Professional Development Events

CTS Conference 2014NW CTS “Building Lives, Creating Futures” Conference 2014

The 2014 CTS Conference ‘Building Lives, Creating Futures’ brought together Specialist Schools, community service organisations, further education and training providers and industry and business from the North West region of Melbourne.

The Conference was an opportunity for the individual speakers and services to showcase a range of good case examples of transition processes, options available for students and young adults and positive school-post school outcomes

The Conference held on Wednesday 20 August 2014 was a great success with over 90 people in attendance on the day. The event show cased good practice in career and transition for young people with disabilities from a local, state, national and international perspective.

Representatives from the 22 specialist schools across the North and West of Melbourne were well represented as was industry and business, community services, further education and training providers and government representatives.

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On the day, the Master of Ceremonies Nick Gleeson shared with the audience his own experience of living with a disability as a blind man. Nick was able to use his own personal anecdotes and humour to tie in the elements of the day and was able to relate these to his own experiences in transitioning from school and into post school life.

Dr Denis Meadows, Griffith University researcher and lecturer presented on the day on data collection that he undertook with a team from Griffith University in 2005. Denis also presented on the Kohler Taxonomy model working through the 5 elements with the audience. Dr Denis Meadows set the scene by encouraging the schools in the room to reflect upon Kohler’s Taxonomy throughout the course of the day.

Andrew Smith, the Regional Career Development Officer from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development presented on the range of tools available for Victorian schools including Strengthened Pathways and Engaging Parents in Career Conversation (EPiCC). Michael Sertori, Assistant Principal from Croxton School presented on the schools experience of the Croxton School Community Partnership Pilot Project outcomes.

DSC02144Following the presentations in the main arena, participants were offered eight different workshops with the option to attend and hear from two. The workshops provided information about what schools are doing to improve school-post school transitions, parental engagement as well as the use of information technology. Good case examples from community services were also provided; of how they support young people with disabilities into open employment, as well community participation activities including volunteer work. The workshop presentations included:

  • Broadmeadows SDS
  • Warring Park School
  • Coburg SDS
  • North West Employment Group (NWEG)
  • Northern Support Services
  • National Ticket to Work Program
  • Inclusion Melbourne
  • Kangan Institute

Two employers attended and spoke to their experience of employing young people with a disability as well as their inclusive employment practices. These included McDonald’s and Alan Mance Holden. Young adult, Mark Underwood attended on the day to present about his school-post school experience. Mark provided the audience with information about his experience as an employee of IGA in Hoppers Crossing and what he thinks has helped his success.

A parent perspective was provided on the day, alongside the daughter (a young woman) who attended a special school in the NW Melbourne Region. Juliette and Anna spoke about their experiences regarding the transition from school to life beyond school. This was followed by Mary Tobin, an educational consultant specializing in parental engagement who talked about the importance of engaging in the students learning process as well as the importance of being connected to the school. Mary also talked about the importance of schools creating opportunities to include parents as partners in the education of students.


Some documents presented at the NW CTS Conference 2014 available for download:

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