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Praise for innovative VCAL program that inspires learning

Don Elliott (left), accepting his award from Minister for Education the Hon. James Merlino MP. Photo credit: VCAA.

Teacher Don Elliott and his electric cars have inspired dozens of disadvantaged students to learn, find work and start their engineering and electrotechnology careers. Now Don has won a prestigious teaching award presented by the Minister for Education.

Don was awarded the VCAL Teacher Achievement Award – Program Development at the VCAL Achievement Awards held at Deakin Edge in Federation Square.

“The award is a good story for tech teachers. We’re working hard, doing the best we can. It’s tangible evidence that we’re delivering for learners,” Don said.

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands-on option for students in Years 11 and 12 and, like VCE, is a recognised senior secondary qualification. It is often a pathway into TAFE, apprenticeships or employment for learners who require support with their education and development.

A TAFE teacher for over 30 years, Don’s innovative Energy Efficient Vehicle (EEV) program has given learners the chance to design, construct and race an electric powered vehicle. Most complete Engineering and Electrotechnology certificates, but Don has also ensured learners from other industry specific skills programs can get involved.

Don has helped learners to work with professionals to design and construct all the vehicle components. They have gained skills in welding, wiring, designing the battery and brake systems and installing a two-way radio and GPS

At the 2016 RACV Energy Breakthrough 24-hour endurance race at Maryborough, our Holmesglen team finished first in the Single Power Source (OPEN) trial and won awards for design, construction and innovation. Our learners are now preparing for the 2019 race, which will be held in November.

“My philosophy on campus is respect for each other and the environment. Off campus at the Energy Breakthrough, the philosophy of respect continues. After all, we are ambassadors for Holmesglen and must compete with dignity and pride,” Don said in a past interview for the Energy Breakthrough.

Minister for Education and Deputy Premier, the Hon. James Merlino MP, presented the recent VCAL award to Don and recognised the significant contribution teachers make in the delivery of innovative senior secondary programs.

“VCAL opens doors for students and provides them with real world skills that set them up for future success, no matter which pathway they choose,” he said.
Find out more about VCAL at our courses page.

All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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