Seize the opportunities

25 May 2015
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This week’s guest blogger is Sam Maddock, Head of Outdoor Education.

I was recently out blazing the trails with my running club near Healesville, when I started chatting with one of the other runners. He just happened to be a senior public servant in charge of Human Resources at Parks Victoria.

I took the opportunity to ask him what he looks for and values in potential employees. He said: “We look for future employees that have the right qualifications and good marks, but these don’t cut it on their own anymore. What we’re finding is that a lot of graduates lack confidence, communication skills and work experience, which are essential for succeeding in the work environment of the future.”

Last week I had the privilege of taking eight motivated Year 10 students to Lysterfield Lake for a day of intensive training for the up-and-coming 2015 Hillary Challenge Victoria State Championship. The students braved near artic conditions to complete a navigational exercise, mountain biking, raft building and a range of team building exercises.

They embraced the opportunity to be outside, pushing their bodies to new and unknown limits despite their numb fingers and toes. I couldn’t have been more proud of the way in which the students rose to the physical and mental challenge and stayed focused – although it would have been easier for all of us if we’d just gone to the Trailmix Café and drank cups of hot chocolate to warm ourselves up!

Over the winter months, Beaconhills has a number of exciting opportunities for students to participate in including a snowsports program to Mount Hotham, Year 9 Global Beacon programs to Vietnam and East Timor and an outdoor education program to Glenelg River and Hattah National Park, as well as the equestrian team and the HPV (Human Powered Vehicles) events.

The Beacon Explorers program offers students an opportunity to be involved in a range of experiences that enhances the school’s academic program. The programs are designed to help students become better communicators and problem solvers, more organised and resilient.

I encourage all students to make the most of these opportunities so that they can equip themselves with the necessary skills to become the leaders of the future.


Maddock, SamSam Maddock
Head of Outdoor Education







* Headmaster Tony Sheumack returns this week from his tour as part of the Learning that Matters project.


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