New EPPP Ambassadors report for duty

Our new EPPP Ambassadors hail from different parts of NSW and have their own areas of expertise, but they share a common belief in the value of vocational education and training.

22 October 2020
Jordon has ginger coloured hair, wearing a bright blue collar shirt is on the left, smiling and looking at camera. Maddison has straight dark hair and is the middle holding a document, wearing glasses and smiling. and theo is smiling at the camera, also with ginger coloured hair and wearing a blue shirt.
Image: EPPP's newest Ambassadors igniting hope for students

It can be hard for students to truly get their heads around what’s involved with a particular career pathway. After all, the glossy brochure doesn’t tell you what a training provider or a particular employer is really like.

That’s why, when it comes to the nitty gritty, it really helps to hear things from the horse’s mouth, which is where our new EPPP Ambassadors come in.

Our three new ambassadors – Jordon, Maddison and Theodore – are uniquely placed to promote vocational pathways in our pilot schools having been there, done that, as they say. Let’s find out a bit about them.

Disorder no barrier to career success

Jordon Peterson from Port Macquarie sounds like he was the kind of kid who’d take apart a household appliance and put it back together again.

“I’m a very hands-on person,” says Jordon, the 2020 NSW Training Awards Apprentice of the Year for the North Coast Region. “That is why VET has been the best option for me.”

Jordon completed two pre-trade certificates while he was still at school before going on to complete a Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade at TAFE NSW. But success didn’t necessarily come easy for Jordon. In Year 11, he was diagnosed with Dyslexia and to this day Jordon still struggles with reading, writing and light sensitivity.

“The engineering mechanical field involves reading a lot of plans and taking lots of measurements,” says Jordon. “This is challenging for someone with dyslexia, but I applied myself and worked out ways to manage it in the workplace. I take my time, do my calculations twice and have little tricks, rhymes or phrases to help me remember things.”

As well as being keen to promote the EPPP’s work – and the virtue of vocational career pathways – Jordon is also on a mission to normalise his condition and inspire others down the track.

“I hope I can inspire people living with a high-functioning disorder, such as Dyslexia or Asperger’s, to believe in themselves and their capabilities,” says Jordon.

“I doubted myself because of my dyslexia. But I kept positive and threw everything at my studies and training. The experience really helped me grow as a person. I am proof you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”

Making waves in male-dominated field

According to Engineers Australia, 84% of the country’s engineers are men, but Maddison (Maddi) Camilleri from Grose Wold in north-west Sydney is not one to be deterred by statistics. The 2019 NSW Training Awards Trainee of the Year for Central and Northern Sydney has a passion for drafting that trumps any misgivings she may have had about joining an industry that typically attracts very few women.

“I’m really passionate about this industry,” says Maddi. “There are plenty of opportunities for people with the right skills, women included, and I love that I get to apply my skills to a fascinating range of projects.”

Currently employed as a Structural Drafter with Sydney’s SCP Consulting, Maddi has always been fascinated by the process of turning a sketch into a three dimensional structure. After completing her HSC, Maddi enrolled in a Certificate IV in Civil Construction Design at the TAFE NSW Ultimo campus. Before long, Maddi was impressing her teachers with her dedication and detail-oriented disposition.

For now, Maddi is eager to absorb as much knowledge as she can on the job at SCP Consulting as well as encourage others to follow her lead.

“I got so much out of my VET training, so I’m thrilled to be an EPPP Ambassador,” says Maddi. “I learned some really valuable skills and made some great contacts along the way. I really can’t say enough good things about vocational training.”

Committed to community service

Last October, Theodore (Theo) Scholl’s NSW Rural Fire Service crew got a call that was, quite literally, a little too close to home for the Year 11 student.

“After four days of fighting 12-18-hours a day, we answered a call for urgent property protection three kilometres from my house,” says Theo, the 2020 NSW Training Awards People’s Choice - School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

“I calmly called my family and told them to evacuate. Fire ripped through the back of our property, phone reception went down and I had to wait hours to find out if my family was safe.”

Fortunately Theo’s family made it out, but the Busbys Flat fire claimed 37 houses before it was brought under control.

Theo’s integrity and commitment to his community are plain to see, but he’s also a highly capable student. Thanks to his dedication and impressive time-management skills, Theo was able to complete his Certificate II in Warehousing Operations in one year instead of two.

“Finishing my two-year qualification in one year was an achievement I was proud of,” says Theo.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my course and learning from competent, industry-based teachers. And completing my school-based traineeship with Richmond Valley Council has hugely increased my confidence.”

Jordon, Maddi and Theo will join Liam Muldoon, Arcadia Meldrum, Rose Cox and Mark Doughty as EPPP Ambassadors. They are looking forward to sharing their stories with students across our pilot schools.

To connect with an EPPP Ambassador email the EPPP team.

  • Student voice and leadership
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