Education Vision 2020 – St James College, Brisbane Leadership Team

St James College, Brisbane has the mantra, ‘Global Learning, Achieving Aspirations’.

Part of the college leadership team, Kristina Dolejs explained how the mantra is leading to their students having the skills to achieve their aspiration right across the world.

“And we’re combining that with the three C’s of Choose, Connect and Commit, in the thinking of the individual as to how I actually achieve those global aspirations and global learning,” Kristina Dolejs explained in the podcast interview above.

“By having either 70 different cultures in the school with many of our students being multilingual and over half of them having English as an additional language, we are in a place where the students do make friendships with the world if they come to the college.

“And in that, what we’re looking at, we’ve changed our structure and even in our leadership team, we have a position for identity and global advocacy so that the thinking of people is global, that the world is small because of technology now connecting us.

“So that we are embedding that into our curriculum and then trying to capture that within our curriculum so that it can be used as a passport, almost, to say our students who come here will get a passport to say they’re globally and culturally competent.”

The college principal, Ann Rebgetz talked about how the culture at St James College, Brisbane is immersive.

“Well, it’s like a full-time immersion every day,” Principal Rebgetz said.

“Whereas, other schools will have to venture to communities overseas to get the experience.

“You come to St. James, and you live that experience because the stories are there.

“They’re very moving stories of many of the families that we have here.

“But in saying that, they’ve got this tremendous hope and optimism for the future, because they can see the wonderful opportunities that they have ahead of them (because of the St James College, Brisbane education they are getting).”

This podcast publication is part of the Education Vision 2020 series.

Read the St James College, Brisbane Leadership Team podcast interview TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew: Thank you very much for your company. We are back with the series Education Vision 2020. We’ve been getting around a number of the schools and looking at the education as it’s heading into 2020, looking at where it has been, where it’s going. There’s many a reports that are out that say that well-educated individuals will live longer, have more fulfilled lives and enjoy life more. And that’s also quite the same for a country that has educated people in it. Countries are proven to be more prosperous.

So to have a chat about it, we’re here at St. James College today. And I’m really looking forward to this, because we have some of the leadership team, and they have been very, very busy. There’s been a period of transformation and looking to the future. They’ve recently travelled to China, so they’ve actually got an international perspective when it comes to education.

So first of all, let’s meet some of them. The Principal, Ann Rebgetz, if you can introduce yourself.

Ann Rebgetz: Thank you, Andrew. Yes, and I am the Principal of St. James College. Very proud to be in that role, and we are very futuristic in our outlook.

Andrew: Yeah. Kristina Dolejs.

Kristina Dolejs: Yes, hello. How are you, Andrew? So my role here at the school is, I’m the Assistant Principal for Learning Innovation and Pathways.

Andrew: And Marty Wiseman.

Marty Wiseman: Morning, Andrew. I’m the Deputy, and it’s terrific to be here.

Andrew: Yeah, look, through this series, we haven’t had a business manager that’s attended one of these podcasts so far. But I’m really, really keen to bring that into the conversation, because funding is a big part of education. And it quite often helps achieve outcomes. And we have a business manager, David Cantwell. How are you?

David Cantwell: And thank you, Andrew. It’s great to be here and great to be the inaugural business manager in this podcast series.

Andrew: Oh, I thought you might like that.

David Cantwell: Yeah.

Andrew: Now, first and foremost, Ann Rebgetz. The state of education, you have been in and around education for quite some time. You always have quite a view over where it’s at. How do you feel education, as far as Australia goes, right now?

Ann Rebgetz: Well, I think Australia does need to have a turbo charge of the economy, as Paul Keating said in the Australian recently. In terms of vocational education and training, the Australian government mantra of Real Skills for Real Careers is a great one, but it indicates that people have lost a little bit of sight of the importance of hands-on learning to get the best outcomes for every vocation and every career in Australia.

Andrew: So what are some of the things that you think would … Look, turbocharge would suggest that we need to get it moving very quickly. What are some of the things that you think would be really big ticket items that would get education moving?

Ann Rebgetz: I think a campaign that promotes throughout Australia, in terms of all sorts of media platforms, incentives to employers. Because employers, every dollar counts, and you can change a lot of mindsets with considerable incentives, particularly getting people into professions where there may be gender stereotypes, both male and female. Obviously, in terms of the trades, there’s not many women in traditional trades, and we need to explore that one because we’re missing out on half the population.

Andrew: Yeah, Kristina, you oversee the implementation of curriculum. There are some big changes in that area. Just following on from what Ann Rebgetz said, what are some of the things that can be done to turbocharge education when it comes to curriculum?

Kristina Dolejs: Yeah, you’re right, Andrew. There are a lot of things that are changing, and we’re making sure that we’re on the cusp of that. So we highly value the vocational education in the school, and we value the traditional academic subjects in the school, as well. So we try to promote for students to have a blended pathway in what they’re doing so that their every opportunity is open for them, and keeping in mind that employers are looking for those skills that they’re going to get through their vocational education, the hands-on experience through work placements and school-based traineeships. So that’s been a real focus for us, as well as ensuring that all the foundation skills of numeracy and literacy are growing and being reinforced and really becoming a power for our students, as well.

Andrew: Yeah. We’ve heard through the series that government, when it comes to funding and education, looking at curriculum, they’re very much focused on things that can be measured, just because then from their perspective, look at and tell a story as to whether they think they’re succeeding or they’re not so much. But there’s a shift through, well, how do you … critical thinking’s important, creativity’s important. Particularly, and I’ve heard it talked about around St. James College, that artificial intelligence and robots that are going to take on tasks that can be repetitive, some of that’s going to shift. How do you, as a college, push things like critical thinking and creativity, some of those things that may not be quite measurable?

Kristina Dolejs: Yeah, of course. We’re trying to make sure that it links across all of our subjects. So you’re right, they’re not measurable, but they’re hugely important and we’re aware that the best way for students to learn them and to become better at that is to have experience in that. So we’re having very practical subjects or hands on experiences in the subjects, and crossing those curriculum over so that if you’re doing something with design technology in a computer room, you can also go down to the trade training centre and implement that in creating a product as well, that can then go up into the business enterprise section of the school and become something that’s quite marketable and give students a whole variety of being entrepreneurial, as well, in what they’re achieving.

Marty Wiseman: Andrew, if I can jump in, there.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Marty Wiseman: And that’s absolutely true, what Kristina is saying. The other aspect that’s really, really important if we’re producing students who are marketable and going to be successful in their chosen career, is wellbeing. So having a school that can cater for the improvement of wellbeing across staff and students, but particularly students, because the cost to society of not having students who have good emotional and mental health is a lot worse than the cost of actually promoting that in a school system.

So St. James has a number of programs which are designed to promote wellbeing amongst our students. And I’d like to say we’re probably at the cutting edge in a lot of that stuff, and the development of the relationship between the student, their parents and carers in the school and the time and effort that goes into fostering that triangular relationship is extremely important for the wellbeing of our kids. And moving into the future, having a workforce that is adaptable, skills wise, but also emotionally intelligent is going to put us, I think, at the forefront of global education and certainly global performance.

Andrew: You’ve said the word global. If we can just discuss for a moment, you took a trip over to China, and you looked at education over there. In fact, you’ve formed some partnerships over there. How’s Australia going compared to China?

Ann Rebgetz: I think we have much to learn from each other. In terms of China, they’ve done an incredible job in terms of their infrastructure and technology. And in terms of their schooling system, it’s a big investment for them. They absolutely worship education and realise its power to change, to power, to change a country. And we take that on board, in terms of that, but we are probably a little bit more creative in the ways we approach our education and look at the importance of flexibility, transferability of skills, the hands on with the theory, which is what we’re saying here, to be the best engineer or best doctor, if you’ve got your hands dirty with nursing or your hands dirty on the tools, you’re going to come out better in the end.

So China’s a little bit like that, and we’ve hosted groups of people and so has TAFE in Queensland from China, some of the lecturers who think that the system and the way we do a combined system is very innovative and will lead to the best outcomes.

Andrew: So essentially what you’re saying in the middle of all of that, that China actually looks to Australia for help with their education.

Ann Rebgetz: I think they are very smart, China.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ann Rebgetz: They’re looking for all countries to get ideas from because they’re educated. So if you’re educated, you’re educated in critical thinking and questioning and looking to develop the best that you can, in terms of whether it’s in a building infrastructure or in a health infrastructure, they’ve got very many people to look after. So yeah, new ideas, new thinking.

Andrew: And so when you look at curriculum and you look at the marketable person as they graduate as a student, how important is culture in the middle of all of this, of the college? Is it more important in curriculum, or is curriculum more important, or is there another argument to bring to that?

Kristina Dolejs: Well, probably … Our mantra is Global Learning, Achieving Aspirations.

Andrew: Yeah.

Kristina Dolejs: And we’re combining that with the three C’s of Choose, Connect and Commit, in the thinking of the individual as to how I actually achieve those global aspirations and global learning. By having either 70 different cultures in the school with many of our students being multilingual and over half of them having English as an additional language, we are in a place where the students do make friendships with the world if they come to the college. And in that, what we’re looking at, we’ve changed our structure and even in our leadership team, we have a position for identity and global advocacy so that the thinking of people is global, that the world is small because of technology now connecting us. So that we are embedding that into our curriculum and then trying to capture that within our curriculum so that it can be used as a passport, almost, to say our students who come here will get a passport to say they’re globally and culturally competent.

Andrew: David, all of this to achieve these things, it costs money. How important is it for a college like this and education on a state base, education on a country base, how important is it for it to be well funded?

David Cantwell: Oh, absolutely. Look, we are quite unique with the school that we’ve got. We’re a 151 years old. We’re a small little campus on the fringe of the CBD, so we don’t have the flash ovals. We don’t have the swimming pool. But as Marty said before, we have teachers with an extraordinary amount of passion and we have a curricular that really is exceptionally targeted to outcomes. And you can’t actually have, of course, any outcomes until you get the students in. And we’ve always prided ourselves on a school that is inclusive. And you can’t do that if you are a refugee family and you simply cannot afford the full fees.

So St. James has always prided itself on having a fairly flexible arrangement when it comes to fees, a flexible arrangement when it comes to payment of those fees, and also to ensure that there are supports right throughout the whole process. So for example, when kids don’t have enough money to go to a formal, which is such a memorable and social part of their Year 12. Money is raised for that. And because, ultimately, if we’re not sustainable, then it’s not going to really be a long-term prospect.

Ann Rebgetz: And I’d probably add to that, in terms of the transition of pathways of students, if you have a student who perhaps is a refugee, they’re very hungry to get the education and to get the outcome, because it takes them into new opportunities in society and new income in society.

And I guess another part, in terms of the business role, though, is the college is a business. All schools are businesses. All schools have the capacity, they employ a lot of staff, they have buildings, have a big infrastructure. And so the capacity in that is to form partnerships with other businesses. And in that, there’s opportunities, in terms of enterprise and flourishing. And as our students all need to be entrepreneurs and to have enterprise skills, as we know, is very well researched in the data coming out for the future. We try to model that best practice.

Andrew: Yeah. Can we explore, because there’s been a mention of refugees, and there’s been a mention of them having access to education through a place like St. James College. What’s the benefit to the country? And really talk to the country so that they can start understanding this, that when you bring a refugee that needs to leave where they have come from because of horrific circumstances, and we’ve heard those stories here. But actually, they can become very, very productive to society, and in fact help the country. It might be small, it might be big. Can we go through and just discuss some of that? Because you guys have been living this and breathing this.

Ann Rebgetz: I think number one in that aspect is, you’ve got families that have come across the world to Australia. So they’ve often been in one area, gone to another country in a refugee camp. Then they’ve come to another country, all in different languages, all in different cultures. Through that relocation, many times they’ve developed gaps in education. But alongside of that, they’ve developed a confidence and a maturity and a resilience that perhaps some of our other students don’t have, because they haven’t had to face the barriers and overcome the barriers. Would you think so, Marty?

Marty Wiseman: Oh, well and truly, Ann. The desire of these students to fully participate, to, I guess, thank the country that’s given them an opportunity, by being the best person that they possibly can be and the most productive person. But certainly their desire to leave the tragedy and the trauma behind them. And Ann talked about the resilience of being able to do that, which is really quite extraordinary. They’re a lesson to all of us, in terms of how to live your life. And our country is only going to be the more richer for giving these people an opportunity.

Andrew: Yeah, you said that that could be a lesson to all of us. What about the other students, them having the experience to come into contact with that and to be aware of this? How do you see them grow? You’ve all been involved in other schools, so what have you seen and witnessed here?

Ann Rebgetz: Well, it’s like a full-time immersion every day.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ann Rebgetz: Whereas, other schools will have to venture to communities overseas to get the experience. You come to St. James, and you live that experience because the stories are there. They’re very moving stories of many of the families that we have here. But in saying that, they’ve got this tremendous hope and optimism for the future because they can see the wonderful opportunities that they have ahead of them. And as Marty said, they are wanting to give back. And that’s what we want in Australia.

If you look at the history of people in Australia in terms of people coming to Australia from other countries, everyone’s come as migrants at some stage. Our indigenous people are the long-term stayers.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ann Rebgetz: And in terms of that, they’ve all wanted to give back and work as a community together, because they’ve left their communities, they’ve left their families. And many times, they might’ve lost their families. So they want to build a new community. All societies thrive from community. And if we don’t have that community, we will lose the way ahead, in terms of that. And being a Catholic school, we put that lens over everything that gives that filter, that says we belong and we have hope.

Andrew: Yeah. And you’re very much looking to the future there again, which is terrific. Kristina, with the curriculum, what adaptations have you made? Any implementation because of the students that you’ve had attending this college?

Kristina Dolejs: Yeah, we have done a lot, Andrew. And not necessarily just because of the students we have.

Andrew: Yeah.

Kristina Dolejs: But also because of the future of work and where we’re heading with that. We do have, as Ann mentioned, a lot of students who have English as a second, third, fourth, some of them, fifth language. So we have a real focus on literacy within the college. And reports coming out this week showing the PISA results as well, saying Australia, across the whole nation, needs to improve in their literacy and their numeracy. So we’re ahead of that already. We’re already trying to improve the literacy and numeracy of our students in the college. They have an incredible way of learning and incredible depth to their ability of learning. And so it’s trying to consolidate that for them, as well, and offer them the opportunities to bring the knowledge that they already have and the skills that they’ve learned on their journey to St. James. And that doesn’t necessarily just mean the students who have come from overseas, but local students, as well, who have travelled here. And they learn from each other, and they grow with each other on that journey, as well, and see the opportunities and the value that each student brings to each other, as well.

So yeah, we’ve done a lot of … We’ve had a really big focus this year, particularly on our literacy and made sure that our staff who have embraced the process really well are part of that journey, as well.

Andrew: Yeah, for a moment of clarity, because we have an audience that’s following this series. And quite often they’re parents that are trying to make some decisions for their children as to what they should be doing, education wise, and the pathways that, maybe they should be taking. Why would a parent that is, say, in one of the suburbs of Brisbane, fairly ordinary when it comes to statistics and what have you, why would they consider St. James? Not so much like as a sales pitch, but you’ve made the case when the students come into contact with multiculturalism, what are some of the other benefits that their child are going to really explore and have opportunities to take advantage of, that maybe they don’t get just by going to any other school?

Ann Rebgetz: I think the number one is all students are unique.

Andrew: Yeah.

Ann Rebgetz: It is very student-focused. All students are different. They look different. Many of our students, well, international students, are mainly from China and Vietnam and Korea and Japan. So those students are different, again, and have different cultures; each of them, and different languages. Our students from the Middle East and from Africa, from Sri Lanka, all of those students coming in; everyone is different. And for those students who are in our location and interested in coming to the school, or who are from Anglo-Australia, they actually may feel very much part of this, because every individual is different, and they can feel accepted. I think that’s very important.

Secondly, we have a very big breadth of curriculum that we are offering. And with that breadth, we find a way. Recently, as a finalist in the Sydney Australian Training Awards as a school, in terms of … That’s a top three in the country. We spoke of the topology of pathways. And in that topology, we ran the analogy of being like a train network. So if I want to get from the airport to, say, Nundah, I might have to come into the city on the train and then travel out to Nundah. But I actually could go a different way to Nundah, probably, too, through the northern suburbs.

So if you think of your career pathway a little bit like that; that you might come to this school, we’ll find that path, that train path that’s going to suit the strengths of the child. So we look at strengths-based education along with rights-based education, and in that strengths, we find what is their ability. Not the things they can’t do, but how can we find that way in the train network that’s going to give them the ride to get to their destination of being the teacher or the engineer or the builder or the nurse, whichever we want to get to in the end.

Andrew: Yeah, yeah. And what do you pass onto … There was a really, really good story that came out at a recent graduation ceremony. Anjeela and Ali, I Hope I pronounced that right, but there’s quite the story. Guys, jump in and talk about this, because the world needs to know about it.

Kristina Dolejs: Oh look, absolutely. Anjeela and Ali are brother and sister, and they came to the country about 18 months ago, so they had quite a journey, themselves. They have enough Afghani background, but they’ve been in Pakistan because they had to leave Afghanistan with their family, and then they were in limbo a little bit in Pakistan before they were finally able to arrive in Australia, so a big gap in their learning. But these two amazing students arrived in Australia so keen to learn and so willing to be involved in anything and everything that they could, which they did do. And they actually received the highest academic results of all of our students. And in the end, they received a Dual Dux Award of the college because they were inseparable on their results. Not that they did the same subjects, but achieved standards that were just incredible across their subjects. So they’re now in the process of trying to apply to University, but with that refugee background, as well, it’s going to be a long journey for them, if there isn’t financial assistance for them from the universities or the government, in the form of scholarships because they literally arrived here with nothing, and they’re trying to build a life that they deserve.

Andrew: Marty, you’ve witnessed that journey. How on earth does that play out to this outcome?

Marty Wiseman: I’ve actually got no idea, Andrew, to be frank. It’s the internal drive that these two students have exhibited here, is an example to all of us, in my view. They turned up here halfway through grade 11, and did, essentially, a year’s worth of work in half the time and achieved really extraordinary results.

Andrew: What about the community? I take it that they wouldn’t have done this without the college community getting behind them. Yeah?

Marty Wiseman: Well definitely the teachers were in lockstep with them, because of the inspiration that they provided. So our teaching staff, fell in behind and supported them all the way, of course. The relationships that they have here at school are genuinely authentic with the other kids. They’re certainly not looking to be felt sorry for, or don’t feel any less than any other student or any more than any other student. And I think that’s the great thing about St. James, is the authenticity of the relationships that we foster here, but enables them to fulfil their quite considerable potential.

Andrew: And you mentioned that they inspired teachers. What about other students? Did you see a lift in the student culture and them wanting to achieve, because they’re seeing these two that have got such challenges ahead of them, but they’re stepping up to the plate and achieving?

Kristina Dolejs: Yeah. Look, I think so. And I think, too, though, Ali and Angela are just two of many students in our school with a very similar backstory and very similar drive to be the best people that they can be in every aspect of their learning. And it’s not an unusual story to be told at St. James. We’ve got a lot of students like that, and so it is a culture that’s already here and a culture of students aspiring to be like the student next to them, but also proud of the student next to them, and they all lift each other up on that journey along the way.

Andrew: And what now? You got to look to the future. What’s for them now?

Ann Rebgetz: Well, in terms of them, they’re applying to a number of university. If you take Ali, he wants to go into finance area and Anjeela wants to be a dentist. So we’re hoping that we might get some support for them in those pathways. But I guess overall, we have a high performance culture.

Andrew: Yes.

Ann Rebgetz: And it’s very, very important, having myself, worked in other Queensland secondary schools and in the Northern territory in indigenous schools and mainstream schools there, that the high expectation and high performance, so many times people think, “Ah, because someone’s had a rough time, we won’t push them too hard.” And the issue is, they want to reach that bar and it’s our job to get them over the bar. And that’s what the staff have done here, which is exceptional. Because we’re not … We’re talking subjects like maths B, chemistry, which they had no formal schooling in Pakistan, because they didn’t have the papers to be able to get that eligibility. So they worked from home and taught themselves, really. And then they were separated in their family for a high number of years.

So it is an extraordinary story, but it shows you that that determination and resilience that’s there, which are the qualities that employers are looking for in the future, in all of our students. And that’s how we make it happen here at St. James.

Andrew: And that’s where it really does feed into the narrative, that this is not just going to be a success story for them as individuals, but also for the college, but also for the country. If they go through, they further their education and you’re talking doctors, dentists, researchers; the country can only win. Yeah?

Ann Rebgetz: Absolutely. And we talk about growing our school because, as David said earlier in the discussion, if we don’t have students in the school, we can’t operate as a school, and we won’t have the income from the government to be able to perform and work as a school. If we don’t grow our economy, if we don’t grow our country and people, we don’t have the income to sustain our infrastructure. We need to grow our country and take people from overseas to make sure that, in the future, we are healthy. This is how we can do it. We have a country that can accommodate many more people. And so in doing that, we need to have a plan that says that growth is going to give us the best outcomes for the future.

Andrew: So you are saying not growth for the sake of growth, but strategic growth that is going to ensure, cement and stabilise the future of Australia?

Ann Rebgetz: Absolutely. But we don’t do that without being compassionate. Because countries are no different to people. Countries are people, and we are represented by people in negotiations across the world. And if we’re going to have countries that show the heart, we need to have a country that takes in those who need our help along with the balance of having a very strong migration program.

Andrew: David, campuses. What are they going to look like in the future? 10, 15 years’ time, what do you think it’ll look like, wandering around?

David Cantwell: Right. Well, look. As I mentioned before, we’re in this small little pocket in the fringe of the CBD. Around us, high rises are going. We’ve got a state school going up, a vertical school going up literally a couple of kilometres away that has no playground and is, effectively, a high rise building. This is the future. And yeah, the days of the large tracks of land, the manicured lawns is really not necessarily where education is going to go. And in terms of return on investment, when you think about what St. James does, and we’ve heard the stories here today, there is no better return on investment if you’re going to be hard nosed about it in an economic sense. Then educating people, whether they’re from Australia or whether they’re from overseas, for the benefit of the country.

Andrew: Yeah. So you have mentioned economic returns and that schools are multimillion dollar facilities. And as Principal Ann Rebgetz said, they’re businesses. Do you think that you’re going to see schools that will more run in a 24-hour … like a university style of campus?

David Cantwell: Well, look, the online learning is very much a factor now in university. I noticed, too, the school up the road today, actually, it was announced that their start time will be 9:30 in the morning. So there’s a fundamental shift. The times for schooling in Australia, effectively, have been the same for many, many decades, simply because that was what fitted with the English model of when the sun went down. It really isn’t quite flexible with modern learning and modern families and demands.

Andrew: Yeah.

Kristina Dolejs: And we have here, we ensure that we have a lot of students out doing school-based traineeships. They’re not on campus five days a week. Some of them are out one to two days a week, heading off to work experience, representing in sporting events. So students are not on site a lot of the time, but still are able to catch up on the work because that’s … With the IT facilities we have and the communication we have within society, but within school, we make sure that all of the learning goes on a platform where they can access that. So if they are away. they can still access and ask questions and be part of the learning that happens here. So yeah, the future of schools absolutely is not the traditional post-industrial revolution model. It’s changing physically and it’s changing in its essence, as well.

Andrew: What about you Marty? Looking to the future and just thinking about what schools might be, you’ve seen changes over the years that you’ve been involved in it. Where do you think it’s going to go?

Marty Wiseman: Ah, look. Well, we’ve heard David talk about the physicality of schools, but I think more and more what’s happening, schools are taking on responsibility of, yeah, as I said before, wellbeing of students and the mental and emotional health aspects of students. And I certainly think that the pastoral role, the wellbeing role within schools, particularly Catholic schools, and we’re an Edmund Rice school, and that’s certainly at the forefront of our objectives as a school; is to create well-rounded, happy, authentic people. And certainly, we’re developing strategies and there’s a lot of pressure on us to help families, in terms of dealing with that aspect.

Andrew: That’s a good point. As the pastoral component of the school become more important as you know, you got two parents working and you’ve got all sorts of other things going on with families. Has that become far more important?

Marty Wiseman: Yeah, I certainly think so. I certainly think that parents are looking towards schools a lot more to help them develop their children as happy people and productive people. And we’re certainly happy to do that. It’s a hand in glove arrangement, in my sense; that you can’t perform academically or within school unless you’re happy and content in yourself. So providing strategies to help kids realise their potential in all of those aspects is what the school is going to be responsible-

Ann Rebgetz: And I might add to that.

Marty Wiseman: Yeah.

Ann Rebgetz: That we actually have two campuses, and we have our main campus and then we have a partnership with the Salvation Army, where we have flexi-learning centre. And we’ve had incredible outcomes out of that campus, in terms of students who were probably not engaged in mainstream schooling but have found themselves in a more flexible, calmer environment and are able to credential themselves well and graduate with a lot of certificates, a pathway to careers and a pathway to employment.

And I think that that’s really crucial, here. We have a goal of everyone graduating with credentials, everyone graduating with a work placement background, so everyone has the chance of success. And going back to what you said, Marty about self-esteem; if students actually can achieve something and feel like, “Well, I’ve got this credential, I’ve discovered I’m good at this,” and find their niche, well, then their confidence improves. And then they can take steps to dreams that they didn’t think that they were able to achieve.

So that’s what we try and do and find that niche. And also, think creatively that we can cover things in different ways. It doesn’t have to be in silos, which many schools are still sticking to the silos. And that doesn’t always work for a number of students. So overall, I would say we’re a school that is multicultural, multi-skilled and provides multi success.

Andrew: We have fast run out of time. We’re with a very, very busy team. And I think Principal Ann Rebgetz rounded that off very, very well. Thank you very much for your time with our listeners.

Kristina Dolejs: Thanks, Andrew.

Marty Wiseman: Thank you, Andrew.

Ann Rebgetz: Thank you, Andrew.

David Cantwell: Thank you, Andrew.

Ann Rebgetz: Been a pleasure.