71 adults graduate with qualifications at Doveton College in 2022.

In a heartfelt and celebratory fashion, adults undertaking an accredited English as an Additional Language (EAL) course at Doveton College graduated in front of their classmates, friends, children, and various staff within Doveton College.

Adult EAL classes have been a staple offering at Doveton College for many years. This has occurred because of the effective partnering between Our Place, Doveton College, and a local registered training organisation. This collaboration has developed a phenomenally successful and accommodating education program for those who wish to undertake an EAL course, which results in a recognised and accredited certificate upon completion. 

Child minding is also available within each class; this helps remove barriers to attendance and participation for those with preschool children. Child minding within the classes means that whilst mum or dad are learning English, there are dedicated childminders within the room that help care for the children. The childminders organise activities that keep the little ones entertained and contribute to their learning.

The end of year graduation celebrates the student’s accomplishments. In 2022, accredited beginner, level I, level II, and level III classes were delivered and had a total of 101 enrolments. As some of these classes commenced mid-year, of these 101 students, 71 graduated in 2022 with the remaining students receiving certificates for the units they have completed thus far. These students who are partway through their course will be continuing their studies in 2023.

Students and their children prior to the ceremony

Doveton College offered its theatre to host the graduation ceremony and children from the college who had parents graduating were also released from their classes to participate in the celebration. The ceremony began with a beautiful welcome and congratulations by Deb Gibson, the Principal of Doveton College. Deb reminded us of the importance of educational opportunities and shared how all the EAL students are considered part of the Doveton College family. Next, EAL teachers Janet, Nivas, and Hema invited each student onto the stage; sharing insights into the year and highlighted the student’s accomplishments.

Deb welcoming everyone to the ceremony with the assistance of a Dari translator

Each teacher spoke about the continuous dedication and commitment that each student demonstrated. The teachers acknowledged that for these students, Australia is a very new home and that by being given the opportunity to attend these classes, many support and friendship networks have been made. One male student, who attends the class with his wife, also spoke on behalf of the students and shared how grateful he was for being supported by the Australian Government, the EAL teachers and Doveton College. He spoke about the struggles of being a newly arrived refugee and expressed how learning English is helping him to settle in Australia.

Some of the graduating students

Another student, who was extremely nervous and was rehearsing for most of the lead up to the ceremony, also bravely spoke on behalf of the students and thanked her teacher, the Principal of Doveton College, her classmates, and Our Place for all their support throughout the year. She also shared that now she has completed EAL level III, she has enrolled into a Teachers Aide course at TAFE and is looking forward to working towards another qualification and one day working within a school. The 9 EAL level III students who completed their certificate are also enrolled in further education for 2023 and have been accepted into childcare, teacher’s aide, and dental nurse courses.

Student speaking on behalf of fellow classmates

Lastly, as each graduation ceremony does, it concludes with an abundance of cultural food, and this year was no different. Food is an important part of celebrating and socialising in many of the cultures within the EAL classes. Everyone enjoyed helping themselves to a delicious spread, chatting with each other, and spending time taking photos with their teachers, family, and friends.

Delicious catering that was provided for after the ceremony

Aligning with the Our Place Approach

This is one example of Our Place’s role in building community relationships and engagement, leading partnerships with education providers, local government and service providers and supporting service coordination based on the needs of the community.

This example also aligns with our evidence-based element of Adult Engagement, Volunteering, Learning and Employment which supports opportunities for families to engage in volunteering, formal and informal learning, and linking them into employment pathways. For more information about this element or the Our Place Approach Click Here