'Get Ready Youth' workshops help prepare students

NSW public school students from the Blacktown area got a taste of what it’s like to be an SES volunteer, thanks to the Educational Pathways Program. Duyen Nguyen reports.

A female student climbing a ladder watched on by SES volunteers and two students holding the jaws of life in front of an SES vehicle. A female student climbing a ladder watched on by SES volunteers and two students holding the jaws of life in front of an SES vehicle.
Image: Left: Scaling ladders and sandbagging were among the activities students participated in. Right: Chifley College students Anitusi Pualilo and Josh Hagan with the jaws of life.

More than 30 students from Chifley College and Cranebrook High School attended a ‘Get Ready Youth’ workshop at Blacktown NSW SES Unit headquarters to learn more about dealing with emergency situations.

The students got up close and personal with rescue equipment, tried their hand at using throw bags, packed emergency ‘go kits’, donned life jackets and learned how to sandbag and scale ladders.

Chifley College student, Joshua Hagan, said the workshop was a great way to learn new life skills.

“I’ve enjoyed the groundwork skills, like window repairs and sandbagging. It’s been fun to learn new things, so we have more of an understanding on how to manage in emergencies,” he said.

‘Get Ready Youth’ workshops provide students with the skills and knowledge to respond in a storm or flood.

Head Teacher Careers – Educational Pathways Program (EPP), Deavelyn Besterwitch, said the workshops helped bridge the gap between curriculum and industry for students, while providing opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.

“The workshops introduce students to volunteering and are a good way for students to gain skills that are exportable and can be used in to get their first job,” Ms Besterwitch said.

“They also connect curriculum. In the classroom students learn about hazards and emergency management, and this experience is a continuation of that.”

Students using throw bags. Students using throw bags.
Image: Students tried their hand at using throw bags.

SES volunteer, Komal Kerai, said the workshop was an opportunity to inspire students to become volunteers and develop skills for the future.

“It was a great day working with the students. We showed how skills learned through volunteering can help in the workforce. They are also more aware and prepared for a Hawkesbury-Nepean flood,” she said.

Chifley College student, Anitusi Pualilo, said the workshop had given her a good understanding of how to prepare for a disaster.

“Today was valuable for me because when an emergency happens, I know what I’m supposed to do,” she said.

The workshop was an initiative of the Educational Pathways Program, which improves higher education and career outcomes for young people.

Students packing items into bags. Students packing items into bags.
Image: Packing emergency ‘go kits’.
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