28 April, 2023


Generalist Tertiary Education options may be the future of Australian Education

For years you might have heard negative comments associated with people studying generalist degrees like a Bachelor of Arts. There is often commentary about how these qualifications are less likely to gain employment.  A recent article in The Conversation explores why this may not be the case. Catharine Coleborne from the University of Newcastle suggests that not only is this wrong, it is also a ‘misguided understanding of what we need from graduates today and in the future.’

Research shows that social science and humanities graduates are being employed after their studies. In 2022 73% of humanities and social sciences graduates were working in a range of government, non-government and business roles within several months of graduating, increasing by 15% on the previous year, and being much better than the overall average increase of just under 10%.

Historically “work” has been understood as an occupation that was undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life. This idea that individuals train to learn a set of skills or knowledge that prepares them for one stable career is now outdated. Employers now want people who are good at problem-solving and critical thinking, have digital skills and can demonstrate leadership, initiative and resilience.

Research is showing that we need to reimagine the future workforce through values, competencies and skills, not “professions”. This is exactly why Scotch Oakburn places so much emphasis on our students developing the ten learner attributes and focusing on our five values.

Future graduates will need to be highly flexible and leaders in the profession of social work are predicting that the vocational degree may need to be replaced by agile skills. This is why the generalist degree is so important to consider as an option in the higher education landscape. Humanities, social science and creative industries fields such as design can deliver adaptable, flexible mindsets.

Generalist graduates learn to argue, debate, discuss, engage with ideas, write and present. The more generalist degrees that are available offer the development of important socio-emotional skills and attributes such as emotional intelligence, communication and teamwork.

We should be encouraging our school leavers to embrace the possibility of the broad curriculum that is offered by arts, humanities and social science studies. The transferable skills that are learnt will set up students for a lifetime of work and learning and make them just as employable, if not more, than most of their peers that choose more specialist pathways.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School

Source: Why arts degrees and other generalist programs are the future of Australian higher education – Catharine Coleborne, The Conversation, 14 April 2023.

Launceston Anzac Dawn Service Guest Speaker – George De Hayr

Year 12 student, George De Hayr, was honoured with the task of addressing the ANZAC Dawn Service at the Launceston Cenotaph. The very large crowd that gathered were moved by George’s insightful address and our community congratulates him on his humble, mature approach to this task. George has kindly agreed to share his words with us all – here follows the speech that he delivered on Tuesday:

“We gather here today to commemorate those brave and selfless service men and women who have paid the ultimate price in the defence of this nation.

This day, established to commemorate the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli, now stands to serve as a time for all of us to honour the memory of all Australians who have lost their lives, from the Boer war to Afghanistan, in peace-keeping operations and in combat.

One might look to statistics to quantify the cost of this service, that over 100,000 Australian service men and women have died in war, but such cold statistics do not do their memory justice. Each and every one of those who died, fighting in the service of Australia, had a name, had hopes and aspirations, had families, loved ones, and a future.

What is most important to remember is that they were people, just like you and me, ordinary Australians who believed that this nation and what it stands for was worth defending.

It is my fear that through the lens of history, individuals will be forgotten and their memory replaced by the names of the battles in which they died. Whether it is Paschen-Daele, Kokoda, or Long-tan, these are places, not people. If we do not honour the individuals and the legacy that they have gifted us in the life we have today in this country, such reflection is in danger of being a hollow gesture.

Staff Sergeant Arthur John Crewdson died in the Sandakan Death marches in Borneo toward the end of World War Two – He was my Great Uncle – and was one of an estimated 1787 Australians who died on that death march. His family died not knowing the end of his story or even where he was buried.

His story is just one of the over 103,000 names on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra – just one of the 103,000 stories to be remembered.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Today we reflect on and recognise the service of all those who fought – regardless of the politics or military outcome.

Too often, for veterans returning from conflicts overseas, their battles are not yet over. As a nation, we must ensure that veterans receive any support that is needed as a result of their service to this country.

The fact that this day is such an important date in Australia’s calendar, 107 years after first being held, is a testament to the great respect we continue to show to the memory of those who have served their country.

It is not a day that glorifies war. It is quite the opposite. If you ask any veteran who has seen the true horrors of the battlefield, they can attest to this.

ANZAC Day seeks to unite all Australians to commemorate and celebrate the endurance, courage, ingenuity, good humour, and mateship of the Australian soldier. We have inherited the great reputation of the ANZAC spirit, forged and bestowed upon us by the actions of those ANZACs in war and in peace, and it is up to all of us, both young and old, to uphold it.

In a world without violence, hunger, greed and corruption, we would not need the Australian Defence Force, unfortunately, we do not live in such a utopia, and until the day we do, we owe a debt of gratitude to the service men and women who will willingly stand up for our nation and for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

To all those who have fallen, to those who have stood, as well as those who continue to stand today in the defence of this nation, in any capacity, in any role, we thank you.

Thank you for making this nation what it is today, for defending Australia and its democracy against those who would do it harm. The Australian people are thankful for your service, and I hope that such gratitude will not falter in the future, but will continue to grow. I hope that we do not forget their names, their hopes and aspirations, their families and loved ones, that we commemorate their lives, as well as their death.

ANZAC day brings us together, regardless of age, race or creed, as fellow Australians, to celebrate those who embody the ANZAC spirit, and to commemorate their legacy.

We will remember them.

It has been an honour to speak to you all today, on this ANZAC day.”

Congratulations George.

Stuart Walls
Head of Senior School

United Nations Youth State Conference

Over the Term break, six College students, George de Hayr, Rose Carins, Abbey Mervin, Makaela Fulton, Tamsyn Webb and Calan Young, participate in the United Nations Youth State Conference.

They engaged in team negotiating scenarios involving two federation states in a world decimated by war seeking to secure a future centred on a key island trading port, and participated in model UN forums, debating resolutions on women in conflict, journalists in conflict and arms trades.

Abbey Mervin (Year 12) was awarded the James Brown certificate for her inclusive, enthusiastic and positive participation in the conference – so well-deserved!

Gina Slevec