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Everyone Needs a Champion

Staff Blogger, Hayley McDonald Inclusive Practices Coordinator – Senior School

As I am sure you’ve heard nearly a thousand times that 2020 has been a year like no other! How many times have we had to pick ourselves up and get going again? Our Senior class of 2020 are a band of warriors that you cannot keep down.

Over the years we have watched and celebrated their successes but what has most impressed staff is their resilience and the way they have faced set backs and adversity. This year has shown us that our young men do understand what it is to be a true man of courage and to lead from the front.

No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.’ – Dr. James Comer

These young men have thrived in the nurturing and structured environment of ATC and been championed by staff who have formed part of their support network. Champions are different for each student – for some it is a Homeroom teacher who shares a smile each morning; for others it is their Head of House who offers a friendly fist bump. Some boys have a favourite teacher or case manager, rugby coach or school officer who is their silent (or sometimes not so silent!) personal cheer squad, driving them to be the best they can be. Rita Pierson believes that every child needs a champion and her video below is very insightful. Please enjoy watching:

Many of our Seniors have already ventured into the slightly less structured world of work, possibly even experienced the hard ship of COVID-19 and are aware that the 2021 landscape in their chosen industry may have changed. In a world of uncertainty, this is a tough time to be making future decisions and it is okay to be feeling a little unsure of the steps going forward. This is an important time for our young men to know who their champions are, and to be thinking about who will champion them in 2021 with further study and career decisions, once the daily routine of school ends. Be assured that this group are well on track to future pathways because their dedication, focus and hard work over the last 12 years.

The Australian Government recognises the importance of education and training, and encourages young people to complete school, to increase their chances of successfully moving to further education, training, or work. There is a clear link between getting a Year 12 certificate (or equivalent qualification) and improved social and economic outcomes for young people. In just a few short weeks the routine of school will be over – they will be free, and all the hard work is over!

Sure – this is 2020, and we all know the final weeks are not going to be that easy. For our Seniors 2021 is the start of the next chapter in further study, apprenticeships, or full-time employment. Navigating this new environment will be challenging – particularly if they have not quite found their new champion to help support them. Depending on the direction they are travelling, there may be places they can look for support in this transition phase.


A selection of our Seniors have been eligible for or have applied for AARAs (Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments) to assist them to navigate Senior assessments and examinations to minimise barriers where a disability, impairment, medical condition, or other circumstances may affect their ability to read, respond to or participate in assessment. For students in these circumstances who are continuing to study or have acquired apprenticeships for 2021, they must ensure that their learning provider is aware of their needs. Contacting the student support services department at any Learning Provider’s campus admin can help link your son with a group of champions that will help him navigate this new environment.

Mylestones Employment

This year, our employment partnerships expanded with a new relationship between Mylestones Employment Agency and Ambrose Treacy College. Mylestones Employment supports people with barriers to employment to find a job that is right for them. This agency specialise in championing people with a disability to find the career pathway that’s right for them. Being assigned an individual Case Manager from Mylestones helps the transition from school to work – giving graduates a person who can provide services such as mock job interviews, assistance with writing resumes and structuring covering letters for job applications. Mylestones can help with career counselling if boys are unsure on which industry they are interested in or where their skill sets match. While at this stage Mylestones only supports students with verified disabilities, in 2021, this network is being expanded to include further options to support a wider range of Year 12s who require support to transition from school into the work force and beyond.

To the class of 2020, it has been a pleasure walking with you on your Senior School journey. As you spread your wings and soar, I wish you good luck in finding your 2021 champion who will walk with you on anew journey.

Remember, a sign of a man of courage is not being afraid to reach out to his champion and ask for help and guidance. Do not judge yourself only on your successes, but also on the number of times you get back up to face the challenges, just as you have done in 2020.

All the best.
Ms McDonald