Browsing articles in "Uncategorized"

Future Direction Network (FDN) announces Dr Tim Soutphommasane as Ambassador

Dec 18, 2012   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

FDN can make public today the willingness of Australian political philosopher and commentator Dr Tim Soutphommasane to serve as an FDN Ambassador.

Joining the ranks of Channel Seven news anchor Chris Bath and Federal Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, Dr Soutphommasane will serve as an admirable example of the power of tertiary education for South-West Sydney students.

Dr Soutphommasane grew up in Canley Vale and Bonnyrigg Heights. He arrived in Australia as a three-year-old and was educated at Canley Vale Public School and Hurlstone Agricultural High. He topped the state in 3-unit economics in the 1999 HSC, and was dux at Hurlstone, before studying economics/law at the University of Sydney where he won numerous prizes. After completing his economics degree with honours, he won a Commonwealth Scholarship to the University of Oxford, where he would complete his postgraduate studies in political philosophy. While at Oxford he was editor-in-chief of The Oxonian Review of Books and captained the Balliol First XI in cricket.

On his nomination as an FDN Ambassador, Dr Soutphommasane said: “I am a passionate believer in the power of education.

“Where you grew up shouldn’t determine where you will end up. It all comes down to belief and hard work. I’m proud to be an ambassador for FDN, an organisation that is doing wonderful work in expanding opportunity and inspiring young people.”

FDN Chairman Corey Payne met Dr Soutphommasane in his capacity as a board member of the National Australia Day Council, as Corey was announced the NSW Young Australian of the Year. Reflecting on the appointment of a new Ambassador, Corey believes that, as an educator, Dr Soutphommasane can offer resounding clarity in delivering the message of the virtue of tertiary education.

“If you apply yourself, you can go from Bonnyrigg Heights to some of the most prestigious education institutions on earth. But even if your aspirations may not be as grand, statistics show that going to University will allow you to enjoy improved earning capacity as well as quality-of-life outcomes.

“Further study is an amazing experience that can be truly transformational and I hope that having Tim as an Ambassador inspires young students to work hard and dream big.”

FDN Chairman Corey Payne speaks at NRL Rookie Camp (9th December 2012)

Dec 17, 2012   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

The annual NRL Rookies Camp, which is held over three consecutive weekends in Sydney, Wollongong and the Gold Coast, is an opportunity for the next generation of rugby league players to gain an insight into the life and responsibilities of an NRL player.

Current and past players discuss the challenges NRL players face in dealing with alcohol, social media and developing their own personal brands. For the second consecutive year, FDN Chairman Corey Payne was invited to share his journey in combining university study and full-time competition in the NRL.

“I believe that the Rookie Camp is a fantastic initiative by the NRL to help young players coming through the game to get a better understanding of what their responsibilities as a player will be, how to deal with them and to hear it first hand from current and former players is a fantastic method to get the message across,” Mr Payne noted.

“Last year I touched on the importance of education, however this year I drilled deeper into the realities of being an NRL player – which means that it is not a very long career for most. The average life of an NRL player is about 43 games which equates to 2 or 3 seasons. No one wants to believe that they will be one of those players but the statistics don’t lie. As such, it is vitally important for all young players to ensure that they are not putting all their eggs in one basket and make sure they undertake some form of study while they are coming through the grades,” Corey added.

Corey joined players including Bulldog Steve Turner, Manly hooker Matt Ballin, former Raider Alan Tongue, former Warriors centre Clinton Toopi and retired Manly, South Sydney and Bulldogs Forward Kane Cleal in presenting at the camp on the 9th of December.

FDN Chairman Corey Payne wins scholarship to attend NFP Chairman’s Course (8th of October 2012)

Dec 17, 2012   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Future Direction Network (FDN) Chairman Corey Payne was recently selected by the Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF) to take part in the Not-For-Profit (NFP) Chairman’s course, run by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

The Perpetual Foundation and the JS Love Trust generously funded the scholarships with Perpetual hosting the one-day course at its Sydney Office.

Corey joined NFP Chairpersons from a number of well established charities including Mercy Ships Australia, Australian Business Volunteers and Autism Spectrum Australia. The course was facilitated by professional company director Graham Bradley AM, Chairman of HSBC Bank Australia, Stockland Corporation and Anglo American Australia.

The desired outcomes of the course were to improve board effectiveness, how to better lead the corporate agenda, how to represent the board externally and ideas on how to set the “tone at the top”.

FDN Chairman Corey Payne stated that he found the insights provided by facilitator Graham Bradley and fellow participants very helpful and relevant.

“Reflecting on the discussions that took place during the course, that a lot more than I first thought was relevant to FDN and what we are trying to achieve”.

“I will endeavour to take what I learnt from my participation in the course and enact as much as I can into FDN in order to help the board navigate of the massive growth stage we are currently in”, Corey stated.

Management Consultancy International offers scholarship for Certificate IV in Frontline Management

Dec 10, 2012   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Click here for pdf media release

A Multi-award winning training organisation, Management Consultancy International has generously donated an annual scholarship to Future Direction Network for the period of 2013-15 inclusive.

The scholarship will cover the nationally recognised Certificate IV in Frontline Management which will run over six sessions, in three two-day blocks. The scholarship is valued at $3,500 annually which will be offered by Management Consultancy International to students who attend school in South Western Sydney.

FDN Chairman Corey Payne expressed his sincere gratitude to Management Consultancy International for their generous support to FDN. “The scholarship offered by Management Consultancy International will provide a unique opportunity for three students from South West Sydney to attain new skills and knowledge in frontline management”, Mr Payne said. “FDN continues to grow and have an impact on students from South West Sydney and it is thanks to organisations like Management Consultancy International”, Payne continued.

When asked why Management Consultancy International chose to support FDN, Marketing Manager Jenna Meyerson responded: “We were so inspired by the amazing work that FDN does with their students and we are honoured to assist them. Their mission ties so closely with our values and it is an amazing way to inspire youth to further their education”.

“Our program is highly practical and will provide students with a strong management toolkit that they can apply to any industry or profession they choose. They will learn key workplace skills including leading teams, safety, innovation, customer service, and presentation skills”, Ms Meyerson continued.

Scholarship applications will open shortly. Interested candidates should monitor the FDN website.

About FDN

The mission of Future Direction Network is to inform, educate and inspire youth from South West Sydney about the importance of attending university. This is to be accomplished through mentoring programs, career pathway planning and financial assistance (scholarships) mechanisms.

The Future Direction Network board of directors have all grown up in South West Sydney and gone on to study at university. Each director understands the challenges that students can face in progressing from high school to university and are dedicated to bridging the information gaps and demystifying the common misperceptions students from South West Sydney hold in regards to university study.


Jennifer Slaviero
Director, FDN
  Corey Payne
Chairman, FDN

Corey Payne and Greg Minton present at Redfield College and Wollemi College (14th November 2012)

Nov 20, 2012   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Future Direction Network Executive Chairman Corey Payne and his mentor Greg Minton spent Wednesday the 14th of November presenting to the boys at both Redfield College in Dural and Wollemi College in Werrington.

Greg, who hails from Gladstone in QLD, met Corey in late 2009. Since then Greg has acted as a mentor and sounding board for Corey on a number of issues.

“Greg has been a fantastic mentor to date. He has helped me realise what I am capable of and given me the confidence to continually challenge myself” Mr Payne commented.

The aim of the two sessions was to illustrate to the students what is possible and that a little hard work and perseverance can go a long way.

“I have always believed that the harder you work the luckier you get.” Mr Minton added.

The general theme of the presentation revolved around the idea that both Corey and Greg came from families where neither parent had gone to university and where aspiration amongst school friends to attend university was low. Both Greg and Corey delivered a message showing that it doesn’t matter what your background is or whether your mother and father went to university or not – a little hard work can get you a long way.

“It was really about showing the kids what is achievable and communicating the importance of further education” Greg stated.

Mr Minton discussed the idea of goal setting while Corey commented that “life is not about proving others wrong but proving yourself right”.

Click here to access the presentation from both Redfield and Wollemi, which is available at the Programs -> Presentations page.

Genevieve Vaccaro speaks at Westfields Sports and Fairfield High (September 17th 2012)

Nov 18, 2012   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Genevieve Vaccaro grew up in South West Sydney before attending UWS and attaining a law degree. Ms Vaccaro is currently the Senior Adviser in Workplace Relations Policy for the Australian Industry Group, one of Australia’s largest and most influential industry groups representing more than 60,000 businesses.

She has worked at the Australian Industry Group since October 2010 and in this time has been involved in developing and advocating workplace relations policies and strategies on behalf of Australian Industry Group’s members. Her role includes lobbying Government and opposition parties in relation to workplace relations reform matters and initiating test cases in Fair Work Australia to clarify uncertainties and inequities in workplace relations law.

Prior to working at the Australian Industry Group, Genevieve worked at Minter Ellison in Sydney as a lawyer. Genevieve has also worked in occupational health and safety roles for both Qantas Freight and American Express.

Genevieve studied a combined Bachelor or Laws and Business, with a major in Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management at the University of Western Sydney. She graduated in 2008 and was admitted to practice as a solicitor in 2009.

Click here to access Genevieve’s presentation on the FDN website.

University of Sydney Open Day 2012

Jul 29, 2012   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

University of Sydney Open Day 2012 – 9/7/2012

The Future Direction Network (FDN) in conjunction with COMPASS is pleased to announce that the National Rugby League (NRL) will be supporting the transport of 300 students from the Western suburbs of Sydney to attend the University of Sydney Open Day on August 25th.

The University of Sydney Open Day is a great opportunity for anyone, of any age, who is thinking about university to find out more information. Future students can attend a mini-lecture, take a campus tour, try hands-on experiments and activities and get a real feel for on-campus life.

“The support the NRL is providing to transport 300 students from Western Sydney to attend the University of Sydney Open Day, allows FDN to carry out its mission of informing, inspiring and educating more young students from Western Sydney about the importance of further education.” Chairman Corey Payne said.

“It is a huge task for a 16, 17 or even 18 year old from the Western suburbs to make their way into the Open Day via public transport. The journey can take up to one and a half hours and can be quite intimidating for young students to do on their own….therefore they simply put it in the too hard basket. FDN firmly believes that offering student’s free transport to the Open Day is a great way for them to get a better understanding of what university can offer in a way that is friendly and welcoming.”Payne further stated.

“I feel that the NRL have really illustrated a commitment to player education and welfare over the past 3-5years and now they are taking it one step further by helping young students from one of its key regions to learn more about what university can offer. FDN is very excited by the support shown by the NRL”. Payne quoted.

Students from COMPASS and FDN portfolio schools will be contacted shortly to organise pick up and drop off times for the Open Day on August 25th.

Media Release: FDN announces Charity Luncheon

Jul 29, 2012   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

What’s doing on Friday 10th August? Future Direction Network (FDN) announces a charity luncheon held in its name by Canley Heights RSL on Friday, 10th August 2012. The charity luncheon will feature Mario “The Falcon” Fenech and Darryl “Big Marn” Brohman, with entertainment also provided by magician Jackson Aces and hostess Charlotte Rhiane. Former Australian cricketer Len Pascoe is the MC for the event.

The luncheon will begin at 12pm. Tickets cost $50 each, or $450 for a table for 10. This includes a lovely three-course meal and four drink tickets. Tickets can be purchased from Canley Heights RSL.

Funds raised from the luncheon will go towards establishing a scholarship to assist students in South-West Sydney to attend university. FDN Chairman Corey Payne believes the luncheon is a great way to show support for increasing focus on tertiary education in South-West Sydney.

“FDN is in the process of establishing a scholarship fund, with the aim of providing three $6,000 grants to students in South-West Sydney each year to help them with the cost of going to university and maintaining a vibrant student experience. With a great three-course meal, four drink tickets and an afternoon with The Falcon and Big Marn, I think the recipe is complete for a lovely Friday afternoon with your family, friends, colleagues or clients”, Corey said.

In the lead-up to the luncheon, FDN have launched the Scholarship Fund Raffle. First prize includes:

• A double pass to the Baa and Bobcat lunch (Bulldogs home game) to either Round 24 (Bulldogs vs. West Tigers) or Round 26 (Bulldogs vs. Roosters) at ANZ stadium
• A fully signed 2012 Bulldogs playing jersey

Second prize is a Panasonic 47” LED LCD TV (retailing $1,749), third prize is six cases of various beers supplied by Lion Group and fourth prize includes:

• Cakes for a year supplied by Cake-it-Away Merrylands.
• A Trim’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetables $100 voucher
• A $100 voucher for Manpower Menswear Merrylands.

Raffle tickets are $5 each and available for purchase at Canley Heights RSL reception or by e-mailing

About FDN
The mission of Future Direction Network is to inform, educate and inspire youth from South West Sydney about the importance of attending university. This is to be accomplished through mentoring programs, career pathway planning and financial assistance (scholarships) mechanisms.

The Future Direction Network board of directors have all grown up in South West Sydney and gone on to study at university. Each director understands the challenges that students can face in progressing from high school to university and are dedicated to bridging the information gaps and demystifying the common misperceptions students from South West Sydney hold in regards to university study.

Ninus Kanna
Director, FDN
0402 689 377


Corey Payne
Chairman, FDN


Download PDF Media Release (165kb)

Guest Speaker Experience: Fairfield High School

Jun 22, 2012   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments


Tania Tu Phuong Huynh

I was really excited to be able to come to Fairfield High School as their guest speaker from FDN.

The school had allocated 50 minutes for my presentation and I was eager to make this as engaging and interactive as possible for the year 11 students.

I had about 30 students in the group. I had provided the school with an introduction about some of my activities, achievements in the past so that the students could have a basic idea of my background and why I was here to encourage them to attend university. I told them that I live in Smithfield and I still catch the train from Fairfield station to uni. I found that students saw this as a comforting factor and something in common which they had with me before getting to know me.

I then played the FDN short version video which I thought was a great way to expand their awareness of FDN as well as provide them with some opinions/ tips from other young professionals who grew up in similar situations to them.

I then asked them to split up into groups of 5 and provided them with butchers paper and markers to do some brainstorming activities. To make sure I would be addressing the points which they wanted to hear I asked them to brainstorm any fears they had about uni and the things they looked forward to when they thought about going to uni. I offered Kit kats to every member of the team who had identified the most points. I then gave the students 10 minutes to work on their brainstorms before giving them another 5 minutes to narrow it down to their 3 major points.

The students were then asked to move the tables to the side and form a big circle and in their groups present their three biggest fears and most exciting points.

The most common fears identified were: having to leave their HS friends, failing at university, choosing the wrong course. The most exciting factors were: social clubs and uni life, more freedom and the possibility of attending night classes instead of day classes. I used a lot of personal examples from my memories of high school as well as my sister’s current experiences as a year 12 student. Some students mentioned their fears about supporting themselves financially and laughed when I told them that in my first year of uni I drove a bomb which blew up literally in flames when I drove up a hill.

I didn’t want to portray an image of a successful, perfect young woman. Instead I mentioned a lot of flaws, a lot of mistakes and a lot of my personal fears. I think this helped them identify with me a lot more, they were more interested to listen to how I approached these fears and learnt from the mistakes and more enthusiastic to participate in the general discussion. Given that I had 50 minutes I was keen on giving them opportunities to talk and ask questions as opposed to giving them a detailed talk about my life and where I was going.

I was also aware that the students had been listening to power point presentations about university all day and thus wanted to change the environment and give them more opportunities to interact with the guest speaker.
I had a really pleasant time talking to the students.

Volunteering for a good cause is a very enjoyable thing. The students were great, eager to listen and quite funny. I have spoken to the Head Teacher and coordinator for the day, Ekbal since then who has told me that she had received great feedback and would like me to come back again some time.

I am looking forward to my next guest speaker presentation as a representative of FDN.

FDN and Sydney University hosts Find Your Path to Sydney Uni

May 11, 2012   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

The FDN in conjunction with the University of Sydney hosted an information evening for students and parents on Wednesday 9 May 2012. This free event was held at Revesby Workers Club.

Chair of the FDN and Canterbury Bulldogs player, Corey Payne was the Master of Ceremonies and shared his personal experiences in completing his undergraduate and now post graduate study at the University of Sydney. Representatives from the University of Sydney were present and answered all types of questions in relation to studying at the University of Sydney.

“The FDN is very grateful to Revesby Workers Club for holding this special event. We are also very grateful to the University of Sydney who has agreed to host this event in South West Sydney” Mr Payne stated.

The FDN aims to inform, inspire and educate students from South West Sydney in attaining higher education. A key component of the FDN program is to make information about tertiary education more accessible. “This is great opportunity for students to find their path to university. Parents are particularly encouraged to attend to learn more about university life, fees, courses and degrees”, Mr Payne suggested.

Photos from the event are available on the University of Sydney Album page