Big wins at NSW Training Awards
09 Oct 2021
Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta has once again taken out the 'Small Provider of the Year' at the NSW Training Awards. At the same time, Year 10 student Ethan Zammit has been named 'VET in Schools' Student of the Year.
A leader in Vocational Education and Training, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) has 80 schools across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains. This includes Ethan's school, St Mark's Catholic College (part of the Catholic Learning Community of St John XXIII Stanhope Gardens). Both Ethan and CEDP will now progress to the National title, last won by CEDP in 2019.
Despite being one of the youngest entrants, Ethan’s impressive repertoire of skills, VET qualifications and commitment to his studies saw him win the regional NSW Training award for Western Sydney and Blue Mountains in June. Ethan is planning a career in the entertainment industry.
He might only be in Year 10 but St Mark’s Catholic College (part of the Catholic Learning Community of St John XXIII Stanhope Gardens) student Ethan Zamit is making some noise as he eyes a career in the entertainment industry and has been named a state finalist for VET in Schools Students of the Year at the NSW Training Awards.
Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) has also progressed to the State Finals in the ‘Small Provider of the Year’ category. With 80 schools across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, including St Mark’s Catholic College, CEDP is a leader in Vocational Education and Training. In 2019, CEDP won both the State and National title.
Despite being one of the youngest entrants, Ethan’s impressive repertoire of skills, VET qualifications and commitment to his studies saw him win the regional NSW Training award for Western Sydney and Blue Mountains in June. After a further stage of interviews, he was confirmed as a finalist for the state awards which will be announced via a Facebook LIVE event on October 9.
“It’s extremely exciting,” said Ethan. “The NSW training awards have been an amazing experience and something that I am so proud and honoured to have been a part of. It was incredible to win the regional award so to be a state finalist is even more amazing. Of course, none of this would be possible without the hard work of my teachers and other staff at my school.”
Despite the lockdown limiting the ability of many students to progress with VET courses, it hasn’t deterred Ethan from working on developing relevant skills at home.
“I’m lucky that I have access to some audio and editing programs at home plus things like microphones, speakers, webcams,” Ethan said. “My friends and I have had fun seeing who can come up with the coolest setup with multiple cameras for zooms and stuff like that.”
Ethan is also keen to convey a message of support for all students as they battle through the extended period of remote learning.
“The most important thing is to stay connected,” he said. “Keep in touch with your friends. Reach out and check in with one another. With R U Ok Day around the corner, we don't need to wait until September to ask friends and family if they’re ok. And if you’re not, it’s ok to reach out, speak to your year coordinator, your parent, your school counsellor, your doctor, services like Reach Out, or Lifeline, Kids Helpline. If your mental health is not in a good place, your schooling and studies will fall behind.”
Ethan’s interest in Entertainment started at a very young age when his family became an integral part of the new St John XXIII Catholic Parish Glenwood-Stanhope Gardens.
“It all started in church with my dad who has always been there since it was built 15 years ago, overseeing the musical side of things,” explained Ethan. “I grew up in the Church and as he ran the choir, I got introduced to audio engineering and mixing audio for church.”
Years of learning from his father and taking on various technical roles at his church helped Ethan acquire some impressive skills. It says something about the talent of a young primary school student when they’re called on by staff to guide senior school students and that was exactly the case for Ethan.
“It all sort of got serious for me when I was actually in primary school at John XXIII Primary,” Ethan explained. “The Director of Religion at St Mark’s Catholic College would come and get me and I’d take the secondary school students up to the church and show them how everything worked.”
“Then I got to high school and found out there’s an Entertainment course and a Sound and Lighting Club and I very quickly found my place with that. I found that I already knew quite a lot of the skills through church and so I was able to mentor some of the other students.”
Ethan and other members of the school’s Sound and Lighting Club were integral to St Mark’s introducing the VET Entertainment course midway through 2020.
“We asked the school and managed to get the Entertainment course up and running midway through last year and we had to put in extra hours to catch-up on all the school work,” said Ethan. “This was all at the same time that the COVID pandemic was unravelling. It was a very strange thing, especially for a course as practical as Entertainment. We were trying to learn about events and event management without having any proper events we could work on. Thankfully the teachers at St Mark’s were fantastic with helping us find other ways of learning the hands-on components of the course.”
Ethan has been supported at school by Catholic Learning Community of John XXIII Music & VET Entertainment Industry Teacher Mark Lewis who shared how impressed the whole school has been with Ethan’s endeavours.
“Ethan has been responsible for set-up and pack down plus operating sound and lighting systems for numerous school productions and events such as Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, HSC Drama and Music practical exams, college assemblies, open nights, concerts and Masses, swimming and athletics carnivals and careers events,” said Mark. “As a result of Ethan’s passion and dedication to so many events, he has developed his technical skills and experience in audio, lighting, vision and staging outside the classroom.”
Despite being in Year 9, Ethan went on to complete the VET Entertainment course as early commencement. Now in Year 10, he’s excited to add to his burgeoning skill set by undertaking more VET courses.
“It’s just so obvious how transferable the skills are that you learn in VET courses,” he said. “I’m looking forward to doing another VET course soon, perhaps Business.”
Ethan has also taken on added responsibility at his church and prior to the lockdown, enjoyed an eye-opening work experience stint at Riverside Theatres in Parramatta.
“After starting the course, I was also appointed AV and IT Co-ordinator at my church,” said Ethan. “I was tasked with upgrading our entire IT system. I was researching equipment, organising quotes, all the while using skills I had been learning in my Entertainment course.”
“I loved doing work experience at Riverside Theatres. It really opened my eyes to how a big venue like this operates. Being on the job and doing the work has been such a great learning experience. I hope I might go on to get a job in production for performing arts one day.”
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