2020 NSW Training Awards School-Based Apprentice of the Year for North Coast Region
Certificate II in Warehousing Operations
Theo Scholl is made of leadership material. As a volunteer firefighter with the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSWRFS), Theo has been serving his community since 2014. In October 2019, he had to lead it.
“The Rappville fires destroyed about 20 homes in a little village not far from us.”
As some of the worst bushfires on record ripped across northern New South Wales, Theo received a real baptism by fire. He was out on the truck when the fires hit his community, but was soon called into the office to help out with operations and communications.
Theo was given the job of supporting crews in the field and making sure residents got timely information about the fires that were threatening their homes. It was a big responsibility, but one Theo handled with apparent ease.
As a school based trainee, Theo was able to bring some relevant skills to his volunteer gig with the RFS. A Certificate II in Agriculture, a Certificate II in Construction Pathways and a Certificate II in Warehousing Operations helped Theo develop his communication, planning and teamwork skills.
“It was an amazing two years.”
“My SBAT in Warehousing opened up a number of opportunities for me,” says Theo.
One of those opportunities was at his old school. In 2021, Theo returned to St Mary’s to take up a Youth Ministry Officer job. It’s a good gig that sees the 2020 winner of the People’s Choice Award for School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year helping students with various aspects of their lives. He designs and develops programs like ‘Blokes get real,’ a mentoring initiative that involves Year 7 and 12 boys getting together to watch a game of football and have a chat about things like relationships, community and mental health. Importantly, the job gives Theo time to devote to his education.
Since his first day with the RFS, Theo has wanted to work for the service as a paid member of staff and he’s doing everything he can to land his dream job. Theo is currently pursuing a dual-diploma in Public Safety and Leadership and Management. It’s a fair bit of work, but Theo’s loving every minute of laying the foundations of a successful career.
“That’s what I love about VET,” says Theo. “It’s all about securing the workforce of the future.”