Excitement about Ourshool is growing, with more than 160 people attending an Ourschool friends’ event at PwC.
The event was held to celebrate Ourschool’s achievements in our first 22 months of existence and to thank our generous supporters.
Our special guest was Nobel Prize winner and scientist, Professor Peter Doherty. Professor Doherty is a proud public high school alum and a strong advocate of the benefits of a public school education.
Professor Doherty took part in a panel discussion with public high school alumni guests who’ve been involved in Ourschool. His fellow panellists were Manisha Blencowe, a lawyer and Princes Hill Secondary College alum, Jenny Liao, a psychologist and Mt Waverley Secondary College alum and Paul Broecker, Assistant Principal of Fountain Gate Secondary College.
The panel was hosted by Shaun Carney, author and journalist, who is a Monteray High School alum.
Our guests spoke about the importance of their public school education and the opportunities that vibrant alumni networks can provide to public high school students and school communities.
Thank you to Gary Maas for mentioning Ourschool in his maiden speech to the Victorian parliament.
Gary is the new MP for Narre Warren South. He’s a Keysborough College alum (Springvale High) who’s been involved in our alumni program at Keysborough, helping to inspire public school students and provide work experience.
The Public Education Foundation has launched a campaign to promote the importance of our public schools to the community. The campaign aligns with one of Ourschool’s goals – building pride in state secondary schools.
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Photo: Brent Novak, General Manager at Flight Centre and Ali
Brent Novak’s participation in an Ourschool alumni session at Sunshine College led him to offer a work experience placement to Ali, a Year 10 student. Brent, General Manager of Flight Centre Travel Group, and Ali, discuss what that placement meant to them:
BRENT: “When I came back to the school a few months ago to speak to the students I didn’t have any intention of taking on a work experience person. But after meeting Ali and seeing his determination to succeed I thought it would be good to give him the opportunity to see how a large business operates.
“In hindsight I’ve got more out of the work experience week than Ali has. Because it not only reconnects you to your own childhood and aspirations when growing up. It also connects you to hearing how the younger generation are trying to better themselves and forge their own career paths.”
ALI: “It’s been one of the most incredible weeks of my life. I’ve learnt a lot, I’ve learnt about finance, marketing, how to have meetings – meetings discussing issues and challenges that might arise at work.
“I’ve learnt in order to run a big company like this you need to be good with your staff. That’s something that Brent does. He’s polite with staff, he’s got a certain connection with them. . . He makes the workplace a fun place.
“A student might sometimes think that because I live in Sunshine I might not get far but seeing some of the alumni in the alumni program is very encouraging. When I saw Brent come in I was very surprised. It made me think, ‘Wow, I can do something’. It gives students hope; it shows us that we can be something. It gives us motivation.”
Photo: Class of 63 alumni Graeme Thompson and Jill Galbraith with Sydneyrita, school vice-captain and Hasnain, school captain
ALUMNI from Sunshine High School have established a student scholarship at Sunshine College as part of Ourschool’s alumni development program.
Sunshine College is one of nine public high schools receiving Ourschool’s help one day a week to build the school’s alumni community.
Caroline Milburn, Sunshine College’s alumni program manager and co-founder of the Ourschool alumni program, has connected with many alumni from the College and its six foundation schools, including Sunshine High School.
This has led to a group of alumni from the Class of 1963 at Sunshine High School stepping forward to raise funds for a student scholarship. “Our alumni program is in its very early stages and we’ve been focusing on inviting alumni back to school to inspire current students,” Ms Milburn said. “An alumni scholarship program is one of our goals and it’s exciting to see that alumni are keen to help and inspire students in this way.”
The college and the Class of 1963 alumni group have established the student scholarship on a two- year trial basis. The alumni group hopes to encourage other alumni from Sunshine High to contribute to the “Sunshine High School Alumni Scholarship”.
Graeme Thompson and Jill Galbraith, two members of the Class of 1963, recently visited Sunshine College’s senior campus to discuss the scholarship with the school’s leaders and the alumni program team.
Mr Thompson said the group wanted to encourage students to work hard to achieve their goals. “As a beneficiary of a very good education at SHS that allowed me to progress to university, I see the Sunshine College scholarship program as an opportunity to support students through to year 12 and encourage their progression onto tertiary education.”
Jodie Abbott, Ourschool’s alumni program manager at Warrnambool College, was interviewed by The Warrnambool Standard about the alumni career sessions that she’s running at the school. To read the full article click here
Ourschool organised an alumni session at Warrnambool College, inviting past students back to school to inspire Koorie students and others about study, careers and the lessons they’ve learned about how to be successful in the workplace. To read the full article click here
Ourschool is the first service of its kind in Australia. The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald published a story on June 13 about Ourschool’s launch. The story featured one of our pilot schools, Sunshine College, and former student Dr Vu Le, who wants to establish a scholarship for current students. To read the full article click here