Term 4 has been busy and productive for Banyule Nillumbik Tech School. We opened the term in an online format, with Eltham College students attending the Future Transport Inquiry program, that we developed and launched in collaboration with our industry partner North East Link Project. 83 Year 9 students worked intensively over three days to design solutions that would encourage the use of active transport pathways in the local area. They pitched their ideas to Dheeraj Kandel, Senior Project Engineer for the North East Link Project.

The highlight of the term has been welcoming students back onsite for face-to-face learning. It’s been great to see our tech come to life again, but most importantly to hear the spaces of our Tech School, that stood silent for the better part of the year, fill with the buzz and sounds of creativity, problem solving and collaboration. Students and teachers from Home Education Network, Charles Latrobe College, Eltham High School, Viewbank, Taylors Lakes and Apollo Parkways Primary School attended a range of our programs. We also ran a Design Thinking teacher professional learning session, and successful Maker Faire and Droning On events for our Student and Teacher Ambassadors.

Our Tech School has also seen some staffing changes in the recent months. I have had the pleasure of accepting an opportunity to step into the Acting Director’s role while our director Skylie Massingham has moved into a role as Director Strategic Projects Re-registration & Standards Melbourne Polytechnic. Anthony Gasson, who spent much of the year at the helm, has returned to his substantive role as Learning Technologist.

A number of our staff are also moving onto new adventures, with STEM Communication Officers Karin Wunsch and Shobie Dorai Singham moving interstate, and Admin Assistant Jasmine Labrie pursuing a new business venture.

I would like to thank Skylie and Anthony for all their hard work and leadership over the course of the year, the departing staff for all their contributions, support and friendships (you will be missed!), and the whole team for their talent, expertise, dedication, for always pushing the boundaries of what is possible in providing exceptional opportunities and experiences for our community, and for making our Tech School a great place to work. I feel very fortunate to be part of such a great team.

We thank our partner schools for their support and engagement during a challenging year and we wish all students and teachers a restful break. We look forward to connecting with you all in the new year.

Sonia Hankova
Acting Director Banyule Nillumbik Tech School