With a late start to the school year, our 2022 DeLorean cohort only had a few weeks to get ready for their ‘Fish Tank’ pitches at the end of last term, attempting to communicate their Pilot Project ideas to a panel of judges and practising how to receive feedback, both the good and the bad. These two skills, communication and self-reflection are pivotal to success in any career pathway, in fact, communication (or lack thereof) is the number one skills gap in the Australian job market with 25% of employers reporting difficulty in filling entry-level vacancies because of this skills gap (Delloitte Report, 2017). The gap seems to have only widened since then. At GCC, we have the opportunity to supplement our academic program with a skills development program like no other, resulting in our young people being more prepared and better equipped for the career paths they choose to explore in the future.
Our DeLorean students get the opportunity to explicitly develop these skills each week without the pressure of having to include other curriculum content or context, and so far they have risen to the challenge, with Fish Tank being a great success. Remember, DeLorean is about taking action on ideas; Thinking of an idea, creating something tangible around that idea, and sharing it with the world. THINK, CREATE, SHARE is our motto. The Term 1 Pilot Project which led to the Fish Tank presentations was an opportunity to experience a surface version of the entire DeLorean Journey, in a short amount of time. Students found a team, were encouraged to pursue an idea in an area of interest/passion, and created a tangible prototype around that idea that they presented at Fish Tank. We had everything from video game creation to candle-making, recycled playing cards and jewellery to clothing brands and scooter wax. The ideas that young people have are seriously impressive and the DeLorean Facilitators are just so proud of what students have accomplished in such a short time.
Yesterday, on our first day back for Term 2, we reflected on the Fish Tank event, attempted to articulate what we learned, what went well, what didn’t and how we can use the experience to grow our essential enterprise skills that are so important in today’s world of work. We then dissolved the Pilot Projects and put out the challenge to students to begin their real DeLorean Journey. Some students were adamant about their commitment to their Pilot Project team and idea, and plan to continue it on, while other students who enjoyed the team they were working with, decided that the Pilot Project idea should stay dissolved and plan to pursue a new idea. Finally, there were quite a number of students who decided they wanted to work with other people, and so started the process of finding a new team and new ideas to pursue. It’s an exciting time as students embark on the pursuit of ideas that will see them through to the end of the year.
As our Year 10 parents heard in a letter from Mike Curtis this week, our program has had to change this term due to a number of complex factors. The biggest change is the time allocation the program now has, which is three lessons on Wednesday (from 6). Change isn’t always comfortable or easy, but it does provide some amazing opportunities and generally leads to outcomes that may not have been possible otherwise. I am excited about the opportunities that change will bring.
We have some amazing new facilitators joining the team this term! Josh Whysall who works in our IT Department at the College will join the DeLorean facilitation team and bring with him his experience in photography, social media use and of course his brilliant IT knowledge and skills to support our students’ progress in the program. Primrose Kombanie is also new to the team, and with an expertise in Design Thinking and a passion for making ideas come to life, she will be such an asset to the program. Merisa Wischnat is back with us as well! She has been part of the team for two years now but wasn’t with us in Term 1. Her ability to build positive relationships with students is second to none and we are so excited to have her back! Rob Wolsley, who used to be one of our College Pastors, is also joining the team. His ability to connect with young people, particularly the lads, is epic and we are really looking forward to having Rob with us.
Finally, we are so lucky to still have Beryl Morris on the team. Beryl (along with myself) have been facilitators of the program since its inception in 2016. Beryl is an expert dot connector! She sees the connections between all of the elements of the program with such clarity and allows us to be more agile and adaptable in our programming from year to year. Beryl also oversees our University of the Sunshine Coast DeLorean Project stream, in which 6 of our students this year are carrying out their DeLorean Projects at the University each week, undertaking PhD level research while being individually mentored by a USC PhD Candidate. It’s fascinating work and a one of a kind university partnership in Australia, but we’ll have to delve more into that stream of DeLorean in a future newsletter article.
There is a lot to be excited about with our new Facilitation team, but it comes with a great sadness as well, as we’ve had to say goodbye to Tanya Cullen, who is still at the College but will no longer be with us in the DeLorean Program. Tanya has been part of the facilitation team since 2017 and has led the program since 2020 with energy and enthusiasm. Her passion for seeing students succeed in their pursuit of ideas has led to program outcomes that have far exceeded our expectations. Tanya will be dearly missed in the program by both staff and students and we want to honour and acknowledge the commitment, effort and energy that she has poured into the program over the years. Thank you Tanya!!!
If you’re wondering what’s coming next in DeLorean, just look for the fins… the sharks will soon be circling! Our annual Shark Tank event is where our students will now set their sites. They have a term and a half to take action on their ideas and pitch them to a panel of ‘Sharks’ for real money, investment and support. We have an extensive network of entrepreneurs, thought leaders and creators on the Sunshine Coast who will excitedly donate their time to hear students’ ideas and offer support in various ways. This is as real as learning gets for young people, as they share their ideas with the real world. Shark Tank might seem like a long way away, but time will absolutely fly and now that we have only 3 lessons each week to take action, it will be a great opportunity for students to seriously develop their time management skills.
We are really looking forward to the coming term in the DeLorean Project and can’t wait to see just how much our students progress! If you have any questions about the program please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask!
Rob Steffler, DeLorean Project Team Leader