St Columba

St Columba College


VET Student of the Year

Year 12 student Simon Knox-Simmons has been recognised for his achievements and competencies at the recent PEER Awards Night held at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Undertaking a Certificate II in Electronics, Simon was awarded for his attendance, demeanour as well as the most outstanding student in his course. Congratulations Simon for your efforts and for the recognition.

Currently studying Year 12 at St Columba College, Simon has been enhancing his learning through Vocational Education & Training (VET) with PEER, a group training and employment of apprentices and traineeships provider. Simon is currently in his second year and will complete his training this year.

As part of his VET course, Simon attends PEER one day a week and provides him with adequate hours to attend school while working towards a career in the electrotechnology industry while completing his South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE).

VET in Schools is a great pathway where students can complete VET studies as part of their SACE, with St Columba College providing opportunities and pathways through the Futures and Careers Counsellor. This service contributes to supporting and guiding students in future pathways while aiding their studies at school.

It was through the Personal Learning Plan (PLP) in Year 10 where Simon started to investigate his career options and explore a pathway as an electrician.

Simon was guided by Mr Shane Dowling, Futures and Careers Counsellor, who provided him with information and advice on subject choices, tertiary options, vocational learning (VET) and careers through a variety of avenues.

“St Columba College introduced me to PEER and helped enrol me into the VET program,” Simon said.

“I was inspired to start my Certificate II course because I wanted to get a head start when it came to becoming an electrician.”

Simon has used his VET course as a key component to complete his SACE.

“Vocational learning can be used as a flexible option in the SACE and it provides students with real life, authentic and practical experiences,” Mr Dowling said.

“It also allows students to remain at school, finish their SACE and have the continuing support and network of peers and staff.”

Working hard towards his studies and showing incredible ambition, Simon is paving the way for a bright future.

“Receiving the award provides me with good prospects in possible future endeavours,” Simon said.

“I can show my future employers that I am a good decision for their company.”

Simon is anticipating an apprenticeship after he finishes his course and he clearly has the right attitude and aspirations in achieving his goal.

“Simon has demonstrated independence, organisation and commitment to balance both school and his VET studies and the course has been a valuable option to fast track his career goal to gain an apprenticeship as an electrician,” Mr Dowling said.

“We are immensely proud of his achievements and he should be congratulated on his award. He has demonstrated outstanding application as a VET student and he has displayed the capabilities to be an effective employee post school.”

One day, not too far away, Simon is looking forward to running his own electrical company, and stories such as Simon’s, inspires others to envisage and action early career planning.

St Columba College currently has 34 students enrolled in VET courses in Years 11 and 12. If you would like further information on VET, career and post-school options, please contact the College’s Futures and Careers Counsellor, Mr Shane Dowling, on 8254 0661 or email