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Principal: Tony Patton, Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College Burwood


Taking the reins of a multi-award winning vocational college is not a daunting prospect for Tony Patton.

After establishing Australia’s first health-focused trade training centre at Victoria’s Sacred Heart College Yarrawonga, he is ready to take Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College (SCCVC) to the next level.

This is about real skills, real careers, and real futures.

“Even within the Gonski Review vocational education is often looked at as what you do if you’re not successful at school academically, however over 40 per cent of our students are applied learners,” he said.

“We are a college for applied learners, and they graduate not only with real skills for real careers, but with certificates that are of a higher-standard qualification than if they only sat the HSC.”

As the Australian Government amps up a focus on improving tertiary vocational education options to address skills shortages, SCCVC will embrace more opportunities to cement learning and career pathways for students.

Areas of development include providing high-level technology courses that can lead directly into university degrees and careers in cyber security and advanced manufacturing, and a stronger acknowledgement of workplace learning.

“Our students complete the HSC and also complete an Australian Qualification Framework Certificate, normally a Certificate III,” Mr Patton said. “What we are looking to do is expand those important pathways. This is about real skills, real careers, and real futures.”

Tony Patton has been featured in an article by Sydney Catholic Schools, Principal power: New faces lead with heart. For full article please click here


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