The WRSC VCAL course works to make our senior students fit for a successful life beyond the school gate.

As well as developing students’ literacy, numeracy and work-related skills, the learning activities are designed to prepare students for the freedoms and challenges they will face once school rules and close parental supervision are a thing of the past.

Students in VCAL literacy have been reading and discussing a variety of risk-taking behaviours and their consequences.

VCAL’s Nineph and Tori stepped up to organise a guest speaker for the class from Spinchat, a community organisation that seeks to raise awareness, promote prevention and educate secondary school students about spinal cord injury. Our VCAL students had to negotiate a speaker, organise a venue and check that audio-visual equipment was functional.

Our students listened to Joel Housey, a double gold medal Paralympian, with a spinal cord injury, whose car accident shortly after his 18th birthday, nearly killed him. Even though he survived, the accident forever changed his life, leaving him in a wheelchair.

Resilient and determined to make the best of his life, Joel worked hard to carve out a career for himself as a top athlete, but he would give up the medals, the overseas trips for competitions and all the accolades to get back the use of his legs and his old life.

Year 12 VCAL students and their guests, 7A students, formed a respectful audience for Joel’s presentation. They asked some wonderful questions and for the first time in their lives, got to handle a gold Olympic medal.

Joel’s talk was very inspirational.