Liam Muldoon embraces EPPP Ambassador role

Liam Muldoon has a lot to offer students who might not know about all the great job opportunities that a vocational education can lead to.

EPPP Ambassador, Liam Muldoon, has been keeping pretty busy lately. The heavy vehicle mechanic at Lismore City Council, who also teaches at TAFE NSW, doesn’t have a lot of spare time on his hands, but despite his busy schedule he’s always happy to share his experience with students and promote the benefits of a vocational education.

“The EPPP is a great initiative that is really making a difference to kids up here on the North Coast, so I’m always happy to help out,” says the 2017 NSW Training Awards Vocational Student of the Year.

Last week, the former guest of EPPP TV proved himself a worthy host when he stepped into Jazmine Huggins’ shoes for our latest episode. Shot on location at the picturesque Wollongbar Primary Industries Institute and Venture Organic in Bangalow, the episode provides a great introduction to career opportunities in agriculture. And, as Liam discovered, there’s more to ‘ag’ than raising beef and harvesting crops.

“Agriculture is such an interesting space. There’s so much going on, from research to technology and sustainability, and there are some really great opportunities for students to tap into,” says Liam.

Image: Liam Muldoon filming at the NSW Department of Primary Industries for EPPP TV

As an EPPP Ambassador, Liam is passionate about promoting these sorts of opportunities to students, and dispelling the myth that trades are only for chippies, sparkies and mechanics. Recently, Liam met up with a group of Year 9 and 10 students at South Grafton High School to talk all about his experiences and field their questions about vocational career pathways. The visit, which was organised by David Youman, the Careers Head Teacher at South Grafton, led to some interesting discussions.

“We spoke a lot about how jobs evolve over time,” says Liam. “One of the students was curious about electric cars and the impact they might have on motor mechanics, but we’ve seen this before. When I was starting out, fuel injection was seen as the devil by old school mechanics, but then everyone adapted. The same thing will happen with electric cars. They still have suspension and steering and other systems that will need to be maintained. It’s all about being able to adapt.”

Liam also ticked off a number of other topics in his conversation with the South Grafton students, including the importance of resilience and being able to handle the knock backs that come with any career, women in trades, travel and what students could expect to earn if they pursued a trade.

Image: Liam Muldoon talking to students at South Grafton High School about opportunities in VET

Liam’s visit was well received by the students, some of whom were finding it difficult to get motivated about their future careers. David puts the success of the visit down to Liam’s relatability.

“I’d discussed the pilot within the school, which led to further conversations with an Arts teacher about how to engage her students in their career education. The idea was to get Liam in front of them, so they could understand some of the pathways available to them, and hear from someone who’s been there,” says David.

By all accounts, the approach worked a treat.

If you think your students would benefit from hearing from Liam or other EPPP Ambassadors, email the EPPP team.

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