Robyn York’s life’s work as a teacher is brimming with wonderful memories of her past vocational education training (VET) students, many of whom have secured interesting careers in a range of fields.
With more than 20 years’ experience in teaching and training, Robyn now teaches to a lesser extent in the classroom and has moved into a senior educator position.
Robyn’s dedication to the industry has been recognised with several awards, including the 2013 Victorian VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year where she went onto represent Victoria as a national finalist in the same category for the 2013 Australian Training Awards.
‘The training awards program has opened doors for me,’ says Robyn. ‘They promote that you have a set of capabilities and you get recognised for that. I’ve since been invited to speak in schools and share my work as an ambassador for VET.’
One message Robyn shares, including as a member of the Australian VET Alumni member, is that VET is an amazing educational pathway for all.
‘It rivals uni in that students can enter at ground level and work their way through a qualification and into a career,’ says Robyn. ‘It’s also about strong personal development so students can reach their full potential and cultivate a sense of community belonging. Students gain a great deal of confidence as a result.’
Robyn spent years teaching young people with disabilities in the regional community of Mildura. She delights in the story of one young man with a physical and intellectual disability who was determined to move into harness racing.
‘I mentored him and supported him to secure a work placement with a trainer. He completed his Certificate I in Work Education and then a Certificate III in Harness Racing,’ says Robyn. ‘He’s now working full time as a driver and has part ownership of a horse.’
Robyn is proud to be an Australian VET Alumni member. She says she’s made great connections with other like-minded professionals and will continue spreading the word about the value of VET.
In the meantime, Robyn really enjoys her senior educator role, coordinating several VET programs, including a Certificate 1 in Work Education, Certificate I in Transition Education, Victoria Certificate of Applied Learning (foundation, intermedia and senior levels), Certificates I, II and III in General Education for Adults, and Certificate I in Initial Adult Numeracy and Literacy.