Chifley College Bidwill Campus

Year 10 Future in Focus

Schools Industry Partnership, Jennie Payens

It’s a simple concept, all about the “Art of Conversation”.

On the 3 December 2020, Inspiring the Future Australia held a Year 10 Careers Day at Chifley College Bidwill Campus. For over ninety Year 10 students, the day felt different from the very start. Devices were reluctantly set aside and replaced by texta pens, posters and origami paper. Students completed group-based activities focused on employability skills. The emphasis had switched from right and wrong to adaptability, teamwork, perseverance, communication and self-discipline.

After recess, these same 16 and 17 year old’s gathered in the library. For the next two hours, in small groups, 14 industry volunteers shared their career stories and insights. For the first minute there was a slight awkwardness as the groups of students met their first industry volunteer but that changed rapidly and the room ignited with energy, conversation, questions and laughter. The student’s lit up from the genuine support and the mere thought of future possibilities beyond school. Could I be a landscaper? Could I use my creative flair in the commercial printing industry? Could I work in the metal industry? Could I us my computer skills in the IT industry? Could I make a positive future for myself? Could I become a carpenter? Could I get a casual job now?

The icing on the cake came the following day when one of our industry volunteers, Heidi Vanderlem, Talent Manager from Landscape Solutions, Seven Hills sent an email. It read “Just as a follow up, 15 students have registered for our Apprentice Info Session next week.”

Never underestimate the “Art of Conversation” to inspire our young people.


We would like to extend a huge thank you to the wonderful industry volunteers, the enthusiastic Year 10 students, Career Advisor - Deavelyn Besterwitch and all the staff at Chifley College Bidwill Campus