David's VCAL success


 St Monica's VCAL studentsBy Helen Rabenda, VCAL Coordinator, St Monica’s College, Epping 

David Lot from St Monica's College, Epping, combines his VCAL with VET's in Hospitality and Building and Construction. David has a very clear pathway; he is a people person and once told me that he dreams of owning and managing a luxury hotel, combining his hospitality and business skills.

On first meeting David, I was struck by his friendly nature and can-do attitude. He gets involved, and importantly he pushes himself to the next level. He has overcome nerves, logistical problems and in true Monican spirit he has persevered.

David's first major challenge was to prepare a hot buffet for over 50 students and teachers on our annual Team Building Day at YMCA Lake Dewar. David is a natural chef and put his hand up to take on the task. He quickly found that this also required organisation, costing up and buying the ingredients and managing a small team of cooks. Needless to say he excelled.

In May, I asked David if he would represent VCAL at our whole school assembly. David is a good communicator but this was communication on a whole new level. This involved telling the school, 2,000 students plus teachers, about the merits of VCAL and why he chose it. David prepared a great speech; short, to the point and personable. After a couple of rehearsals, he felt ready. Up there on stage, I was probably more nervous than him, but he did an amazing job. He really showed himself to be a great ambassador for VCAL.

With this under his belt, I asked David to be Master of Ceremonies at a VCAL presentation ceremony for a City of Whittlesea Council social cohesion project. David's group produced a campaign called #FilterYourWords which was met with huge success, finding its way into social media and into the Reading cinema in Epping. Being MC at this presentation meant introducing a number of external bodies including representatives from City of Whittlesea, The Huddle and CMYC. It also included David reading prayer and acknowledgement of country. This time David was really nervous, but he had committed and I knew that he would do his best. Again, he did himself and the VCAL team proud.

David visits an Aged Care Facility in Keon Park. David made a lasting impression on residents and staff, so much so that they wanted him to keep him. David completed five allocated class time visits with his peers and what he did there warmed many hearts. David played Italian cards, he sat and listened, he was patient, and he used his language skills to build relationships that overlooked age differences and state of mind. All the while, he was building his own personal development and work related skills.

David has excelled in VCAL. He has stepped up time and time again and taken on challenges, which will all serve to get him closer to his goal. He is a perfect example of someone who is willing to put their hand up and to give it a go.