Graduates make their mark

Proud graduates gathered at Morwell Central Primary School last week to celebrate the successful completion of an introduction to childcare course.

As part of Berry Street’s 3840 Our Learning Future Project, the 10-week Introduction to Childcare course was run in collaboration with the Queen Elizabeth Centre, Morwell.

The project works with local community members to establish pre-accredited learning opportunities and improve learning and employment pathways.

Berry Street neighbourhood learning links co-ordinator Den Lim said the course gave participants a chance to “learn to learn”.

“Partnering with QEC, we have explored a whole range of different topics that support all the participants’ knowledge in childcare,” Ms Lim said.

“The introduction to childcare course will serve as a stepping stone in terms of what the students want to do next.

“Whether that’s to improve their parenting skills or they want to support playschools or explore becoming a kinder teacher, we work with their individual goals … some of the participants are now looking at entering into a certificate IV in childcare.”

In addition to the course framework, elements of work readiness and goal setting were also included to give participants a springboard to further learning or employment.

QEC early childhood development educator Alyson Walsh helped deliver the course and said the graduates learned lots across the 10 weeks.

“We had guest speakers from within the industry speak most weeks, and the participants really loved that.

“I’ve seen a big change in [the participants’] confidence … we have a few that English is not their first language, so even the confidence in using English more has been great.”

Student Radha Lakshumi Sundaram was thrilled to graduate alongside five of her peers.

As a government registered Learn Local organisation, Berry Street tailors courses to help create pathways into further training and work and has a number of courses scheduled for 2018.

Berry Street deputy director Jane Barr said graduates like Ms Sundaram epitomised the purpose of the 3840 Our Learning Future Project.

“A lot of these participants have individual plans, and they’ve talked about their next steps and aspirations, so it builds a capacity for us to respect their ideas about learning and what works for them,” Ms Barr said.

For more information, phone Den Lim on 0438 644 538 or email