College takes a healing approach

Written by SMC Administrator. Posted in Featured News, News, Timeline

St Mary’s College secondary students are preparing themselves for life beyond the classroom by undertaking a range of innovative and collaborative Vocation and Education Training (VET) courses that cater for each student’s needs and abilities.

For Year 12 student Nancy Bidiongo, who is completing her Certificate III in Individual Support, The District Nurses’ practice has become her classroom as she embraces the program’s placement opportunities in her final year of senior secondary schooling.

“I’ve always been interested in a career in nursing, so I was thrilled to learn I could start training while still at school,” Ms Bidiongo said.

“I’m learning so much about how to look after patients in the community, as well getting a greater understanding of the healthcare industry.

“You can really benefit from this program if you want to be a nurse because it gives you the opportunity to get first-hand industry experience.”

Ms Bidiongo’s enthusiasm saw her invited to undertake intensive work experience during her school holidays and has since secured a school-based traineeship seeing her work with The District Nurses two days per week.

The remainder of her school week is spent dedicated to completing the Tasmanian Certificate of Education at St Mary’s College in Hobart.

“It’s been a great experience to work with qualified nurses to learn technical skills and see exactly how things are done in a hospital,” she said.

Emily Balmer of The District Nurses said placements such as these provide a safe and nurturing way for students to make informed choices about their future career path and demistifies the community care industry.

“The District Nurses have a strong history of ‘growing our own’ , working with Hobart’s schools and colleges, and are proud to support and partner with St Mary’s College to offer school-based traineeships and placements,” Ms Balmer said.

VET Learning Co-ordinator and Student Pathways Planner Angela Mitchelmore said St Mary’s College courses were recognised nationally and catered to industry-specific requirements that allow students to develop practical understanding that can lead to paid placements.

“At St Mary’s College we understand that no two students’ educational needs are the same,” Mrs Mitchelmore said.

“Our Pathway Planning sessions start in Year 10, giving the college an excellent understanding of how we can work with students to find educational options that will see them excel in their endeavours,” she said.

St Mary’s College is a member of the Southern Tasmania Catholic Colleges Trade Training Centre.

It currently offers Certificate I in Business, Certificate II in Tourism, Certificate III in Individual Support, Certificate I in Hospitality and Working with Children (Level 2) and works with students to ensure all learning pathways are met.

As well as the current courses on offer, the college has always connected students to their passions by working with the community to ensure students can study their preferred VET subjects.

With more than 150 years’ experience in girls’ education, St Mary’s College provides a supportive environment tailored to ensure students go one pace beyond in all aspects of learning.

St Mary’s College is a Catholic school for girls from Kindergarten to Year 12, and boys to Year 2. For more information contact the enrolment officer on 6108 2560 or


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