Empowering Education through Culture at Cambridge Park High School

Western Sydney school engages different cultures with volunteer speakers

Schools industry Partnership
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On Tuesday the 25th of August, Cambridge Park High School in Western Sydney held their first inaugural 'Empowering Education through Culture' conference. Inspiring the Future was lucky enough to be involved, and it was wonderful to see volunteers empowering students throughout the day. The conference began with a special performance by the schools Pacific Dance group, which set the tone for a day celebrating culture and diversity! It was great to see the Principal Kristine Macphail, Careers Advisor Maggie Kamel and Transition Officer Anne Acret encouraging their students to embrace their culture and also embrace their opportunities.

The conference keynote speaker Rohan Tobler from Aboriginal Employment Strategy, shared his story from school to his career now, with all the challenges and twists in between. When speaking about his experience in primary school, he said: "it was hard for me to understand that people didn't know who Aboriginal people are." This disconnect from his culture only grew as he got older and took him down paths he now regrets. "No one ever said Rohan, you could be a doctor, a carpenter; you can be anything you want to be." This passion to now empower other young people in his culture with the opportunities and abilities they have was clear throughout his whole speech. 

Following a short morning tea break, the conference moved on to a speed career networking activity with students rotating around 15 tables speaking to different volunteers. The room was buzzing with conversation about careers and culture, as students spoke about their aspirations or got ideas about how to find a career that might interest them in the future. In a reflection following the activity, one student said they believe everyone can agree that today they learnt two things, "you don't really need to know what you want to do when you leave high school, and just take every opportunity you get." 

We want to congratulate Cambridge Park High on their wonderful event, it was a successful and enjoyable day for all. The simplicity of a conversation or hearing an engaging account of someone's experience can be the difference in a young person's next steps and perhaps future.


Through Inspiring the Future, we aim to make it easy for teachers to engage their students with real life career experiences and hear stories that can broaden their horizons and raise their aspirations. For those students who get to hear from and interact with different volunteers, their chance of future success grows. According to research by the Education & Employers Taskforce, young people who recall 4 or more interactions with employers during school are 5 times less likely to be NEET (not in education, employment or training) following school. 

These statistics only make it more important for the spread of Inspiring the Future to enable teachers everywhere to put on events such as Cambridge Park High School! How can you help young people in Australia forge better, more sustainable futures? 


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