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The School of Isolated and Distance Education (SIDE) recently embarked on a wonderful journey to Christmas Island and Cocos Islands District High Schools as part of the Mini Industry Roadshow (MiR) Tour made possible through generous funding from the Department of Training and Workforce Development and the Commonwealth Government, with guidance and support from the Indian Ocean Training Group Association.

The MiR gave students an invaluable glimpse into potential careers while reinforcing SIDE's commitment to delivering excellent educational opportunities to remote and regional communities. Through the delivery of hands-on experiences and interactive learning, the Mini Industry Roadshow featured a diverse line-up of professionals who shared their career insights and skills with eager students.

One of many highlights was the exceptional practical workshops from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Students were given the opportunity to step into the shoes of medical researchers, learning about cutting-edge advancements in the field and engaging in fascinating activities on the future of medical advancements. This experience not only ignited a passion for science among the students but also broadened their horizons regarding potential career paths in the medical and healthcare industry.

Through Stemsmart, a leading drone and robotics specialist company, students learnt to pilot drones in a fun and educational discovery learning session. The workshop included hands-on experience with coding, robotics, and virtual reality equipment. This experience showcased the role of technology in various industries which are major contributors to the Islands’ economies including tourism, agriculture, marine science, and mining. Students learned about the future of these industries and experienced how automation and innovation will guide these pathways forward.

The practical aspects of the tour didn't stop there – SIDE's trainer led an engaging, hands-on session that shed light on the world of plumbing and the benefits of trade training. With many trades in shortage in this region, students learned practical skills that they could utilize immediately in their communities. They gained a newfound appreciation for skilled trades and the essential role they play in a successful and happy community. The ‘Amazing Trade Race’ focusing on plumbing skills, showed that successfully mastering a trade is a skill everyone can and should do.

Entrepreneurship and creativity were delivered by Ricochet Circus. Through the eyes of a successful business owner, students learned about running a business and create jobs within their community while having fun -their laughter could be heard all around the school. This experience encouraged students to dream big and consider the possibilities of turning their passions into viable career pathways.

The success of the Mini Industry Roadshow Tour was a testament to SIDE's commitment to empowering students with real-world insights and experiences. By collaborating with notable organisations and professionals, SIDE ensured that students in remote and regional communities have access to high-quality educational and career exposure.

Christmas Island District High School

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Cocos Island District High School


Thank you again to yourself, and the team that you put together, for the Mini Road Show on Cocos Islands. Seeing the kids completely engaged in the activities was, for me personally, the highlight of the day. The students of the CIDHS regularly get involved with ‘School-based’ activities, but rarely do they get external agencies brought up to the island to run programs for the students that are based on curriculum and careers.

Being so isolated, the students do miss out on access to certain things that only the mainland can offer, varying career opportunities and potential job pathways don’t get explored until they go to boarding or continuation of their studies in Yr. 11/12 in an Australian mainland school, so it was an amazing opportunity to give them an insight into some career prospects that would not have seen so early in their schooling.

Secondly, your flexibility to create a day that was tailored to our students and community was exceptional. Even your flexibility to offer additional support, one one-on-one counselling, and the inclusion of some of our Junior School classes at short notice was amazing. Your ongoing support online, to some of our students that you ran out of time to see individually, is also much appreciated.

Overall, I am truly thankful to you, your team, and SIDE for the opportunity that Cocos Islands DHS received through the Careers Taster Program and the Mini Road Show and the benefits that it gave our students.

I look forward to continuing to work with you.

Jamie Lauritsen

Cocos Islands District High School