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Brad Grimes March 2018 (17)

Bradley revs up in the water

17-year-old St Patrick’s Technical College student Bradley Grimes will spend the upcoming school holidays hoping to prove he could be one of Australia’s next Olympians.

Bradley, who is studying StPatsTech College’s Automotive program, will be competing in the Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Swimming Championships in Sydney over eight days from April 21.

He will be competing in the 17/18 Men’s 1500m, 400m and 200m freestyle and hopes to impress selectors looking for the next generation of Olympians ahead of 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The national titles come after a hugely successful South Australia Age Championships for Bradley in January. He walked away with 13 medals including gold in the men’s 17 and under 1500m and 400m freestyle and 100m backstroke; seven slivers and three bronze medals, including in the Open Men’s 1500 freestyle.

Swimming under Playford Aquatic Club coach Carole Margrison, Bradley represented South Australia at last year’s Pacific School Games finishing the event with three bronze medals.

Bradley trains eight times a week and is aiming for make the next FINA World Junior Championships and in the long-term Commonwealth and Olympic Games.


Michael Olszewski from Stratco.

Industry links brings jobs to youth

One of Australia’s largest producers of quality building products is also one of St Patrick’s Technical College’s strongest industry allies.

Stratco has taken seven StPatsTech students for apprenticeships in the past five years and one of its senior executives was so impressed with the College he now sits on the StPatsTech College Board as a director.

Michael Olszewski manages Stratco SA’s trade sales and oversees its rigorous apprenticeship program and has been with the company for 30 years.

“Five years ago we were looking for apprentices and we were not getting the quality so I started ringing around high schools in the Northern area and I contacted StPatsTech,’’ Mr Olszewski said.

“I went and did a presentation and we opened the work place up to the College’s work experience program. As a result of that we were able to identify some really good students.’’

Mr Olszewski said the StPatsTech board is industry-focussed, which means the College is able to better prepare students to meet employer needs.

Mr Olszewski said Stratco has a rigorous screening program to ensure the right person is in the right apprenticeship. This includes work experience blocks, aptitude testing, physical tests, medical reviews and a probationary period of employment.

“Before we sign anyone up we will offer them part-time employment to give us a chance to watch them. We are looking at things like work ethic, enthusiasm, punctuality, cleanliness and social skills. Most of our apprentices do come from StPats because of the quality of the students in showing these skills,’’ Mr Olszewski said.

“Most of our apprentices are from StPatsTech because of the preparation done at the College for the students to enter the workforce. Those work ready skills are often what gets the StPatsTech students over the line.

“And we as a company invest a lot of time and money into our staff so we hope they will be loyal to us in return.’’

Mr Olszewski said the close working relationship between Stratco and StPatsTech had resulted in positive outcomes for the six apprentices.

Kjel Lillie – SbAT 2017


Keen to get straight into the workforce after graduating high school, 19-year-old Kjel Lillie knew he wanted to secure an apprenticeship.

Originally interested in plumbing, he soon realised it “wasn’t my cup of tea” and a stint at Stratco as part of StPatsTech’s extensive work experience program helped Kjel focus on his career path.

“I came here for work experience, I liked all the people here and the atmosphere,’’ Kjel said.

“I wanted to go straight into the workforce and I didn’t want to go to university and get a big HECS debt. I wanted to get an apprenticeship and knew I couldn’t do that at my old high school, so I switched to StPatsTech.

“At the end of my work experience time with Stratco, through StPatsTech, they offered me an apprenticeship and I was more than happy to take it.’’

Graduating Year 12 with his SACE in 2016, Kjel began his apprenticeship at the start of 2017 and says he loves the work.

“They are great to work for, all the bosses are really friendly. It’s definitely the best job I’ve ever had.’’

The feeling is mutual with Mr Olszewski describing Kjel as one of the best apprentices the company had seen.

“He’s reliable, honest and his attitude and work ethic is something the production managers have not seen before,’’ Mr Olszewski said.

Jacob Prescott – SbAT 2013


In 2011 Jacob Prescott knew he wanted to become a tradesman and saw St Patrick’s Technical College as his best pathway into an apprenticeship.

Then an up-and-coming footballer, Jacob was the recipient of the Central Districts Football Club scholarship to StPatsTech. Although a shoulder injury derailed his promising football career, Jacob has landed on his feet after securing an apprenticeship with Stratco. While his football injury impacted on his work, Stratco could see the potential in Jacob and have supported him through his apprenticeship.

Jacob said the company offered him the opportunity to move into the business-side of the trade by becoming an estimator. Using his trade knowledge, Jacob’s role is customer-based, providing quotes for material, supply and installation of Stratco’s products.

He said one of the best things about the company was the positive working environment.

Jacob was recently promoted as the Head Estimator for Stratco’s Alice Springs store and has begun a traineeship in sales.


World Plumbers’ Day 2018

On Sunday, March 11, World Plumbing Day was celebrated on mass around the world – bigger and better than ever seen before.

Here at StPatsTech, we celebrated World Plumbing Day with our plumbing students on Thursday, 15 March. The students were treated them to a bacon and egg breakfast. Steve and Marilyn, from Master Plumbers, as well as Gavin Day, from TAFE, were our guests.

A big thank you goes out to Ms Babic for organising the event.

Ryan Harris will spend his St Patrick's Day performing with his Irish Dancing club around Adelaide.

St Patrick’s Day 2018

All things Irish will be celebrated at St Patrick’s Technical College today, including one aspiring auto electrician who has been following his passion of Irish dancing.

Ryan Harris, 16, from Elizabeth Vale is studying a Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology at StPatsTech by day and hitting the dance floor by night as one Cashel Irish Dancing’s most promising male dancers.

Ryan Harris has found his confidence through Irish Dancing.

Ryan Harris has found his confidence through Irish Dancing.

Ryan competed in the national titles in 2017 with his mixed four hand becoming one of the top Irish dancing groups in Australia. He has won numerous competitions and has quickly progressed through grades, according to his teacher Bianca Marron TSRG.

This St Patrick’s Day Ryan and his fellow dancers will be dancing their way across Adelaide with performances from Adelaide Oval to Parahills Community Club.

Ryan, who has autism, said Irish Dancing had helped him build confidence over the years. When he first began he was unable to perform solo on stage. But after three years of dancing with a group, Ryan was confident enough to perform a solo dance at 2017’s national championships. He hopes to compete solo again at this year’s national titles.

“I felt really accomplished. It can be hard for people with autism to perform our dances in front of a crowd of people,” Ryan said.

Ms Marron said Ryan had come on “in leaps and bounds” since joining the club two years ago and was one of four teenage boys dancing for Cashel Irish Dancing.

“We have four young men, which isn’t too bad, and it’s a really positive thing that three of those boys came into dancing late,’’ she said.

“It takes a lot of talent and a unique amount of skill to perfect Irish Dancing.’’

Ms Marron said Ryan and the other boys were looked up to at the club by the younger dancers.

StPatsTech College Principal Danny Deptula said Ryan was a great example of breaking stereotypes.

“Ryan has not let society’s stereotypes about mechanics or dancing hold him back from following his passion,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“The fact that he has been able to overcome difficulties he faced due to autism makes his achievement even more commendable. We wish him all the best for his competition events this year.’’

St Patrick’s Day has been marked by the College with a special Liturgy and Assembly. Archbishop Philip Wilson attended the event and students were treated to celebratory green donuts.

StPatsDay 2018 StPatsDay 2018 StPatsDay 2018

St Patrick's Day 2018 was celebrated at St Patrick's Technical College with a special assembly and liturgy and morning tea.

St Patrick’s Day 2018 was celebrated at St Patrick’s Technical College with a special assembly and liturgy and morning tea.

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The first students into St Patrick's Technical College's new Certificate IV in Programming course have logged on for the first time. The students will study this TAFE SA course while also completing their SACE. The course is part of the College's innovative P-TECH Australia program to boost STEM careers and help build Adelaide's defence industries.

Pictured: Cameron Grimmond, and Ethan Cooper-Smart, on 5/2/18

Students log onto their future

St Patrick’s Technical College’s first intake of students studying information technology have logged on for the first time.

In what is believed to be a first in South Australia, Year 11 students are studying a Certificate IV in Programming which could lead to a career as a Software Engineer or Software Developer. The course is being run in partnership with TAFE SA and Saab Australia as part of the Australian Government’s $5.1 million P-TECH Australia program.

Cameron Grimmond (pictured at front) is among the first intake for the course at StPatsTech. A keen gamer, Cameron will study the dedicated information technology course for the two years of his senior schooling. He said this focus on IT was the deciding factor in opting to attend StPatsTech over his previous school.

“I’ve always been interested in IT and my grandma suggested I look at coming here (to StPatsTech),’’ Cameron said.

“I’m not really sure what I want to do as a career but I know it will be something to do with IT.’’

Cameron said he hoped the course would expand his skills and understanding. He was enjoying the hands-on nature of the course as well.

“I really like my teacher (Michael Gauci) as well. Knowing he’s a software engineer, it’s great. He has had a lot of experience in the past and knows what he’s talking about, which you can respect.’’

Teacher Michael Gauci directs students during their Certificate IV in Programming studies at St Patrick's Technical College.

Teacher Michael Gauci directs students during their Certificate IV in Programming studies at St Patrick’s Technical College.

Saab Australia’s Rebecca Giovine, Manager – People Development, visited the College recently to meet the students and introduce them to Saab Australia. The company will play an active and important role in the IT course by offering mentoring, work experience and inviting students to contribute ideas for projects.

“For us at Saab Australia, we want to partner with high schools in this capacity to help create the future pipeline of talent within the technology industry,’’ Ms Giovine said.

“It’s about fostering talented young people and opening their eyes to the potential career pathways in companies like Saab Australia.’’

Ms Giovine said she hoped the students would be set on the pathway to become software developers or computer scientists either through full-time employment following their Year 12 graduation or future tertiary student.

TAFE SA IT Lecturer Danny Sarris, who is delivering the program at StPatsTech alongside teacher Michael Gauci, said the program aligned with the State Government’s economic priorities and supported the focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

“The Government has a big focus on STEM skills and future job roles which will involve more IT skills,” Mr Sarris said.

“As part of this innovative program, students will spend a dedicated day focusing on their programming studies including industry visits and mentorship with Saab Australia staff.

“Once they complete the two-year program, students have direct entry to the Diploma of Software Development and the Bachelor of IT at Flinders University or UniSA if they wish. They may also be eligible to undertake traineeships or internships with Saab Australia.”

Overseeing StPatsTech’s three P-TECH projects – others include an engineering course in partnership with Century Engineering and an electrotechnology course in partnership with PMB Defence – is Skilling Australia Foundation’s Toni Hartley.

Ms Hartley congratulated the students on taking control of their future by enrolling in the IT course at StPatsTech.

“Saab Australia recognised an opportunity to engage with young people based on an identified need for Diploma level software engineers as a direct result of the future defence industry projects in South Australia,’’ Ms Hartley said.

“We expect a workforce increase from 350 to around 600 over the next three years and not all those positions require a university degree. We expect to see entry level software engineering jobs for Certificate IV or Diploma level graduates.’’

Master Plumbers Souther Australia Field Officer Steven Prisk speaks with Year 11 Plumbing students about their career options. 

Work Ready skills make the difference in the jobs stakes

St Patrick’s Technical College students are more ready for the work force than their peers attending other pre-vocational programs, according to one industry group.

Master Plumbers South Australia field officer Steven Prisk (pictured speaking with the students) said he was continually impressed by StPatsTech students, with eight Old Scholars currently doing their apprenticeships thanks to Master Plumbers SA.

“I think the quality of students and what the school is teaching here at St Patrick’s in terms of what the workforce needs is fantastic,’’ Mr Prisk said.

“We do find the students here are very mature and they are work-ready. They tend to hit the ground running when they get an apprenticeship, which is extremely important for employers.”

Mr Prisk the College’s Work Ready program meant StPatsTech students were confident in communicating with employers and able to listen and take instruction well.

Mr Prisk visited the College today to speak to the Year 11 Plumbing students about the industry and possible career pathways.

He told the plumbing industry was currently booming with plenty of job opportunities across the state.

“The industry is right now booming and going very, very well,’’ he told the students.

“I have to say, I have been taking a lot of your Year 12 students at the moment, which is great for them as they are starting a great career,’’ Mr Prisk said.

Already this year, two Year 12 students have started their apprenticeships thanks to Masters Plumbing SA. Harrison Druack and Tarran Mancone commenced apprenticeships with Jordan Plumbing in February.

From left St Patrick's Technical College Prinipal Danny Deptula, Narayan Sreenivasan, Geo Leader, Business Transformation Asia Pacific South from Dassault Systemes; Skilling Australia Foundation's Industry Liaison Officer Toni Hartley, and Director of the Northern Economic Plan Lak Kondylas.

Connecting with industry

The world’s largest software engineering company, Dassault Systemes, has visited Northern Adelaide’s St Patrick’s Technical College to take a closer look at the school’s innovative approach to developing technical and trade skills in senior secondary students.

Dassault Systemes’ Geo Leader, Business Transformation Asia Pacific South Narayan Sreenivasan visited the College recently to meet with Principal Danny Deptula and Toni Hartley, who is the College’s Industry Partnership Manager and Skilling Australia Foundation’s Northern Adelaide P-TECH Industry Liaison Officer.

Mr Sreenivasan said Adelaide’s potential to become a manufacturing hub was huge with the area already boasting a talented workforce.

“Adelaide could become a hub for us because we see a lot of new talent and huge potential to grow supply chains in Australia and across the Asia Pacific,’’ he said.

Mr Sreenivasan said Adelaide already had the skilled workforce capable of serving today’s market but there was great capacity for more jobs in the future.

Northern Economic Plan Director Laki Kondylas said developing pathways for Northern Adelaide young people from school to the emerging industries was important to ensure the region benefited from the massive growth expected in the future.

“We think it’s pretty important to create pathways for people in defence industries. Defence industries in South Australia has a huge potential for growth and we are working to ensure we have appropriately skilled workforce available to take up those jobs,” Mr Kondylas said.

Dassault Systemes has announced Adelaide would support the delivery of a Virtual Shipyard Training Project. The company’s new Adelaide centre is expected to open by the second quarter of 2018.
Over the past few weeks, StPatsTech has also hosted other industry leaders at its $15-million purpose-built facility.

Staff from Defence Science and Technology Group list to Information Technology teacher Michael Gauci during their visit StPatsTech.

Staff from Defence Science and Technology Group list to Information Technology teacher Michael Gauci during their visit StPatsTech.

Representatives from the Defence Science and Technology Group (DST Group) toured the College with a particular focus on the new Information Technology course which is being run in partnership with TAFE SA and Saab Australia under the $5.1 million P-TECH Australia program.

DST Group has been a strong industry supporter of the College since it opened in 2007. One of the College’s first intake of students completed his apprenticeship with organisation.


Jobs Boom for the North

St Patrick’s Technical College has welcomed news that Elizabeth will become a centre for crane manufacturing after it was announced Victorian-based Australian Crane and Machinery (ACM) would set up a base at the former Holden plant.

The $16-million announcement was made today and comes following an announcement late last year that Melbourne-based cyber security company VeroGuard Systems would invest $57.5 million in building a manufacturing facility in Edinburgh.

StPatsTech College Principal Danny Deptula said the 600 jobs expected from VeroGuard and 190 from the ACM manufacturing plant was great news for young people looking to enter a trade or technical career.

“While we hope this will provide employment for the workers affected by the closure of the Holden manufacturing plant at Elizabeth last year, we also recognise that the next generation of workers in the North will greatly benefit by having these multi-million companies operating in the area,” Mr Deptula said.

He said Automotive, Metals, Engineering and Electrotechnology students would be well positioned for apprenticeships with the companies. ACM will employ welders, fitters, auto electricians and machinists as well as automotive tradespeople.

“The announcement today is proof there is a strong future for apprentices in northern Adelaide and clear career outcomes for young people interested in trades,’’ Mr Deptula said.

ACM Managing Director Ben Potter said ACM chose the site in Elizabeth because of the presence of skilled labour, engineers and a stable workforce and political environment.

“The location is excellent for export market shipping and access to wind farms where our largest units are used for maintenance. Of course, the weather is also great, which is important for us working and testing our machines in the field,” he said.

ACM manufacturing centre will begin production early next year. The plant will cover up to 28,000 square metres and ACM will receive a $2.2 million grant from the Economic Investment Fund to establish the facility.

ACM is the largest privately-owned manufacturer of cranes and Elevated Work Platforms (EWPs) in the Oceania region and exports to the United States, Chile and Canada.

Today’s announcement adds to the success of Investment Attraction South Australia (IASA), which is bringing companies like Boeing and Technicolor to our state.

Premier Jay Weatherill said the announcement by ACM was avote of confidence” in South Australia’s ability to manufacture and export technically-advanced, large-scale equipment to the world.

“It will create a diverse range of jobs and apprenticeships in the metal trades. This is important in the context of creating and maintaining skill synergies across other industry sectors including defence, infrastructure, energy and mining,” Mr Weatherall said.

A St Patrick’s Technical College student has swapped her school books for her passport this week as she jets off to the United States to compete in an elite cheerleading competition.

Siobhan Butson, 16, from Angle Vale is part of Gawler’s MTM Allstars Magic Gold team that was selected to compete at Duel in the Desert in Palm Springs, California. Duel in the Desert is one of America’s most famous cheerleading competitions and Siobhan will see routines from some of the world’s best teams.


Along with her mum Jodie and 16 teammates, Siobhan will also get the chance to see Los Angeles and Disneyland while in the US.

“I’m really excited to be able to compete against the Americans because they were the originals and they are really, really good,’’ Siobhan said.

“I’m very happy to have this opportunity.’’

Magic Gold will compete in Level One of the five-level competition and have been training hard to hone their routine. The team were rated South Australia’s best team last year, which earned them a place at the national competition Pinnacle in November.

Siobhan was part of the 2018 Year 11 intake at StPatsTech and is studying Hair and Beauty as well as her SACE. StPatsTech wishes her all the best for the competition.

Jaden Rollison will represent SA at the upcoming National Junior Track Championships in Melbourne in February 2018.

Jaden Set for Success

Combining trade training with an elite sports career is one way St Patrick’s Technical College student Jaden Rollison is guaranteeing a secure future for himself.

Jaden is one of South Australia’s most talented young track cyclists and will soon represent the state in the Under 17s Australian Junior Track National Championships in Melbourne.

As a member of the South Australia track cycling development squad, Jaden hopes his performance over the next 12 months will see him selected to the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) by 2019.

The former BMX champion is the current State Sprint Champion holding the gold medal in both the 200m and 500m sprint. Training seven days a week, Jaden one day hopes to be selected to represent Australia at the Olympic Games.

Jaden, who cycles for Central Districts, joined the Year 11 intake to StPatsTech in a bid to secure an apprenticeship as a plumber. Inspired by his pop, who was a plumber for 50 years, Jaden hopes he can combine his trade training and cycling schedule.

He said he appreciated the value of having a trade behind him, especially once his cycling career winds down.

College Principal Danny Deptula congratulated Jaden on his impressive achievements and wished him all the best for the national titles.

“Jaden has obviously seriously considered his future and can see the value in developing skills off the cycling track which can support his dreams of becoming an Olympian,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“StPatsTech is a great choice for young sportsmen as they can continue to follow their sports passion while securing an apprenticeship or traineeship, which can serve them for the rest of their lives.’’

The 2018 Cycling Australia Junior Track National Championships will be held at the Disc Velodrome from February 19 to 25.