Author Archives: St Patrick's Technical College

Targeting outcomes with BAE Systems

IT and Electro-Technology students have spent the last few weeks looking at the design requirements behind a Remote Target Detection system.

The project, based on the Jindalee Operational Radar Network (JORN), was developed by BAE Systems, a partner in our P-TECH program. It fosters students’ technical STEM skills by developing their mathematical, electronic and IT capabilities.

Some of the key features of the systems and control project include calculating distance using the time it takes for a sound wave to return from a target, considering the angle of reflection from the ionosphere and the curvature of the Earth. The build of the project required 3D modelling, 3D printing of parts, the assembly of parts, programming in Python and integration with a Raspberry Pi computer system.

Representatives from the multinational defence, security, and aerospace company were impressed with what the students have already achieved during a recent workshop at the College. Lou Pivato and John Kiejko mentored students and provided them with valuable guidance and instruction on how to achieve their targeted outcomes.

This project highlights how central and effective P-TECH programs are in offering mentor support for students and enabling access to the latest technologies used in industry. Working in partnership with industry skills young people and strengthens their prospects for employment.

The Year 11 and 12 students now look forward to a tour of BAE Systems to see first-hand what they are renowned for.

Youth to ‘YAP’ with Local MP

Local Member of Parliament, Tony Piccolo MP, has announced the establishment of a Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) for the Light Electorate.

The aim of the program is to give young people a voice and hear about their views on a range of issues they care about ensuring political decisions are reflective of community attitudes.

St Patrick’s Technical College Captain Scott Larsen and Vice-Captain Corey Lloyd feel privileged to be chosen as representatives for the program as well as helping to assist Mr Piccolo in launching this great initiative as part of International Youth Day (Monday, 12 August).

Year 11 student Scott Larsen said the opportunity to contribute in discussions will help recognise some of the challenges that today’s youth can face.

“I look forward to being part of the program and talking about real-life issues concerning young people, but also what we are good at and passionate about,” Scott said.

Mr Piccolo said the YAP will be created to provide young people with opportunities to speak directly and regularly with him about issues they care about.

“I want to hear from young people about their views on a range of issues, not just youth matters,” Mr Piccolo said.

“The panel will provide a forum for young people in our community to speak their minds and this will assist me to become a better local representative.

“It is important, in our democracy, that we give young people a voice in the political process, to ensure our decisions more accurately reflect community sentiment.”

Mr Piccolo is exploring opportunities for YAP members to gain academic recognition for the skills they develop from their involvement in the program.

All secondary schools in the Light Electorate, as well as those with a significant number of students living in the electorate, have all been invited to nominate two students to be part of the program.

“Two young people – who currently do not attend local secondary schools – will also be invited to join the YAP.

“I have chosen to do this because I believe it’s important for the YAP to reflect the diversity of views and backgrounds of the young people in our community.”

It is planned that the YAP will meet formally about four times a year and communicate through social media at other times with the first meeting to be held in mid-September.

Food and Hospitality Student Maddylin Pilkington prepares for the 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour which will stop at St Patrick's Technical College on September 25.

St Patrick’s Technical College to host 2019 Lexus Melbourne Cup

St Patrick’s Technical College in Adelaide’s north is delighted to be chosen as one of just 39 destinations from around the world to host the $200,000 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour in 2019.

South Australia’s only stand-alone Year 11 and 12 vocational education and training (VET) college, St Patrick’s Technical College is committed to having a positive impact of the social, economic and environmental well-being of young people and the wider community in the Northern Adelaide region.

St Patrick’s Technical College Principal Danny Deptula said the College tendered to host the Melbourne Cup to create great enthusiasm and hope in the area. The College’s event will be on September 25, bringing together industry and the community. 


“The College actually has a link with the Melbourne Cup, our founding staff member Terry Neville’s uncle is Ray Neville, who rode Rimfire to victory in the 1948 Melbourne Cup,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“Further to that, our College is a strong advocate for VET pathways and the racing industry is a prime example of how careers through VET can bring great satisfaction and success.

“We are absolutely delighted to be chosen for this great honour of hosting the cup.’’

The Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour was launched by the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) this week and will see the cup visit six countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, China and the United Kingdom.

VRC Chairman Amanda Elliott said this year’s tour holds special significance for Australia’s most iconic trophy.

“Since the Tour began in 2003, we have delighted in bringing communities together in the shared history and magic of the Melbourne Cup,’’ Mrs Elliott said.

“This year is especially significant, with 2019 marking the 100th anniversary of the three-handled Melbourne Cup trophy design.’’

Matching classroom skills to career outcomes

Bringing industry directly to the classroom is the only way to ensure the skills required by employers are being offered to students. 

Andrew Sezonov, General Manager of the Skilling Australia Foundation, told a meeting of the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership Steering Committee, more needs to be done across Australia to ensure students graduating from high school, TAFEs and tertiary institutions have the skills that match employers’ needs. 

Mr Sezonov was in Adelaide today to chair the final steering committee meeting for 2018. St Patrick’s Technical College, in Edinburgh North, was one of 14 sites across Australia to pilot the innovative P-TECH model in a bid to better align student outcomes with employer demands. 

Today’s meeting involved representatives from St Patrick’s Technical College, Catholic Education South Australia, TAFE SA, the Federal Department of Education, Defence Teaming Centre, Saab Australia, Century Engineering, PMB Defence and DXC Technology. 

“The Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership has excelled the benchmark in terms of collaboration and establishing true industry partnerships,’’ Mr Sezonov said. 

“I congratulate all the partners involved for their commitment to the program and I hope to see the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnerships continue on through 2019.’’ 

The meeting also saw Mr Sezonov hand over the reigns as chairman for the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership to StPatsTech STEM Faculty Manager Brad Sheridan. 

Skilling Australia Foundation Chair Andrew Sezonov with Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnerships Industry Liaison Officer Toni Hartley and incoming of the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership Steering Committee Brad Sheridan. Mr Sheridan is the Head STEM teacher at St Patrick's Technical College.

Skilling Australia Foundation Chair Andrew Sezonov with Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnerships Industry Liaison Officer Toni Hartley and incoming of the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Partnership Steering Committee Brad Sheridan. Mr Sheridan is the Head STEM teacher at St Patrick’s Technical College.


Mr Sheridan said the partners were looking forward to continuing the P-TECH Partnership in 2019 and providing students with strong industry connections with Century Engineering, PMB Defence, Saab Australia and DXC Technology. 

The StPatsTech P-TECH Australia model is offered in Electrotechnology, Information Technology and Engineering.


#PTECHAustralia #Apprenticeships #stpatstech

StBrigidsTAT (11) for use

Primary schools try their hand at a trade

St Patrick’s Technical College has opened its doors this week to local primary school children to give them a real trade experience. 

With the College’s Year 11 and 12 students finished for the year, more than 260 Year 6 and 7 students from five primary schools in Playford and Gawler were able to get their hands dirty in the College’s state-of-the-art workshops during Try-a-Trade days. StBrigidsTAT (50) for use

The visiting students were able to experience some of the hands-on learning offered by StPatsTech. They made wooden tea light candle holders in the Building and Construction workshop; built mini biscuit houses in the Food and Hospitality kitchen; learned some basic automotive skills in the mechanical workshop; made their own electric conductivity tester in the Electrotechnology workshop; and learnt about gear ratios by building LEGO Technic Power Car in the science lab. 

StBrigidsTAT (28) for use

College Principal Danny Deptula said the visiting students were only a few years off making decisions about career pathways. 

“We want to ensure vocational education pathways are given the same consideration and weight by families and students as a tertiary pathway,’’ Mr Deptula said. 

“By opening our fantastic, $15 million purpose-built facility to local primary school students, we hope it opens their eyes to a whole slew of possible careers through vocational education. 

“We were very pleased to host the students and welcome any other schools who would like to give their students some hands-on learning opportunities.’’ 

StBrigidsTAT (64)Among the schools visiting StPatsTech are St Brigid’s Catholic School, St Mary Magdalene’s School, St Thomas More School, Blakeview Primary School and Hewett Primary School. 


200th Construction Apprentice celebrated with Skills Minister

St Patrick’s Technical College this week celebrated its 200th apprenticeship commencement in the Building and Construction industry.

Year 11 Construction student Lainie Thomson this week signed an apprenticeship with Career Employment Group for a Certificate III in Carpentry and will be hosted by a local builder.

StPatsTech shared the celebration this morning with South Australian Minister for Industry and Skills, the Honourable David Pisoni, who visited the Edinburgh North College to meet Principal Danny Deptula and Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) leaders.

“Lainie’s signing recently means we are edging closer to our 900th apprenticeship or traineeship commencement,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“I was very pleased to share the news that the last two Construction apprenticeships gained by our students were secured by young women and congratulate both students on taking the first big step on their career path.”

During his visit to the College, Mr Pisoni met with students and staff and toured the $15 million purpose-built facility.

In the past year the College has signed 86 Year 11 and 12 students onto an apprenticeship or traineeship. Over the next 12 months the College forecasts at least 80 more apprenticeship or traineeship commencements and is on track to sign South Australia’s first digital trainee.

During the visit, Minister Pisoni was able to meet students undertaking the College’s inaugural Information Technology program and see some of their work including the College’s VEX Robotics program.

Pisoni 2

“We are really ahead of the game with our Information Technology course at StPatsTech. Digital traineeships are the way of the future for industry to ensure a good supply of information systems workers and Vocational Education and Training will play a major role in this emerging workforce,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“Our Year 11 class are not just doing a general information technology course, they are studying a Certificate IV in Programming to industry standards and learning all the core computer skills and languages which industry say are a requirement for employment in the digital space. It is very exciting for the students’ career outcomes but also for the wider South Australian workforce.’’

The meeting included Chairman of the SA Commission for Catholic Schools Professor Denis Ralph and CESA Assistant Director Monica Conway.

StPatsTech is taking enrolments for 2019 and 2020. For information


Giving thanks

St Patrick’s Technical College celebrated its teaching and training staff today along with Member for Light, the Honourable Tony Piccolo MP.

Staff came together this afternoon to thank the College’s teachers and trainers for their commitment, care and guidance they show for our students.

College Principal Danny Deptula said StPatsTech was fortunate to have some of the best teachers in the country.

“We have wonderful educators and support staff here at StPatsTech who are committed to improving and changing the lives of students at the College,’’ Mr Deptula said.

Mr Piccolo signed more than 800 thank you certificates for teachers from schools that service the Light electorate in appreciation of their work.

Peter Branson, Project Engineer with PMB Defence, and Year 11 Electrotech student Kai Rogan working through lead battery theory.

Defence industry comes to the classroom

St Patrick’s Technical College P-TECH Australia partner PMB Defence stopped by the school today to help students learn more about lead-acid batteries.

The College’s Year 11 Electrotechnology class have been learning about lead-acid battery cells and how they charge and discharge. The class have been learning the theory aspects of batteries and voltage before heading to the workshop and making their own battery management systems.

StPatsTech STEM coordinator Brad Sheridan said PMB Defence’s mentoring and support gives students a much better understanding of how industry works.

“To have the engineers of the Collins-class Submarine batteries here in our classroom, sharing their knowledge and time with our young Electrotechnology students is invaluable,’’ Mr Sheridan said.

“We greatly appreciate PMB Defence’s contribution to our P-TECH Australia program, which directly connects industry and students through special projects and mentoring. Our students will return the visit soon, with a field trip to PMB Defence’s Osborne facility.’’

Mr Sheridan said establishing strong links directly with industry was a cornerstone of StPatsTech’s successful school-based apprenticeship and traineeship program.

“Today’s young person will use more STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) skills through their working life than previous generations. So bringing industry into the classroom to demonstrate what skills and knowledge they value can help our students hone in on their career path.’’

StPatsTech also runs P-TECH Australia programs in Engineering and Information Technology.

To find out more visit this link

Pictured: Peter Branson, Project Engineer with PMB Defence, and Year 11 Electrotechnology student Kai, working through lead-acid battery theory.



St Patrick’s Technical College students have been crowned the inaugural VEX Robotics champions for South Australia following a series of tournaments this year.

The VEX Robotics VRC Competition was held at Pedare Christian College with schools from around Adelaide entering teams.

The competition involves students building and coding VEX Robots to undertake autonomous and directed tasks to earn points. Teams are also judged on their knowledge, teamwork and workbook journals.

The win by the StPatsTech two teams – Silver Bugs Operatives and Last Place Wonders – who formed an alliance for the final bout, was even more significant for the College which introduced the Information Technology course in 2018.

Sliver Bug Operatives also took out the Judges’ Award for the tournament.

The teams during judging.

The teams during judging.

STEM teacher Brad Sheridan congratulated the students on their win.

“We bought the VEX Robots this year to really give the information technology students hands-on coding and engineering skills and we are extremely proud to see they have taken up the challenge with gusto,’’ Mr Sheridan said.

“These students are also fortunate to be part of the P-TECH Australia partnership with Saab Australia and DXC Technology. Through the P-TECH program, the students have been on work experience with both companies and received valuable classroom mentoring from software engineers and programmers within those businesses.

“Providing this support has really broadened the students’ knowledge, understanding and application of the technology they are learning.’’

ROBS WIN3Mr Sheridan thanked Pedare Christian College for hosting this year’s competition and said he was impressed to see what other schools are doing with robotics.

“STEM skills are going to play a huge part in the lives of workers of the future, whether you are going down a university pathway or opting for a trade or technical career,’’ Mr Sheridan said.

Enrolments are now open to join the StPatsTech programming course in 2019.

fillet weld workshop

Students collaborate with industry

St Patrick’s Technical College students have been learning from the best recently thanks to the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Australia program. 

The College is the first in South Australia to run a P-TECH Australia program for its students. It involves industry directly collaborating with teachers and students on projects and providing mentoring and work experience opportunities. 

Century Engineering and the newest Northern Adelaide P-TECH partner DXC Technology have spent time in with students during term three. dxc mentor 3

Century Engineering’s John Knop hosted four special welding sessions with students from the Year 11 Metals and Engineering program. 

Mr Knop, a Certificate 10 Welding Supervisor, showed students how to do a 6 millimetre fillet weld. Students learnt through trial and error how to set welding marks and produce a quality fillet weld. 

Century Engineering’s Business Development Manager Andrew Sinclair said it was important for the students to understand why certain welds failed and others succeeded and how to properly use the machinery. 

Meanwhile, students in the College’s Information Technology program received some mentoring from software engineers at DXC Technology. 

DXC Technology supported the students ahead of the last round of the Adelaide VEX Robotics competition, which they recently won. 

STEM teacher Brad Sheridan said DXC Technology were able to challenge the students with questions about their robots and also shared some general engineering principles. 

Northern Adelaide P-TECH Industry Liaison Officer Toni Hartley said the students were excited to welcome both Century Engineering and DXC Technology to their classrooms and learn directly from industry. 

“Making strong connections with industry is at the core of the P-TECH Australia program,’’ Ms Hartley said. fillet weld workshop 3

“You could really see the students got a lot out of the visits and all our P-TECH partners should be applauded for the time and care they put into mentoring the next generation of workers. 

“To take the time to share their knowledge and skills with young people is good for business, good for industry and a fantastic chance to build up our youth.’’ 

The Northern Adelaide P-Tech Australia partnership was recently listed as a finalist in the 2018 SA Training Awards for best Industry Collaboration.