Media Releases


Lainie takes the leap

As campus-based St Patrick’s Technical College students return to classes this week, one Year 11 Building and Construction student is doing something a little more impressive. Lainie Thomson’s love of horses and gymnastics has taken her all the way to Europe instead.

Currently in Germany as part of an Equestrian Australia young exchange program, Lainie, 16, is the SA 2017 Junior Vaulter of the Year.

Equestrian Vaulting combines gymnastics and horsemanship skills. It requires great rhythm, coordination, balance and trust between rider and athlete. Riding to music, athletes must complete compulsory moves and freestyle routines and Lainie has been part of the Quicksilver Competition for two years, training out of Cockatoo Valley.

“I really like horses and I did gymnastics for five years,’’ Lainie said before her trip.

“One of my friends did vaulting so I thought I would give it a go. It was pretty nerve wracking at first and it is hard, very hard to get your balance.’’

But once Lainie found her balance, she progressed quickly in the sport. Her favourite move is called a flic-flac, which is a backflip off a moving horse.

As one of about a dozen young people from Australia who have travelled to Germany as part of the Equestrian Australia’s exchange program, Lainie said she was looking forward to watching a major competition in Frankfurt.

Lainie, and her mum Toni who has accompanied her, will be billeted with different German families during the stay. Later this year, Germany will send a group of its talented young equestrians to Australia.

Lainie and her mum will take the opportunity to visit friends in the Netherlands and Greece following the exchange.

For the future, Lainie hopes to quality for the 2019 World Junior Equestrian Games.


Students help build safe places

St Patrick’s Technical College is partnering with St Vincent de Paul Society to provide safe, secure spaces for some of the state’s most vulnerable children.

Students from the College will design and build a play area and dog accommodation for the Vinnie’s Women’s Crisis Centre in Adelaide.

The 21 room crisis centre provides all meals and serviced rooms as well as kitchen, laundry and computer facilities for women in crisis. The facility is a child-friendly, pet-friendly service and provides women in crisis access to practical services to rebuild their lives.

St Vincent de Paul Society’s Schools and Community Engagement Officer Jayne Short visited the College recently and met with the students and staff involved in the program.

The College will provide the design (in consultation with Vinnies), materials and labour. Other Catholic schools will help with fundraising for the project.

“I don’t know how we would do this play area without St Patrick’s Technical College being involved,’’ Ms Short said.

“It’s also really important for us as an organisation to have the opportunity to talk with students about domestic violence and have that conversation around it with young people.’’

The first project will be building the dog accommodation and play space before the playground project scheduled by 2019.

Ms Short said the centre currently homes about 30 children at a time with hundreds expected through the doors in the coming years.

“It’s very important to have a play area within the centre because women are frightened to access the public playgrounds. This playground will let the children play and the mums can relax. I know the play area will be fantastic and it will be very meaningful to our guests,’’ Ms Short said.

The Year 12 Building and Construction class will undertake the project. Year 12 and Religious Education Coordinator John Neate said the College was proud to be involved with the program which not only benefitted the families at the centre, but would help build students’ trade skills.

SA police field 400 calls per week around domestic violence.

The Vinnie’s Women’s Crisis Centre is supported by BankSA, West End Community Fund, La Donna Hygiene, CMV and RAA Security Services.

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.


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.

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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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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.


Formal agreement between TAFE SA and St Patricks Technical College

TAFE SA and St Patrick’s Technical College are pleased to announce the launch of their new educational partnership which will help young people in Adelaide’s North stay at school and maximise their educational and employment prospects. Students who are enrolled at St Patrick’s Technical College will now receive TAFE SA accredited and supported training while still taking advantage of St Patrick’s Technical College state of the art campus and specialist trade focused SACE curriculum.

St Patrick’s Technical College students will be enrolling with TAFE SA through the Skills For All  Training Guarantee for SACE Students (TGSS) program enabling them to select from a range of professional trade based career pathways while still working towards the completion of their SACE.

By selecting from the wide range of potential courses being offered by TAFE SA and St Patrick’s Technical College, students will learn their skills at a combination of the St Patrick’s Technical College campus in Edinburgh North, TAFE SA’s Elizabeth campus or at a number of other industry based locations. This agreement provides complete flexibility for the delivery of training whilst providing world-class facilities for students to complete their training both at TAFE SA and St Patrick’s.

Under the agreement, St Patrick’s students will choose to enrol into one of a number of Certificate II programs at no additional cost to their school fees (eligibility criteria apply).  The following vocations are currently offered:

  • Automotive (Heavy & Light Vehicle specialisations)
  • Building & Construction
  • Electrotechnology
  • Food & Hospitality
  • Metal Roofing & Cladding (pre-vocational Plumbing)
  • Metals & Engineering

For students not making the transition into an apprenticeship during their enrolment at St Patrick’s, upon completion of their initial Certificate II qualification they will be guaranteed a training position at TAFE SA in the Certificate III course (subject to some conditions) that will help them with their chosen vocational career path.