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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. 

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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. 


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.



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.

Corey Smith CDFC 2018 Scholarship recipients

Scholarship applications NOW OPEN 2019

St Patrick’s Technical College scholarships are now open for 2019.

Did you know that St Patrick’s Technical College has a number of scholarships to help students on their career pathway?

Now is the time to apply for the:

Employ SA Archbishop’s Scholarship

Central Districts Football Club Scholarship

Also eligible for financial assistance are students enrolled in The Smith Family Learning for Life program and assistance through BoysTown.

Click HERE for our Scholarships information.

WITHOUT the help from The Smith Family Learning for Life program, seventeen-year-old Jack Felton may not have secured his first job as an apprentice for Les Brazier Mobility.

Jack, from Davoren Park, was able to enrol in St Patrick’s Technical College’s Metals and Engineering course thanks to the Learning for Life program, which covered his tuition for Years 11 and 12.

Jack with Principal Danny Deptula.

Jack with Principal Danny Deptula.

He has recently started his apprenticeship in body repair technology with Les Brazier Mobility, which specialises in fitting out vehicles for people with physical disabilities. Even better, he was able to complete all the requirements for his SACE prior to beginning his apprenticeship so will spend the rest of his school year with his employer.

StPatsTech offers a number of apprenticeship opportunities which are now open for applications.

Earlier this year Central Districts Football Club awarded two scholarships for young players to attend StPatsTech. Normally the club only sponsors one scholarship, which covers two-thirds of the annual tuition fees, but Tyson Richard and Corey Smith were so impressive on and off the field they could not be split.

Both young men are in the Construction program at the College.

The College also offers an Employ SA Archbishop Scholarship which is a full scholarship covering the College’s tuition fee for the complete two-year program at St Patrick’s Technical College.

Troy Seyfang Workshop Training Manager CMV Trucks with Year 11 Automotive students Blair and Ryan.


Young people seeking apprenticeships need to stand out from the crowd by sharing their passions and practical skills, according to one employer.

Workshop Training Manager from CMV Trucks, Troy Seyfang, stopped by St Patrick’s Technical College recently to speak with Year 11 and 12 Automotive studies students.

CMV Trucks is in the processing of hiring apprentices to start in 2019 and Mr Seyfang said students need to ensure they stand out from the crowd by sharing with employers their hobbies, passions and aspirations.

“I want you (the students) to tell me why you are a good fit for my business,’’ Mr Seyfang said.

“Tell my about your passion, any work you do or other projects. I want to know you are a practical person, good with your hands, good with your mind and can think things through. I want to know that if I give you the job you will 110 per cent go for it and be a great apprentice for us.’’

Mr Seyfang said StPatsTech students often fared well in securing work because of the strong workshop and technical skills they learn at the College.

“StPatsTech does give students a step above other schools whose students may apply because of the mechanical and technical side of things here at the College.’’

Mr Seyfang also urged the students to work hard on their Maths and English as both subjects are vital to being a good mechanic.

Enrolments are now open for 2019 and 2020 at StPatsTech.

Jarrod Morton Winner

Old Scholar named SA’s best Apprentice

St Patrick’s Technical College is this week celebrating the announcement that Old Scholar Jarrod Morton has been named South Australia’s Apprentice of the Year at the 2018 SA Training Awards.

Jarrod attended the College in 2013 and 2014 to study Applied Engineering (Electrotechnology). In June 2014, Jarrod secured a school-based apprenticeship through PEER with BW Thompson Electrical and recently completed his apprenticeship.

Jarrod received his award at a gala event at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on 7 September.

StPatsTech also saw two school-based apprentices, a teacher and industry program shortlisted as finalists for the awards.

College Principal Danny Deptula congratulated Jarrod and the College’s other finalists Santiago Bribiesca Diaz, Cain Gerrits, Ms Linda Burton and the Northern Adelaide P-TECH partnership on their nominations.

“The recognition of five finalists from StPatsTech is a clear indication that our unique approach to senior secondary education is hitting the right notes,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“Since 2007 we have seen nearly 900 young people commence an apprenticeship or traineeship while at the College. We are immensely proud of the College for its outstanding facilities, strong industry connections, knowledgeable teaching staff and consistent career outcomes for students. But even more, we are proud of the hundreds of young people, including Jarrod, who have taken control of their lives and careers by choosing to come to StPatsTech for Year 11 and 12.

“On behalf of the entire College community, I would like to congratulate Jarrod on being named Apprentice of the Year and wish him all the best for the National Training Awards in Sydney in November.’’

Jarrod joins StPatsTech Old Scholars Jack Donaldson (Class of 2011) who won SA Apprentice of the Year in 2016 and Alex Nikielski (Class of 2011) who won SA School-based Apprentice of the Year in 2011.

Jarrod’s mother Catherine said he had opted to join StPatsTech for Year 11 and 12 to get a more hands-on education. Jarrod Morton 2018

“Jarrod has always been very good at Maths and was considering going to university to do electrical engineering but he thought he would be better off doing the trade to understand how to be an electrician before doing the engineering degree,’’ Mrs Morton said.

“He came to that decision on his own as a teenager, which I think shows a lot of foresight.’’

Jarrod is considering starting his degree shortly.

“We are obviously really proud of Jarrod, his work ethic and his positive attitude. He has worked really hard so deserves this recognition,’’ Mrs Morton said.

She said StPatsTech as a great choice for Jarrod, and his brother Connor who also attended the school and is an apprentice carpenter, because of the opportunities it opened to them both.

DXC Technology have signed up to be part of the College's P-TECH Autralia program. Phuong Trinh, DXC Technology, with student Alex Wilton


#stpatstech #ptechaustralia #defencejobs

To meet the demands of Adelaide’s burgeoning Defence industry employers must be more hands-on in helping produce the next generation of workers, according to the global IT services company DXC Technology.

Today it was announced DXC Technology has joined with St Patrick’s Technical College in Northern Adelaide to help ensure there is a local supply of workers in the information technology and communication (ICT) industries for the future.

As part of the College’s P-TECH Australia program, DXC Technology will help mentor and guide students undertaking a TAFE SA Certificate IV in Information Technology studies at StPatsTech. This course is already supported by Saab Australia who have welcomed DXC Technology’s commitment to building the local workforce.

The course is the only one of its kind offered to Year 11 and 12 students and may lead directly to jobs in the defence sector post-Year 12.

DXC Technology Defence Capability Manager Stuart Swan said ICT would be in every part of the Defence industries and the opportunities were broad and far-reaching.

“There’s huge opportunities for today’s young people, especially in the senior secondary age group. They can really set themselves up for big careers in big organisations with the absolute mountain of opportunity in the Defence sector, let alone in the broader ICT sector in South Australia,’’ Mr Swan said.

“Here at DXC Technology we are looking at what skills we need for our business and what we can do to better support young people going into ICT careers. Vocational entry pathways, digital traineeships, apprenticeships and schools working closely with industry are all important initiatives.’’

Mr Swan said DXC Technology signed onto the St Patrick’s Technical College P-TECH Australia program because it offered the company an opportunity to directly engage with senior secondary students and was already working in the Defence sector.

StPatsTech Principal Danny Deptula welcomed DXC Technology to the College’s P-TECH Australia partnership. Already working with the school are defence contractors Century Engineering, PMB Defence and Saab Australia.

“DXC Technology is a fantastic addition to the P-TECH Australia team working with StPatsTech,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“The company has already taken on some of our students for work experience, so those connections and mentoring has begun for our current crop of Information Technology students.’’

Skilling Australia Foundation’s Northern Adelaide P-TECH Industry Liaison officer Toni Hartley said she was impressed with DXC Technology’s enthusiasm in supporting young workers.

“They have just been fantastic to work with. Once Stuart and HR Manager Leanne Jarvis heard about what we were doing so successfully with Saab Australia, they immediately put their hand up to be part of the program,’’ Ms Hartley said.

Leanne Jarvis from DXC Technology (centre) speaks with Rebecca Giovine from Saab Australia and SAF's Toni Hartley.

Leanne Jarvis from DXC Technology (centre) speaks with Rebecca Giovine from Saab Australia and SAF’s Toni Hartley.“They have just been fantastic to work with. Once Stuart and HR Manager Leanne Jarvis heard about what we were doing so successfully with Saab Australia, they immediately put their hand up to be part of the program,’’ Ms Hartley said.

“Seeing such strong industry support for the Australia Government’s $5.1 million P-TECH Australia program means we are on the right track. We want to see more young people take a look at what StPatsTech is doing in this space and get on board in Year 11 for careers straight out of senior secondary school.’’

Enrolments are now open for the StPatsTech Information Technology course in 2019. StPatsTech College is a specialist trade and training senior secondary school which has helped more than 870 teenagers into an apprenticeship or traineeship since 2007.

Jacks seat2

Jack makes his career move

Jack Felton has not had to go far to secure his dream job thanks to Brazier Mobility in Edinburgh North.

Jack, 17, from Davoren Park is a Metals and Engineering student from St Patrick’s Technical College, which is next door to Brazier Mobility. Jack enrolled in StPatsTech last year on a Smith Family Scholarship, which has paid for his tuition at the College, and changed his life.

Initially interested in the College’s Automotive program, Jack missed out on a place due to demand in 2017. He decided he liked the school’s atmosphere so much, he instead enrolled in the Metals and Engineering program.

“It actually worked out better that way because I love cars and have a real passion so I already had a lot of skills in that area,’’ Jack said.

“But this Engineering course has helped me get my job because I was able to learn new skills in the metals workshop.’’

Brazier Mobility fits out vehicles for people with physical disabilities including wheelchair-access vehicles and unique, special order vehicles.

Jack began his Certificate III in Body Repair Technology today (September 6) and hopes to also do an auto-electrician apprenticeship in a few years’ time.

“Once I get my trades down, I would like to buy property and become a property investor,’’ he said.

Jack said the way StPatsTech is structured made it easy for him to make friends and get the support he needed from teachers.

“It was all great being here at StPatsTech. For me the teachers, Ms Burton, Mr Hill and Ms Holliday did a lot to help me by staying back with me in the workshop or helping me with my Maths and English.’’

College Principal Danny Deptula congratulated Jack on securing his apprenticeship.

“We are so pleased to see Jack on his way with his career, and even better, with one of our neighbouring businesses,’’ Mr Deptula said.

“I have had the privilege of touring the Brazier Mobility facility here in Edinburgh North and I believe Jack will greatly enjoy his time there. The company requires its tradesmen and women to be multifaceted in their skills and abreast of the latest technology in the automotive industry, which means the work is always interesting and engaging.’’

Jack recently showed Mr Deptula one of his Engineering projects – the 44 Drum Seat. Jack repurposed an old maritime 44 gallon drum to create a man cave seat. He used AutoDesk Inventor to draw his plans before hitting the tools to create the seat using rubber and timber.

Jack's 44 Drum Seat

Jack’s 44 Drum Seat

Jack has worked hard this year to complete all his Stage Two SACE requirements and will graduate in November. In the meantime, he will work full time in his apprenticeship.





StPatsTech wins robotics competition

St Patrick’s Technical College has taken out the inaugural VEX Robotics Competition VRC Adelaide.

The College’s Year 11 Information Technology students’ robots beat out machines from Pedare Christian College, Pembroke and Trinity College to take the title of VEX Robotics champions.

VEX Robotics run regular competitions around the world and the event on August 24th at Pedare College was the first in Adelaide.

The win is even more impressive as StPatsTech only introduced its information technology program at the start of the year and the students had to build their robots from scratch.

STEM teacher Bradley Sheridan said the students built their robots in teams. The robots then needed to be programmed and a controller also coded to talk to the machines.

“We are immensely proud of the students taking out the inaugural title. Some of our competitors had extremely impressive robots and have been doing a robotics program for some years. To see students who are new to the robotics space come in and start from scratch and win is amazing. It was certainly tough competition,’’ Mr Sheridan said.


The competition had 15 rounds with teams playing in alliances of two in two-minute rounds. Alliances can be with any other team in the competition. Teams have one operator and one spotter and must complete a series of tasks such as flipping disks, picking up balls and knocking flags.

When the first and second ranked teams, Pembroke and Pedare Christian College respectively, chose to align for the finals, StPatsTech’s third placed Silver Bug Operatives chose to align with its fifth ranked team the Last Place Wonders.

The first match of the final was declared a draw due to technical issues for one of the opponents and lead to a rematch, which StPatsTech won.

The next competition will be held on September 21 at Pedare Christian College.