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Faith-filled students honoured

Catholic Education senior school students across the state were recognised through the presentation of the annual Mary MacKillop Awards of Excellence at a special Mass held at St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral in Adelaide, on Saturday 26 October 2019.

We are delighted that Jackson Billingsley and Deakin Summers-Hime were each awarded as the 2019 recipients for St Patrick’s Technical College for their commitment to actively living out the vision of the College.

Above, Jackson and Deakin are pictured with Fr. Philip Marshall, Administrator Delegate of the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide, and below, with Principal Danny Deptula.

Mary MacKillop Award 2019 Recipients

A weld of difference

Developing their knowledge and skills in the metal fabrication industry, Year 11 Plumbing and Metals & Engineering students have successfully completed a Welding Project. Devised and overseen by Century Engineering, the project delivers the skills required for students to competently weld to the Australian Standard.

Thank you to Andrew Sinclair from Century Engineering for presenting awards to our outstanding students in this project. Congratulations to Jordan Ranasinghe awarded Best Theory, to Charlotte Simmons for Best Practical, and to Christopher Skelton Best Overall. All winners received a Cigweld welding helmet from Century Engineering.

Information Technology teacher Mr Brad Sheridan said many teachers, trainers and mentors were involved in the project, overseeing and assisting students learning new skills.

“The major component of this project was to complete a fillet weld with a theory component completed in the students’ Cross-Disciplinary Studies class,” Mr Sheridan said.

“John Knop from Century Engineering was vital to this project in teaching our students the practical skills in achieving correct weld size and shape. Thank you to Andrew Sinclair for overseeing the whole project and continuing to support our students in learning and welding safety in this industry.”

As part of the project, students attended several site visits, including to Century Engineering, to Intertek to have their welds tested, and to GPA to look at the design and insurance process.

St Patrick’s Technical College collaborates with Defence contractor Century Engineering as part of the Northern Adelaide P-TECH Australia learning program. Century Engineering is a leading manufacturing company with key capabilities in manufacturing, general engineering services, water/water reuse solutions and new machining capabilities.

Through the program the College is partnered with defence industry, working in partnership with several businesses to bridge the gap between school and the workforce. The overarching aim is to build the capabilities and technical skills young people need to succeed in school, further education and work.

Engaging in several projects throughout the year, the program challenges students’ skills they would require for their chosen industry and provides high school students with the foundation skills they will need to be part of the Defence industry in Adelaide.

Old Scholar wins Trainee of the Year

St Patrick’s Technical College is celebrating a win for Old Scholar Sarah Mills crowned Trainee of the Year at the 2019 SA Training Awards.

Class of 2018 Hair & Beauty graduate, Sarah completed her Certificate III in Beauty Services with TAFE SA and now works full-time at Brazilian Beauty North Adelaide with her focus on making people feel confident in their own skin.

Sarah sees her work as a steppingstone to her goal of becoming a dermatologist. She would like to help people cope with skin conditions and come up with solutions that aren’t too complex or harsh on patients’ skin.

Held on Friday 6 September at the Adelaide Convention Centre, the night celebrated and recognised quality, excellence and innovation in training. Hosted by the Training and Skills Commission, the annual Awards are the State’s peak awards for Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni congratulated the six winners in the Individual Awards.

“I have no doubt that many of these young people will be owning their own businesses and hiring apprentices and trainees of their own in the years to come.”

Sarah will now represent South Australia on the national stage at the Australian Training Awards hosted in Brisbane on Thursday 21 November.

St Patrick’s Technical College was a finalist at this year’s awards in the VET Innovation for Schools Award category. Year 12 Metals and Engineering student Tayla Carll was also a finalist for the School-based Apprentice of the Year Award. Tayla is currently studying a Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade while an apprentice at Stratco.

Nearly 1000 St Patrick’s Technical College students have commenced apprenticeships/traineeships in South Australia.

A VEX Robotics win for StPatsTech

VEX Robotics Comp_Tournament 1The VEX Robotics Teams have taken out first and second places in Tournament 1 of the VEX Robotics Competition held at Pedare Christian College, Golden Grove.

Competing in the Year 9-12 VEX VRC competition, the Year 11 & 12 Information Technology (IT) students are ahead of the game and have qualified for the National Tournament to be held in Adelaide in December.

Nine teams fought it out in the ring in the world’s largest and fastest-growing middle school and high school global robotics program. VEX Competitions bring STEM skills to life by tasking teams of students with designing and building a robot to play against other teams in a game-based engineering challenge.

Under the great mentorship of IT teacher Brad Sheridan, the wins by the College’s two teams – Paddy’s Cafe and Team 2 – was even more significant for the College proving how spectacular the IT students and staff are by winning two years in a row!

Discovering a world of opportunities at BAE Systems Australia

Students in Year 11 Electro-Technology and Year 11 and 12 Information Technology visited BAE Systems Australia, Edinburgh Park, to expand on their understanding of defence solutions and advanced technologies and to discover the opportunities available through skilled training.

BAE Systems is Australia’s most versatile defence and security company working closely with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and security customers by delivering innovative solutions.

Students were extremely excited to commence their visit with the opportunity to see various areas of the manufacturing facility. After an initial introduction, students moved into three groups visiting areas related to electronic systems, advanced manufacturing, IT and cybersecurity and the JORN project, which relates to the students’ own Remote Target Detection project developed by BAE Systems.

Employees in each of the areas were very informative and we appreciate the time they took to explain their role within the company expressed with great warmth and insight.

The tour concluded with a Q&A.

Students thoroughly enjoyed the tour and felt privileged to have visited BAE Systems. They realise the various possible career pathways available within the company.

Thank you to Lou Pivato and Sharyn Richter for organising the visit. St Patrick’s Technical College is honoured to work in partnership with BAE Systems, together focussing on enhancing educational opportunities and encouraging students to pursue a career in the industry. We look forward to working together in future opportunities.

Bradley Sheridan | Head of P-TECH

A Chipper of a Day

Electro-Technology students spent a day touring the PepsiCo snack food manufacturing facility in Regency Park. They were given access to areas not usually seen by the public including the production lines, packing facilities and logistics.

Highly visible was PepsiCo’s innovative workforce consisting of people working alongside automated solutions and intelligent appliances. The students were amazed with the level of automation including the autonomous forklifts and computer-controlled robotic packing arms. PepsiCo innovation lies not in altering the product but in altering the production and processes around the product.

Fascinated by the computerisation and inquisitive about the end products, students were encouraged to investigate by taste-testing hot unseasoned chips straight off the production line.

It was an amazing experience and opened a whole new world of industry to our students.

“It was fun… the hot chicken Twisties were great.”

“The self-drive forklifts were cool.”

“The conveyor belts which identified everything and the robot arms with the suction on the bottom was great.”

PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand encompasses three business units: The Smith’s Snackfood Company, PepsiCo Beverages and Bluebird Foods, with iconic brands such as Smiths Chips, Red Rock Deli, Twisties, Sakata Rice Crackers, Pepsi Max and Gatorade.

New Leaders Commissioned

Our 2019 College leaders were formally acknowledged today during a special Liturgy. Following their recent appointments, Captains Ethan Saul and Scott Larsen, and Vice-Captains Corey Lloyd and Charlotte Simmons were commissioned in their roles among family and peers.

College Chaplain, Mr John Neate, led the service through prayer and invited the newly appointed leaders to come forward and be blessed while granting them wisdom, courage and honour to serve.

Delivering an account on the qualities of good leadership, Principal Danny Deptula spoke of the importance of attitude and good skills. Honesty and integrity, commitment and passion, a good communicator and listener, taking accountability, decision-making, and vision were among the key traits defined in the success of leadership.

“A lot of people think that a leader needs to be seen all the time to be doing good things,’ Mr Deptula said.

“What I’m saying to you is, to me, what’s more important is what you do when people are not looking.”

The leaders were presented with badges; a symbol of their leadership and to remind the College community of the special role these students will maintain.

Mr Neate finished the memorable service with a final blessing of the badges.

Heavenly Father bless the badges that the student Leaders will wear as a sign of their leadership which has been entrusted to them. Let the students who wear these badges be leaders who generously serve others.”

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.

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.’’