Careers development at Dandenong High School

Careers Development at Dandenong High School

Our aim is to help you:

  • Understand what course and career information and resources are out there – so you can explore options and build your knowledge base
  • Learn more about yourself and the world of work – so that you can make decisions about course and career pathways that are best for you

Careers Team

Career Education and Development at Dandenong High School is supported by a qualified team of professional Career practitioners.

Students from Years 7 to 12 are provided with up to date information and career development support in a variety of ways.

The Careers Resource Centre is located in Jacaranda.

Email the Careers Staff

Careers Team Leader
Melinda Pepprell

Careers Counsellor/Senior Years Program Coordinator
Nilly Banai

Careers Counsellor/Middle Years Program Coordinator
Dani Dudovic

Careers Counsellor/VET and Junior Years Program Coordinator
Farai Wachenuka

Careers in Year 7

Careers development in Year 7 is:

  • Introducing the Careers Team to our students and ensuring they feel comfortable visiting and talking to us
  • Providing targeted introduction sessions to higher education via university sponsored tutoring and mentoring so that students start to build their support networks

Careers in Year 8

During Year 8, we continue to encourage students to familiarise themselves with the Careers Team and the resources available in the Careers Centre.

Students will also participate in career-course exploration incursions and excursions including:

  • On-campus “Discovery Day” hosted by Monash University to provide students with an introduction to what university life is like
  • Mentoring and tutoring opportunities provided by Deakin University
  • Connecting with local government, community and employers

Students will be introduced to the Year 9 range of experiences and asked to start thinking about their future career-education-life preferences.

Careers in Year 9

Year 9 is an important careers development year for students with a focus on improving student self awareness and knowledge.  This includes understanding how students relate to others, work in teams, express themselves as leaders, utilise different research techniques, understand their learning styles and preferences and explore future career-education-life options.

Year 9 students are exposed to a range of learning experiences including creative and analytical activities, presentations by external experts, careers development research and education programs, opportunities to volunteer in the community, self assessment and reflection tasks, tertiary campus excursions, industry based presentations and incursions, subject expos, and preparing for work experience in Year 10.

The Year 9 careers development curriculum is broad, engaging and fun so that students have many different experiences to help shape their self knowledge and potential future decisions.

Students will have the opportunity to take part in the following experiences:

  • Opportunities to hear from and form relationships with mentors – both within school and externally.  This allows students to expand their networks and learn how to rely on others for support and guidance
  • Working in the local community to explore the concepts of leadership and working with others
  • Incursion hosted by Monash Univeristy which aims to encourage students to start thinking about their lives after school and their current career aspirations.
  • Choosing senior school subjects and education pathways
  • “City Week” – a range of excursions and city based activities that allow students to expand their knowledge of Melbourne and future opportunities
  • Experiences with industry – these include interview skills, hearing from employers about what they look for in student applications, resume writing, improving communication skills and strategies
  • Trade Tasters for students who are interested in exploring trade based pathways
  • On-campus excursions and workshops – ranging from ½ day workshops to 5 day programs – hosted by Monash, Deakin and RMIT Universities that allow students to engage with different faculties and understand where different subject mixes will lead in terms of higher education and careers
  • A residential camp hosted by Deakin University for students interested in particular areas – such as sport, creative arts, etc
  • Targeted small group interviews with qualified careers counsellors to assist students to make informed subject and course selection choices.

Careers in Year 10

Careers and Pathway decision making becomes even more vitally important for students in Year 10 as they begin to consider their senior studies course and subjects. Consequently the Pathway supports available are wide and varied.

Students have the opportunity to participate in work familiarisation programs such as Work Inspiration and Work Experience. The range of preparatory activities on offer prior to Course Selection include Tertiary Expo, Trade Tasters, Subject Expo, specific Learning Tutor experiences, Industry and Employer connection via targeted workshops and more! Individual Course Selection interviews are provided with a qualified Careers Counselor, and also include a senior staff member to ensure that all students are able to make informed and appropriate course and subject decisions.

Careers in Year 11

Careers development in Year 11 is less intensive than Years 9-10 as students settle themselves into their VCE, VET or VCAL subjects, activities and placements.

It is important though that Year 11 students start to think about and focus on “life after school” and will engage in activities that allow them to vision their future, learn about potential destinations by listening to past students, refine their employability skills and resume.  Asking students to interview university graduates and people currently engaged in a student’s preferred pathway is a significant Year 11 project and is important to ensure students have a detailed understanding of and commitment to their chosen pathways.

On-campus programs hosted by Monash, Deakin and RMIT Universities continue and there is a strong focus on supporting students with study skills development.

Careers in Year 12

Careers development in Year 12 is targeted towards:

  • Study skills and exam preparation
  • Staying motivated and focused
  • Linking academic achievement to date with potential VCE & VCAL outcomes
  • Continuing to understand and explore potential career paths
  • VTAC registration, SNAP applications, SEAS and scholarship applications
  • GAT practice and information
  • Course searches, links and preferences
  • University and TAFE open days

The year is also about celebrating what the students have learnt from a careers development perspective during their secondary school education and ensuring they feel comfortable to stay connected with the Careers Team as they receive their VCE and VCAL results, change preferences, start their higher education, search for employment and embark on experiences that are all new to them.

Quick Links
Year 11 & 12 Tools

ATAR Estimator

ENTER / ATAR Calculator is a website that will allow you to estimate what your VCE ENTER / ATAR score will be.
The process used to calculate an ENTER / ATAR score is as follows:

  1. Each of your study scores is scaled (adjusted up or down depending on the strength of competition amongst the cohort of students studying the subject that year).
  2. The scores are added together to form a number called an “aggregate”. The aggregate consists of:
  3. Scaled score in an English subject (can be English, ESL [English as a Second Language], English Language or Literature). Note that doing an English subject is compulsory in VCE.
  4. The next three highest scaled scores. These combined with the English subject are referred to as the “Primary 4”
  5. 10% of any 5th or 6th scaled scores.
  6. Students are then ranked in order of aggregates. The student with the lowest aggregate on one end, and the student with the highest aggregate on the other end.

The ENTER / ATAR score is a percentile, and represents how many students got a lower aggregate than you. For example, if your ENTER score is 80, that means that your aggregate was higher than 80% of students. 99.95 is the highest ENTER / ATAR available, and means that your aggregate was the highest in the state (and hence you were better than 99.95% of other students).


VTAC CourseLink is primarily targeted at Victorian students in Years 9 – 12, their teachers and parents. It is a useful tool for choosing tertiary courses based on such criteria as ATAR range, course types, prerequisites and institution. Year 11 and 12 students will need their VCE number. Year 9 & 10 students can register an email address and create an account.
CourseLink will produce a list of all courses that you will be eligible for based on the criteria you have supplied such as either University or TAFE, ATAR range and prerequisites.


The Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) is the central office that administers the application and offer process for places in tertiary courses at university, TAFE and independent tertiary colleges in Victoria (and a few outside Victoria).

VTAC receives and forwards application information and supporting documentation to the course selection authorities at institutions. VTAC does not decide who gets an offer. All decisions are made by the course selection authorities at institutions.

Students in year 12 who are intending to study further at tertiary level (e.g. University, TAFE or Private Institutions), will most likely be required to do a VTAC application. Note: some courses require a direct application rather than a VTAC application.

VTAC applications are done during August and September each year. Late applications may be made with a late fee applying. Students at Dandenong High School will be individually assisted with their applications by the careers team.

Open Days

Universities, TAFE’s and Private Institutions have Open Days throughout the year to allow future students to experience the environment and facilities. Students in years 10 – 12 are strongly advised to attend as many open days as possible in order to make an informed decision about their choice of course and place of tertiary study.


UMAT – Undergraduate Medical Admissions Test
NOTE: Students may only sit the UMAT test once, and only in their final year of study. i.e. year 12 students.

Useful Links

University Links

ACU – Australian Catholic University
ANU – Australian National University
Deakin University
La Trobe University
Monash University
RMIT University
Swinburne University
University of Ballarat
University of Melbourne
Victoria University

TAFE Links

Box Hill Institute
Chisholm TAFE
Holmesglen TAFE
Berwick TEC

Independent College Links

William Angliss Institute
Endeavour College of Natural Health
Southern School of Natural Therapies
Photography Studies College
Carrick Education
JMC Academy
Australian Academy of Design
Whitehouse Institute of Design
Australian College of Sports Therapy
Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
Open Colleges
Apprenticeships & Traineeships

Useful Websites

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
Australian Job Search
My Career

School Events

Work Experience (Year 10)

All year 10 students will have an opportunity to participate in a real world of work experience for 3-5 days. Work Experience is a valuable opportunity for students to have a taste of a future career; sample a job that they think might interest them, and gain real work skills for the future. Placements are to be found by the student, with the support of parents, teachers and the Work Experience co-coordinator. Students must be able to justify why the particular work experience placement will assist them to clarify a future career goal. Work Inspiration placements in a variety of prestigious companies will be offered throughout the year and students are encouraged to apply for those industries which are of interest to them.

Careers Expo (Years 10-12)

The Senior Studies and Pathways teams organise an annual Careers event at Dandenong High School. This takes the form of either an integrated pathway launch day with students having the opportunity to engage with Tertiary institutions as well as participate in specific experiences across the day, or a large Expo with a range of attendees such as Universities, TAFE’s, Specialist industries, private training organizations, Defence Force, Emergency services and many more.
By bringing the Expo to our students we are maximizing the numbers of students who are able to access this information firsthand. Students are able to ask questions directly to the people who have firsthand knowledge of the industry or course.

Structured Workplace Learning (SWL)

SWL is an essential component of many VET courses and as such is supported by the Dandenong High School curriculum and timetable. Students are supported to find their SWL placement by assistance from teachers and careers team, however the responsibility to locate a suitable placement is with the student. Parents are encouraged to support their student as much as possible to locate a work placement.

Enhancement Studies

Accelerated or advanced students may choose to participate in Enhancement or Extension studies at a tertiary institute. Students will receive an ATAR increment as well as many other benefits such as participating in University life and access to University facilities. The University of Melbourne and Monash University both offer Enhancement programs.

The Dandenong High School careers team runs many lunchtime workshops and seminars to provide information to students and to assist them with decision making and work ready skills. Workshops are advertised in the daily bulletin, on the Library TV and in Orana (the Careers newsletter). Some examples are: Create a Resume, How to Find Work Experience, Meet an Engineer, Specific course information on Nursing, Design and Natural Therapies plus many more. Seminars can also be arranged by request for interested students.

Parent Information

Financial Information

Going to Uni

Useful Booklets

parents talking career choices’

Tertiary fee information

TAFE information

School Support Available

Parents are invited to contact the Careers team and arrange a time to attend careers counseling with their son/daughter. Individual counseling sessions will be arranged on request.

General Information

Open Days

Click here to follow the link to currently scheduled Open Days

Career Quizzes and click on ‘Quizzes’

Careers Research

My Future
Job Guide

Job Seeking Skills

My Career – Cover letters, Resumes, Job seeking skills to be completed.

Favourite Websites