Year 12 student Roy has attending NG Central since 2018 and has grown into a true leader.
He is our 2021 School Vice Captain, a bona fide Construction whiz and a ready support for so many of his peers. With over 95% attendance, Roy never fails to get involved in every activity, program and excursion on offer and brings great energy to everyone around him.
Roy found mainstream education tough and moved through two schools before finding the right fit at NG Central. As someone who thrives in hands-on, practical settings, he found the exclusive focus on academics to be restrictive and felt like he couldn't keep up with the work load.
But since coming to NGC, Roy has made massive progress in the classroom, which he credits to the intensive support he has been able to access. NGC prides itself on being inclusive and accommodating to all learning styles and Roy's teachers have been able to tailor his classroom experience around his needs as an autistic and ADHD learner.
"Every young person at NGC needs some kind of support, whether that's academically, socially, emotionally or financially. And that makes it such an accepting place where you can ask for help when you need it. The classroom teacher is able to approach you about what you're working on and there are also teachers aides on hand to give you that extra support. On those tougher days, you're encouraged to step out for a few minutes, clear your head and then refocus, which is very helpful. Everyone feels like they are genuinely there to help you succeed."
Roy really comes into his own during our Wednesday VET sessions. He is currently working towards a Certificate II in Construction and can always be counted upon to motivate the Construction crew. Roy has played a pivotal role in their major project over the past 12 months; the build of a demountable toilet block. Along with his peers, he is excited at the prospect of leaving a legacy behind when he graduates and improving the functionality of the school site where he has spent so much time. Roy also recently completed work experience with L G & A F & RG & S L Arthur Construction and loved the experience.
"I've been driving ride-along lawn mowers and cutting down trees for firewood since I was a little kid and I was given a Toma Hawk for my ninth birthday. So, safe to say I've always been drawn to practical stuff and being outside. Give me a shovel and I'll go for it until my hands are covered with blisters! It's been awesome to step up and lead the demountable project. But when it comes to Construction, I'm even interested in the theory - I've completed 9 out of the 11 booklets already."
Roy will always put his hand up for any opportunity. He has settled into the role 2021 School Vice Captain with ease, particularly when it comes to contributing to events like NAIDOC Week. As a proud Aboriginal man, Roy has also benefitted greatly from the culturally affirmative support on offer. He works closely with Mark during Aboriginal Education to learn more about his heritage, head out on Country and take part in ceremonies and he was also an active participant in the Family Wellbeing Program with Central Coast Primary Care.
"My mum is Aboriginal but because she left when I was younger, I haven't been able to nurture that connection. NGC and Mark in particular have been fantastic in helping me step into my culture. We're going to talk to the Moree Land Council and get my Certificate of Aboriginality. Just generally, I'm proud to play a part in school events too; I planned the NAIDOC ceremony and flag raising and I take my responsibility as Vice Captain seriously. I'm going to put my hand up and share my ideas because I think it's really important."
As he approaches the end of his HSC year, Roy is weighing up his employment pathways and ensuring he is as work-ready as possible. He has participated in Skills for Work classes held at NGC, as well as the Smart Money program and has his eyes set on a trade. While it's most likely going to be Construction, Roy says he is open to multiple options, as long as it doesn't involve a conventional office environment. We have no doubt that Roy will continue to achieve big things and put his natural leadership and charisma to work in any field!
"If there's anyone out there thinking about coming to NGC, I'd say to just do it. Nobody has to be here - and yet they still keep coming back day after day because it's just a place you want to be. Students who have graduated even come back and visit now, which shows you that there is so much support here. The staff and the students accept you, they help you and you really feel like they'll stick with you right until the end."