Pathways to Success

Wed, April 29, 2020

Jesse and Josh Morris-Parmer know there’s more than one pathway to success.

The 17-year-old brothers graduated from St Mark’s Anglican Community School in 2019, choosing different pathways to best suit their career ambitions and smashing their goals as they went.

Jesse was the winner of WA’s Beazley Medal: VET, the award for the State’s top individual performer in Vocational Education and Training, while Josh chose the ATAR pathway, reaching his aim of scoring above 90 to secure entry to university to become a teacher.

The brothers insist that both pathways had provided excellent opportunities and allowed them to transition to life after school.

Jesse combined studying at TAFE, along with his school studies which included an Engineering
Certificate II, and four other General subjects.

“I chose the VET pathway because I wanted a hands-on approach and to gain skill sets in unique areas rather than the traditional trades,” Jesse said.

“As well as studying at school, I studied Conservation Land Management at TAFE one day a week in Year 11 and two days a week in Year 12. Since Year 10, I’ve seen the value in the VET pathway.”

Moving straight from school to work as a bush firefighter for the Department of Fire, Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, Jesse said completing the courses at TAFE had improved his learning at school.

“In Year 12 we had adults in the class at TAFE and I had to apply myself more and lift my effort. It’s different because you have to have communication skills and also time management skills because I also had my five General subjects and I had to make up what I had missed during the two days at TAFE each week,” he said.

Josh says their approach was more about dedication and effort and using the opportunities available.

“We knew if we put in the time and dedication into our pathway, we would be ok,” Josh said.

Josh studied five ATAR subjects and one General course, topping his Business Management and Enterprise class at school and earning a School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) Certificate of Merit.

“I loved Business because I had a great teacher and I loved the interactive learning,” he said.

Now studying a Secondary Physical Education teaching degree at Notre Dame, Josh said he chose an ATAR pathway to follow his love of sport.

“I always wanted to be a PE teacher. My teachers were passionate about our learning and I want to be one of those teachers. My goal is to go back to St Mark’s and teach – I’d love to do that,” he said.

The twins came to St Mark’s in Year 8 and say they instantly felt at home in the school.

“It felt like a different vibe as soon as we walked into St Mark’s. We felt comfortable, at home. The adaptability of our school is really good and they help you to do your best,” Josh said.

“We enjoyed the community feel of St Mark’s, especially the teachers with the bonds and connections you make, especially in Year 12, it feels like a family,” Jesse said.

Jesse says his teachers supported his application for the Beazley Medal and while he went to both a selection interview and then an interview for the Beazley Medal, he was surprised to win.

“It’s pretty cool but I was just focussing on working hard,” he said.

But Josh says he wasn’t at all surprised to find his brother as the 2019 VET Beazley Medallist.

“The amount he’s achieved, with his Certificates, his work experience and everything he committed to his work, I couldn’t see anyone else getting the Beazley over him.”

Both Jesse and Josh agree that there is a simple recipe for success.

“It’s good to know where you want to go. Work experience helped me a lot once I made the connection and made links with the career path. Once I tried the job, I could see my future,” Jesse said.

“Anyone can get anywhere if they put in the time and dedication. If you don’t know what you want to do, choose a range of subjects to give you options,” Josh said.