Please note that this blog is intended for the students and parents associated with Gordonvale State High School, Cairns. Please check areas of interest as seen on the blog to confirm dates and other information as there will be occasions when dates will change and the information may not be included in the blog as it may not have been received by the school. Posts prior to July 2017 may have reference to Smithfield State High School as this blog was initially developed for students when I was the Guidance Officer at that school.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Cairns Student Exchange Information Session this week.

Are you interested in a student exchange after school? Discover the world on a high school student exchange! RSVP to a free info session in Cairns!

Do you dream of eating croissants in France? Walking the iconic halls of an American high school? Discovering beautiful Italy or making lifelong memories in Canada, Australia’s cooler cousin? Come along to WEP’s free, public Cairns Info Session to find out more about student exchange, a once-in-a-lifetime experience! The session will kick off at 10:30am on May 27 (this Saturday) at the Cairns State High School Library.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Cert III Hospitality Traineeship

Club Training Australia are currently advertising Certificate III in Hospitality traineeships at The Cairns RSL (flyer below). 

Interested students in grade 10 or 11 only are encouraged to register their interest via this link or email their details to hireme@clubtraining.com.au. 

The Certificate III in Hospitality traineeship will attract 8 QCE points upon successful completion of the traineeship.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

UMAT - Undergratuate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission Test

Are you interested in applying for Medicine or another Health Science? if so, please see the information below to see if the course you would like to do requires that you sit the UMAT exam. The following information has been taken from the ACER website.

Please note that UMAT 2017 Registrations are now open, and they close at 5pm AEST on June 2nd 2017. The exam will be sat on July 26, 2017.

UMAT is developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) on behalf of the UMAT Consortium universities.  The test is used specifically to assist with the selection of students into the medicine, dentistry and health science degree programs at undergraduate level at the universities listed on this website.

UMAT is designed to assess general attributes and abilities gained through prior experience and learning; specifically, the acquisition of skills in critical thinking and problem solving, understanding people and abstract non-verbal reasoning.  These abilities are considered important to the study, and later practice, of professions in the health sciences.

UMAT is an aptitude test; it is not a personality or IQ test.  The test is not curriculum-based and presupposes no particular subjects at secondary level.  UMAT does not require any knowledge or skills in mathematics or sciences, or in any other area of the curriculum.  It is designed to complement your academic results, not to replicate them.

For information about the UMAT, please visit this link. Here is a summary of the courses requiring that a UMAT be completed:

The University of AdelaideMedicine, Dental Surgery
Charles Darwin UniversityClinical Sciences
Charles Sturt UniversityDental Science
Curtin UniversityMedicine
Flinders UniversityClinical Sciences/Medicine
La Trobe UniversityHealth Sciences in Dentistry/Master of
Dentistry**, Oral Health Science**
Monash UniversityMedicine
The University of Newcastle/
University of New England
Joint Medical Program
The University of New South WalesMedicine
The University of QueenslandMedicine (provisional entry), Dental Science
University of TasmaniaMedicine
The University of Western AustraliaMedicine (Direct Pathway), Dental Medicine
(Direct Pathway)
Western Sydney UniversityMedicine
The University of AucklandMedicine
University of OtagoMedicine, Dental Surgery

*Please note that at select institutions international students may be exempt from taking UMAT or may be required to sit a different test. For details candidates should refer to the websites of the universities to which they intend to apply.
**UMAT only required for non-Year 12 applicants.

Australia Catholic

The following information has been sent to me from ACU - Australia Catholic University. The link at the bottom is to the ACU Student Recruitment representatives.

Following last week’s announcement by Education Minister Simon Birmingham, please find an overview of the Government's proposed higher education funding reforms, and how it may affect students who are considering applying for ACU and other Australian universities in 2018.
The Federal Government’s higher education reform package retains the existing framework of the higher education funding system. This includes the commitment that no Australian student will pay a cent upfront for their bachelor degree studies.
The reform package aims to balance the funding of university education, by reducing government funding and increasing the contribution from universities and students. Please note that the proposed reform package will not be implemented until Parliament has debated and passed the relevant legislation.

Increased fees
From 1 January 2018, students would pay a greater share of the cost of their studies. Student fees would rise over time, at the rate of 1.8 per cent each year up to 2021. In total, this is a 7.5 per cent increase in student fees.
The government has estimated that the following increases would apply based on current course fee levels:
For a Bachelor of Education student enrolling in 2018, this will add $1,250 to the cost of the degree over four years.
  • For a Bachelor of Nursing student enrolling in 2018, this will add $1,250 to the cost of the degree over three years.
  • For a Bachelor of Arts student enrolling in 2018, this will add $700 to the cost of the degree over three years.  
A summary of other changes includes:
·       The total extra cost of a four-year degree at an increase of 7.5 per cent would be between $2,000 and $3,600.
·       The average student contribution would increase from 42 per cent to 46 per cent of the total cost of a degree (the government contribution would fall from 58 per cent to 54 per cent).
·       Non-citizens who are permanent residents (or New Zealanders) would no longer be eligible for Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) and, instead, would become full fee-paying students.
o   These students previously had to pay the student contribution upfront, they will now be eligible for a HELP loan (FEE-HELP) for the higher contribution.
o   New Zealanders who arrived as minors and have lived in Australia for over 10 years will still be eligible for a CSP and a HELP loan for their studies.

Higher Education Loan Program (HELP)
Fees for all places funded by the government may still be deferred through the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP).
The government proposes to increase the pool of graduates making repayments on their HELP loans.
·       From 1 July 2018, HELP repayments would be made once a graduate earns $42,000.
·       Graduates would repay one per cent of their income through the taxation system – equating to $8 per week. This would rise incrementally depending on income.
·       The repayment rate would rise as incomes rise: graduates on a salary of $44,520-$56,205 would pay 1.5-3.5 per cent of their income (up to $37 per week).
·       At the other end of the spectrum, graduates earning $100,655 or more would pay a higher rate (8.5-10 per cent) of their income towards their HELP loan.
·       There would be no fees on student loans.

The demand-driven funding system would be expanded to include Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) in approved sub-bachelor level diploma, advanced diploma and associate degree courses at public universities from 1 January 2018. ACU offers a range of sub-bachelor courses. For example, a student who does not yet meet the entry requirements for a bachelor course, could enrol in a Diploma in Educational Studies (Tertiary Preparation) which is a direct pathway into all Initial Teacher Education courses.

This means that publicly-funded university-based learning will be extended to a much broader range of Australians.

If you have any further questions about the proposed reforms, please get in touch with your local Student Recruitment representative. You can contact them

Attend the next Defence Careers Information Session

The Navy, Army and Air Force are recruiting for positions that offer great pay, an active lifestyle, nationally recognised training and a whole lot of adventure.

With over 200 careers available, you'll be able to find one that matches your skills, interest and education.

Date: Wednesday 31st May
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Defence Force Recruiting, Oceana Walk, Level 1 - 55 Lake Street, Cairns 4870
To book your seat, call 13 19 01 or register below.

Share this event with your students and professional networks using the event flyer below.
Download the event flyer here.

Great opportunity for Senior Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students

Do you want to influence government decision making? Are you passionate about Queensland’s future? Do you want to change things for the better for young people? Use this link to find our more – Queensland Youth Reference Group

The Queensland Youth Reference Group will comprise eight young people who represent Queensland’s youth and four sector representatives that have expertise in the issues that matter most to young people – Supporting our most vulnerable young people – Housing – Healthy futures – Educating into Employment.

The young people selected will be able to talk to what matters to them and their peers, represent the diversity of the Queensland community, may have lived experience of some of the challenges young people face and will be available to travel to attend four meetings a year.

Nominations opened 5 May 2017 with the launch of the Queensland Youth Strategy by the Honourable Shannon Fentiman MP, Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence.

Nominations close on 4 June 2017 - Please see Jenny, Maureen, or your year coordinator if you are interested

JCU Inspire Me Week

A moment of inspiration can change your life. Find that spark at Inspire Me Week and discover what is possible for you and your career.

Held across the Cairns and Townsville campuses from Monday 22 May to Saturday 27 May, JCU’s Inspire Me Week will feature a range of exciting events, inspirational speakers and touching stories.
You can take University life for a spin at one of the “Test-Drive Lectures”, participate in a hands-on workshop, and meet like-minded people during a week of engaging and informative free activities.
From business, to science, to parenting and everything in between, Inspire Me Week is a chance to start a journey of discovery.
Inspire Me Week is free and open to the community — whether you’re planning to go to university, are already studying or are looking to see what’s possible — come along and see what Inspire Me Week has to offer.
Please note that the majority of these events occur outside school hours and students are welcome to attend as individuals or with family and friends. Registration is not required.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Australian Defence Force Breakfast

ADF Priority Role

Priority Role: Telecommunications Technician

The Army builds complex communication systems to maintain contact with forces across the world and to coordinate military and humanitarian operations. In this rewarding role you'll learn to install, manage, troubleshoot and repair the advanced technology the Army uses to satisfy these strategic needs. You'll acquire the skills to work with traditional wire, radio, fibre optic and satellite communication systems, and will also get involved with electronic warfare systems.

Aust Defence Force Trade Careers Information Session

The Navy, Army and Air Force are recruiting for trade positions that offer great pay, an active lifestyle, nationally recognised training and a whole lot of adventure.

With over 200 careers available, you'll be able to find one that matches your skills, interest and education.
Date: Thursday 25th May
Time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: Defence Force Recruiting, Oceana Walk, Level 1 - 55 Lake Street, Cairns 4870. To book your seat, call 13 19 01 or register below.

Download the event flyer here.

Jobs Growth in Queensland - Trends and prospects

The Australia Institute has completed a report on jobs growth in Queensland. It outlines the recent employment trends and future prospects of Queensland's industries and regions, and explores the state's changing economic context. See this link if you are interested in reading the report.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

VET Student Loans - Info from Central QLD University

VET Student Loans commenced on 1 January 2017, replacing the VET FEE-HELP scheme. These changes have strengthened the assessment criteria and scrutiny of all training providers and have increased protection measures for students.

VET Student Loans can be used to pay for all or part of an eligible student's Tuition Fees when studying an approved VET Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma.

Students currently financing their studies through the previous VET FEE-HELP scheme will have the option to continue accessing this scheme until 31 December 2017.