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In late 2022 a guest presenter from the delivered a demonstration lecture for students in the school’s Game Design and eSports classes. A brief mention of a change in the eligibility for the current VET funding scheme then led to one of the biggest opportunities that digital technologies students at 첥 have seen in my time as a teacher here in Port Augusta.

Starting in week 2 of this term, a group of 10 students from year 11 and 12 have enrolled into the Certificate lll in Game Development Foundations through AIE. This group has been attending a regular online learning block, and are learning core skills in general Information Technology, eventually moving on to developing video games in an industry standard toolset.

These students were required to provide a portfolio of work to the Academy in late 2022, which has meant that a course that would normally cost $2500 to complete has been made available with no out of pocket expense for families, through the VETRO subsidy scheme.

To make this possible the school has also invested in new computers in the upstairs lab, specifically designed for the type of work these students have undertaken, which the current students had the opportunity to assemble in week 1.

Although we are only a few weeks in, the students are making really positive impressions with the AIE staff, managing to be ahead of schedule after only two sessions. Students who complete this course successfully will receive both credits towards their SACE as well as a completed subject for their ATAR score. 

Although we are only a few weeks in, the students are making really positive impressions with the AIE staff, managing to be ahead of schedule after only two sessions. Students who complete this course successfully will receive both credits towards their SACE as well as a completed subject for their ATAR score.

There is a significant need for trained graduates in both the general IT field as well as Australia’s growing game development industry; with AIE’s Associate Diploma and Bachelor degrees an easy follow on from the Foundations course, students will be able to use their work from the Cert 3 as a portfolio for entry into further study.

As well as the year 11/12 students completing the course this year, we have modified a number of year 9 and 10 subjects to allow students interested in this pathway to prepare the portfolio they need for entry in the 2024 intake. Students who take the course from year 11 onwards in 2024 will even have the potential to complete all of the requirements for graduating with their SACE by the end of year 11.

It has been really exciting to see the way that the interest in Game Development of teachers and students over the last 10 years has come together to be able to provide this amazing chance for our students, breaking down the barriers of cost and distance to open up a world of opportunity for their futures. I am looking forward to seeing the games and projects that this group create this year, and hearing about where this opportunity takes them from here.

Simon Harding

ICT Coordinator