10 May 2023

Western Cape College recognised with excellence award

| Matt Nicholls
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Director-General of Education Michael De’Ath, WCC primary principal Craig Law, Assistant Regional Director of FNQ Suzanne Currin, WCC deputy principal Jon Currie, WCC secondary principal Dan Tonon, Education Minister Grace Grace, WCC deputy principal Siobhan Wilson, WCC college principal Peter Linnehan and QUT’s Dr Meegan Brown.

WESTERN Cape College’s reputation as one of the leading schools in the Far North continues to grow after it picked up a statewide award last week.

The Weipa school’s Wis Wei – the WCC Waysubmission was the joint winner of the Bevan Brennan Every Child Needs a Champion Award at the 2022 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools.

Wis Wei – the WCC Way is the school’s unique method that embraces a “whole child” wellbeing approach to secondary schooling.

It’s an approach that has led to significant improvements in school performance, student behaviour and wellbeing.

Western Cape College’s class of 2021 was the most successful to ever graduate from the school.

Out of 62 students, 60 graduated with a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) and two with a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA).

Western Cape College secondary principal Dan Tonon said he was proud of the staff and students who worked hard for the school’s success.

“Five hundred secondary students walk through our gates every day – each with their own virtual backpack and, for some, no backpack at all,” he said.

“We have worked tirelessly to create an environment that creates a strong sense of belonging, recognises our unique cultural fabric and builds the collective efficacy of staff to provide unconditional positive regard for every student.

“We celebrate the success of every student no matter how small.

“We have leveraged every external agency that works with vulnerable youth on the Western Cape to ensure a coordinated response for our most vulnerable.

“We have opened our school to experts to critique our systems and processes to ensure we are trauma-informed and we have a positive culture for learning.

“And, most importantly, each of our staff understand the deep impact their work is having on supporting our students’ needs every day, creating generational change.”

Some of the Western Cape College’s secondary staff with their statewide education awards following last week’s win in Brisbane.

Mr Tonon said the school had worked hard to build a reputation for academic achievement.

“Twenty years ago, 13 students graduated from our school, with three of them Indigenous,” he said.

“This year, 74 students will graduate with 44 identifying as Indigenous.

“I want to acknowledge the WCC staff because they are the champions who provide this relentless unconditional support for every student.”

Western Cape College shared the Bevan Brennan Every Child Needs a Champion Award honours with Lawnton State School.

There were 86 submissions from right across Queensland for the 2022 awards.

Education Minister Grace Grace congratulated winners at the awards ceremony, hosted at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“The Showcase Awards allow us to recognise and celebrate the great work our educators are doing every day to ensure that students in Queensland state schools are getting a world-class education,” Ms Grace said.

“That there were so many high-quality entries to this year’s awards shows the hard work, dedication and expertise of Queensland school staff.”

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