Video transcript – Wider than Gwydir

Dan Van Velthuizen, Principal, Warialda Public School:
What prompted us to start the Wider than Gwydir Program? you know we need to be teaching the kids so much more and making them real world contributing citizens. I just am really passionate about helping our kids have those light bulb moments. Those one moment in their career, their school career, where it all makes sense. What I do see is kids walking out talking about a new career that they had never heard of previously.

Last year we had a physiotherapist who did a great job talking about her career as a physio. And I heard kids walking out afterwards, talking about, "Wow, did you know you could do this? "Like a body mechanic, like a human mechanic." And I thought, well, how cool is that?

When we did the baseline data last year, and we're doing it again this year, which will be interesting, 92% of the kids that responded to the survey indicated that they were interested in pursuing a career beyond their school years that required no further education. I think that's a little bit scary. Particularly in an environment where we know, that in the next 20 years 40% of jobs are going to be impacted by computerisation. And in the rural sector that could be as high as 60%.

Jenny Waller, Classroom teacher, Warialda Public School:
We've been participating in the Wider than Gwydir initiative, and I've thought it's been fantastic. It's really exposed the kids to a whole variety of careers they may not have thought of. It reinforces the core values of our school. We're a PBL school and it reinforces the core values that we operate under. And also the You Can Do It Keys To Success.

Do you guys, like, do you think you have to know when you're 11 years old what you want to be?

Student 1:

Student 2:
No. You've got time to find out.

So what do you think the purpose of Wider than Gwydir is, like, is it about trying to force you into something? What do you think?

Student 1:
It's so you get good ideas of what you wanna become when you get older.

Student 2:
Yeah, so you know that more jobs, so that you know more jobs that you might be able to be.

Student 3:

When we get older we know about paths we have to take to get where we want to be.

Student 4:
All the great people you get to meet and all the great opportunities.

Student 5:
If you're stuck on what you want to do you've got these opportunities that you've learned when you're younger so you know them.

Student 6:
There's a few, like, there's, different jobs that I've never even thought of before that are pretty interesting and it's, yeah, it's a pretty good opportunity.

Last week we heard from Chris Ryan who's the CEO and founder of the Strike Group. He had some pretty strong messages about careers and all of those sorts of things. What did he say about hard work?

Student 2:
You have to practise.

Student 1:
And you can't get out of it.


Chris Ryan, CEO and founder of the Strike Group:
Anyone that's successful in sport or any organisation anywhere in life has got one thing in common, they work hard. There's no ducking it, there's no getting out of it. You may as well just get into it.

Dan Van Velthuizen, Principal, Warialda Public School:
There's a few pretty basic ways that we know we're having an impact. And that comes back to the increased number of students that are openly expressing their interest in careers that require further education. We're talking to kids that previously weren't interested in going to university or doing a TAFE course or doing a TRIAD or whatever the further education is. They're having those conversations, and they're quite open to the idea, and they sort of, it's common language now.

There's some data that we've gathered, through some really simple tools like Survey Monkey, which 75% of kids identified at the end of last year that they feel confident that they know a career that they're really interested in that they want to pursue. Which I think is pretty powerful. 60% of kids identified very strongly, a strong belief, that Wider than Gwydir helped them make those decisions. 74% of students identified a new career, previously something they'd never ever heard of, that Wider than Gwydir opened their eyes to. And I think it's been about making a big statement.

We've had helicopters land here on the oval, we've had drones flying about. You know, it's about actually, it's about showing off a little bit too. And catching their attention and making them realise, that what we're doing here, whilst it's good fun, it's about achieving something very special and making them get that strong connection between their education now and the opportunities that will provide for them in years to come.

Because if they don't make that connection, and they're not from a family that particularly values the education process, they're at a distinct disadvantage right away. And we need to do something about it. It's not acceptable to sit on our hands.

End of transcript

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