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Achievement Award for VCAL Project

Posted: 01-May-2020

Every year the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) confers VCAL awards for outstanding achievement in a range of categories, individual and team.  Recently three OLMC VCAL students of the Class of 2019  –  Celeste Curcio, Sophie Foster and Scarlet Petti – won the ‘Intermediate Team Achievement’  Award for their Backyard Bell Project. The girls received the award on 30 April in an online ‘virtual’ ceremony.

The VCAL program was fortunate to receive a grant from Catholic Education Melbourne for a community partnership project. The Exodus Community Housing Project was the focus of the grant. This local housing project involves four houses in Heidelberg West, earmarked for redevelopment in the distant future. Leases on these houses were secured to make them available for families who had previously been homeless or lived in refuges.

OLMC’s partnership goal was to enhance the external appearance of one of the properties, now home to a single mum and her young daughter. The VCAL students were tasked at creating an outside living space that was safe, attractive and included a place to play for the little girl - with a fairy garden of course! Project ‘Backyard Bell’ was the project title.

Working to a budget, the girls sourced the plants, the play equipment, sketched the backyard plan, did the measurements and calculations, and produced a formal written proposal for the works. The hard physical labour of weeding, planting and mulching the garden and assembling equipment continued over three days, and in that time the students transformed the backyard into a lovely living and playing space. The ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos below show the transformation.

The following VCAA statement encapsulates the girls’ achievement, which is attributed also to OLMC’s VCAL Coordinator, Helen Hamblin.

Through their involvement in this partnership, the three VCAL students demonstrated creativity, problem-solving, collaboration, persistence, communication skills, motivation, initiative and leadership. The girls embraced the opportunity to work as a team to plan and deliver a project for a specific cause, gaining a better awareness and understanding of issues that affect their local community. They are to be congratulated for this incredible effort.


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