Click to view our other publications
Year in Review
Course and Career Guide
International Student Guide
Year In Review : 2011
25 of WSI students identify as being from a language background other than English 30.1 % Collaborating to address social disadvantage By partnering with government and non-government organisations, WSI provided accessible and inclusive education and training programs responsive to the diverse attributes, circumstances and aspirations of our community. A range of special programs were delivered which focused on foundation and employability skills. The Orchard Hills Farm Project involved partnerships with 15 non-profit and government organisations, including lead agency, Cana Communities Incorporated. The program focused on holistic approaches to the overall wellbeing of individuals and communities. WSI delivered training in agriculture, horticulture, landscaping and home maintenance on site at the three hectare farm’s community learning space to support and train refugees, ex-offenders, homeless people, unemployed people and people with mental health conditions. One hundred and fifteen students enrolled in courses through this partnership in 2011. The outcomes included the regeneration of the farm and the refurbishment of the original residence which will be used in the future for homeless people and youth retreats. Accredited TAFE training programs for Sustainable Community Gardening were provided in partnership with Community Centres, Blacktown City Council, the Seven Hills Depot and Cumberland Hospital. The training programs, which were delivered in a range of community and neighbourhood centres, included the embedding of foundation and employability skills. Eco-friendly community gardens were established at the centres, including a number of fragrant gardens developed utilising therapeutic approaches. These programs provided opportunities for isolated and disadvantaged members of the community to join an inclusive and supportive educational group, increasing self-worth and strengthening communities. Local communities benefitted through the development of a community garden providing a community learning space and an outlet for isolated people to meet, contributing to the overall wellbeing of individuals. A joint venture between WSI and Jesuit Social Services addressed entrenched social disadvantage in the Mount Druitt area. This innovative, community-inspired service made a genuine difference to the educationally disconnected youth and young adults/mothers in the area by incorporating the Certificate II in Retail with workplace skilling and employment readiness using café, mini supermarket and clothing barn facilities. As well as providing job skills for these participants, this program provided a smooth path to further training. The intensive retail course links in with Mount Druitt College’s JobPond, ClothesPond and Mount Druitt College’s Hair and Beauty section. Through these add-ons, participants were assisted with resumé writing, interview techniques, personal grooming, fashion and presentation.