Kris Angelovski: Westfield Local Heroes 2018

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Kris Angelovski: Westfield Local Heroes 2018

Kris creates a special safe place for disengaged students

The $10,000 Westfield Local Heroes grant has enabled students to create Christmas themed products to sell in the lead up to Christmas. The students’ products were sold at a variety of locations including the pop-up Rest & Revive station they were given access to at Westfield Geelong.

Funds from the grant will also be used to fit out two work sheds that Barwon Valley School has purchased, this will provide a designated work space for the Teamworx program.

The opportunity for students to create products and then work in the pop-up Rest & Revive station was invaluable. The basic customer service skills and experience gained by the students will help them in their post school lives. The planned designated work spaces will be beneficial for students, allowing them to further improve their practical skill level in a number of areas.

There’s a special program at Barwon Valley Special Developmental School for year 9 and 10 students who become disengaged or disruptive in class.

It’s a good place. A safe place where they don work vests, clock in and learn useful skills such as gardening and woodwork. All under the careful guidance of education support Kris Angelovski.

The program is called Teamworx and it provides opportunities for students to develop positive work attitudes and skills that they can use later in life.

“Without a doubt, the highlight of my work has been seeing some of the students who had previously exhibited extremely challenging behaviours or had become disengaged from their normal school programs now fully re-engaged in meaningful activities,” says Kris.

Because of his positive relationships with each student, Kris is able to recognise and respond to potential triggers before any challenging behaviours escalate.

“It’s especially gratifying to hear from parents about the positive changes they have noticed in the home life of their children.”

The program aligns with the Victoria Department of Education and Training objective of breaking the link - where more students stay in education and the impact of disadvantage is reduced.

Kris and the students enjoy their work and have constructed many interesting items, often made using recycled materials. For example, in 2017 they constructed a range of Christmas trees made from timber they reclaimed from pallets that had been donated to the school.

A further initiative was a pop-up shop through which the students learned basic retail skills by selling timber products they had constructed and pot plants they had decorated.

Kris feels honoured and humbled to be voted a Westfield local hero. “It means the people of Geelong genuinely value inclusion and the provision of meaningful programs that allow for the best possible outcomes for students with disability.”

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.

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