and into the future. Through this project we addressed the question ‘how can we interest young people in logistics careers?’ I would like to thank Di Debrincat, Workplace Learning Project Officer for her leadership, enthusiasm and persistence in this very accomplished project.
In the spirit of showing students the range of roles they might pursue. Twenty two students were taken on an industry visit to Flemington Racecourse. They were able to see the many jobs on offer in the horse racing industry – this ranged from grooms to chefs and horticulturalists to IT. Robin Lockington was instrumental in ensuring the success of this industry visit.
Lyndsay Mandaru joined us in 2019 and enthusiastically and very capably immediately organised the SBAT Breakfast. She very quickly developed her skills in SWL and is proving to be a very capable Workplace Learning Coordinator.
As always, Lea Lucas has continued to be the driving force behind the Brimbank Careers Fair. Organising exhibitors, sponsors and (perhaps most challenging of all!!) catering. Of course, for an organisation our size, running such a big event (1600+ students, 8 schools and 60+ exhibitors) requires the whole team to contribute. Maria Cox was involved in the planning of the Brimbank Careers Fair and we also thank her for her contributions to many activities in early 2019. Maria left us to go to Head Start so we are pleased to continue to cross paths with her.
It is important that I acknowledge the time, commitment and support of the Committee of Management. Bizarrely, in 2019 we had three Chairs and I thank each of them for their work. Ollie Gladwell was Chair until the AGM and her energy and tireless enthusiasm and support for the LLEN is much appreciated.
Ron Miers very aptly jumped into the breach. His professionalism, commitment (and occasional jaded scepticism) was vital and his continued commitment to the Committee of Management Executive lent much appreciated expertise.
Finally, Rose Lewanski became Chair (again, she has been the LLEN Chair in 2020). Anyone who hears Rose speak about Future Connect could not help but be touched by her compassion, generosity and commitment to the young people of Brimbank and Melton.
I thank all of the Committee of Management members for their support of Future Connect and many have offered a great deal of support to me personally. As we embark on a period of change in our governance structure I would also like to acknowledge the Governance Sub-Committee, ably chaired by Ruth Giles and including Piper Rodd, Ollie Gladwell, Tanya Sofra and our chair and deputy chair Rose Lewanski and Sally Edwards. Their work on the painstaking process of updating our rules and working through the ramifications has been tireless.
In this period of health, societal and economic uncertainly it is natural to be concerned about unemployment and particularly youth unemployment rates. We are seeing unprecedented increases in the rate of people needing to access welfare and unemployment benefits. This period of uncertainty highlights the importance of the role of LLENS; to provide school and industry connections, support various networks and collaborations, and facilitate Structured Workplace Learning. We continue to be committed to the young people, employers and schools of Brimbank and Melton.
In 2019 Future Connect conducted a review of the Logistics industry as a career pathway for students in the Brimbank/Melton area. The focus for this review arose from feedback via the VET cluster that Certificate II in International Freight & Logistics although offered as a course of study was not being taken up by students...
Future Connect has been developing partnerships with industries in Melbourne's West to try and provide career pathways opportunities for young people in the area. One of the partnerships being developed is with Racing Victoria...
Mother’s Day Breakfast
The Mothers Day Breakfast held on Friday 10 May 2019 was a successful event that celebrated the role women play in influencing and supporting each other. The role of mothers, female mentors and role models are important to young impressionable women thinking about their careers and aspirations in life...
Future Connect aims to connect young people with real world industry experience as part of their pathway preparation to the world of work. There are many employers with targeted programs to support young indigenous people...
On 8 May 2019 Future Connect once again hosted the Brimbank Careers Fair at Lakeside Banquet & Convention Centre in Taylors Lakes where Brimbank secondary school students and exhibitors once again experienced a great day when the two came together...
Future Connect's work is built around partnerships with key organisations and individuals in the community across the business, education and training, government and non-government agency sectors...
Future Connect in collaboration with Dr Piper Rodd from Deakin University conducted research on Student choice, public perception and the accessible provision of Vocational Education and Training (VET) pathways in Brimbank and Melton...
There were several changes in the SWL space at Future Connect during 2019. Maria Cox finished in April and Lyndsay Mandaru started in August in the position of Workplace Learning Co-ordinator...
Student Bio Page
Future Connect hosted a number of students during 2019.