A collage of staff and high school students taking part in the UOW Southern Highlands Future Finder Day. They all stand in a group in front of the TAFE NSW Goulburn

Goulburn students experience potential career paths in Future Finder Day

Goulburn students experience potential career paths in Future Finder Day

Hundreds of Year 8 students gain insight into study, employment options

More than 220 students from high schools across the Goulburn region were given a taste of their potential careers and study options during a Future Finder Day co-facilitated by the University of Wollongong’s (UOW) Southern Highland Campus.  

Year 8 students from Goulburn, Mulwaree and Crookwell High Schools visited TAFE NSW Goulburn last month (Wednesday 21 June), where they were guided through a series of hands-on sessions in health care, engineering, agribusiness, carpentry, archaeology, law, teaching, hairdressing and more.

The program was a collaboration between the Country Universities Centre (CUC) Goulburn, UOW Southern Highlands, University of Canberra, and TAFE NSW Goulburn.

UOW Southern Highlands Campus Manager Stephen Lowe said the Future Finder Day aimed to immerse students into the world of tertiary study in their early years of high school, to open their minds to future career paths.

“After consultation with local high schools, they wanted their students to learn about career possibilities at a much earlier stage than we have been offering with our programs for senior students, so we came up with the concept of a taster day for Year 8 students,” he said.

CUC Goulburn Manager Isabella Lesslie said it was a great opportunity for regional students to gain insight into the range of future career possibilities open to them.

“We even had local company Divalls on site to demonstrate what it is like to work in the earthmoving and bulk haulage business, and the students loved the practical nature of the sessions,” Ms Lesslie said.

The sessions were conducted by a range of specialists from employers, TAFE teachers and students from both TAFE and UOW.

TAFE Services Manager for the region John Wilde said, “the students asked lots of questions from teachers and students who were passionate about their area of expertise – we could see the students having ‘light bulb’ moments and engaging with teachers when they realised there were possibilities and pathways open to them that they hadn’t considered before.”

Mulwaree High School Careers Adviser Hannah Boyers said the Future Finder Day followed the concept that you can’t be what you can’t see.

“It’s hard to aspire to things you haven’t seen or experienced before,” Ms Boyers said.

“Future Finder was a great way to expose our younger high school students to ‘more’, to hopefully encourage them to engage with more pathways and raise their expectations of the opportunities open to them.”

UOW Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Strategy and Assurance) Professor Sean Brawley said regional campuses played a vital role in their communities, in providing students with a pathway to higher education.

“Over the past 25 years, UOW has developed a strong network of regional and metropolitan campus locations that are essential to their communities. We are thrilled to be able to help students, regardless of where they live, access the quality education that UOW has to offer and to open their minds to the many potential careers that are available to them,” Professor Brawley said.