Browsing articles in "Uncategorized"

Fairfield High School parents get a feel for uni life!

Aug 9, 2011   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Over ninety Fairfield High School parents and their children (from toddler to teen) gave up their Sunday in order to learn more about the University of Sydney.

The day commenced with a presentation delivered by those best placed to talk about the trials and tribulations of getting into university, the University’s own Student Ambassadors. The Ambassadors talked guests through:

  • Scholarships and bursaries
  • How to apply for financial assistance
  • Alternative entry pathways
  • Costs associated with studying (and how to minimise them!)
  • Following the information session, the Student Ambassadors led guests on a walking tour of the University. This allowed parents and their potential future students to put the immense size of the University into perspective, and to see some of the fantastic on-campus facilities first hand.

    Read the full article on the University of Sydney website (opens in new window)

    Nicole Kassis to complete FDN DGR application pro-bono

    Jul 12, 2011   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    The Future Direction Network is pleased to announce that Nicole Kassis, a tax lawyer at a highly regarded law firm, has agreed to assist the Future Direction Network with its deductible gift recipient (DGR) application on a pro-bono basis.

    DGR status will allow FDN to raise much needed money in order to carry out its mission and initiatives in South West Sydney. DGR status enables all donations over $2 to be tax deductible. This is a very important aspect for FDN to secure as it will make supporting FDN more attractive for friends of FDN.

    The team at FDN wish to pass on a big thank you to Nicole for her generous time and help in assisting FDN to prepare its DGR application t the Australian Taxation Office.

    Corey Payne visits Chester Hill High School

    Jul 12, 2011   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    In week 5, students of year 9 were greeted by Rugby League Canterbury Bulldogs player Corey Payne. He was there with his assistant Tara White. He explained to all of us about setting goals and trying to achieve them. Because we year 9 students are in a stage where we have to make hard decisions we have to make sure that these choices are right so we can have a bright future. So to tell us this, he set up a presentation that took us through his earlier life, from when he was just a small kid playing in his domestic footy team, the Chester Hill Hornets to now, all grown up and playing professional for the Bulldogs. Gee! A lot does change.

    Read the full story on Chester Hills High Schools Web site

    A copy of Corey’s presentation can be found under the Presentations section or you can download the file here (PDF – 1.7mb )

    Jennifer Slaviero guest speaker at Fairfield High School

    Jul 12, 2011   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    Lawyer and FDN board member Jennifer Slaviero spoke at both Westfields Sports High and Fairfield High School on the 8th of June as part of the Future Direction Network guest speakers program. Jennifer who grew up in Casula and attended All Saints Girls College in Liverpool spoke about her background and the challenges she faced whilst studying for her HSC.

    Jennifer offered some advice to the students as to how she was able to commit to her studies and not become distracted whilst studying for both her HSC and her Communications and Law degree at the University of Technology, Sydney.

    Jennifer also offered her triple “S” strategy (Set Goals, Stay Focused and Study) for doing well in her studies and warned students about the potential to burnout by becoming stressed or too narrowly focussed on their studies. Students at Fairfield High found Jennifer’s presentation particularly useful and interesting which resulted in Jen fielding a number of questions.

    “I was really excited about being the FDN guest speaker for Term 2. I was extremely pleased at the number of thoughtful questions I received at Fairfield High. I am extremely privileged to be in a position where I have the opportunity to help students through their year 11 and 12 studies and hope that in some way I was able to inspire them to work hard and stay committed to achieving their goals” Jennifer stated.

    Jennifer’s presentation can be found under Presentations on the FDN website or you can download it from here (PDF – 1.03mb)

    Corey Payne introduces FDN to Students at Westfields Sports and Fairfield High Schools

    Jul 12, 2011   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    Future Direction Network Chairman and founder Corey Payne attended assemblies at both Fairfield High and Westfields Sports on the 23rd of March 2011 to formally introduce the FDN program and its offerings in 2011.

    The program was well received by students with a number of questions being asked and a number of students signing up to become friends of FDN at

    A copy of Corey’s presentation can be found under the Presentations section or you can download the file here (PDF – 855kb )

    Future Direction Network is assisted by PILCH NSW

    Jan 27, 2011   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    PILCH (the Public Interest Legal Clearing House) has again assisted Future Direction Network (FDN) in having Watson Mangioni agree to provide pro-bono legal work. Earlier in the year, Middletons provided extensive assistance in regards to the review of FDN scholarship criteria.

    PILCH NSW bridges the justice gap by linking individuals and not for profit organisations with legal and other professional advisors to address issues of concern in the community. PILCH NSW offers its members opportunities to give to the community through a broad range of pro bono work.

    FDN director Jennifer Slaviero who previously worked for PILCH on secondment is a strong supporter of the service it offers.

    “PILCH are an amazing body that help many disadvantaged individuals and not for profit organisations through the referral of their legal matters on a pro-bono basis to one of the PILCH member law firms” Jennifer stated.

    “As FDN is a start-up not for profit I thought it was important that we have our legal matters reviewed by a leading law firm to ensure we have sound governance” Jennifer further explained.

    “PILCH again have been great and I am sure that I speak on behalf of the FDN board when I thank them for all their help” Jennifer noted.

     Watson Mangioni will be assisting FDN in the drafting of intellectual property (IP) contracts to ensure that all IP created in the course of its operation is properly accounted for and retained by FDN.

    Future Direction Network to be piloted at Fairfield High and Westfields Sports High in 2011

    Jan 27, 2011   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    After months of planning, research and discussion the Future Direction Network (FDN) has finalised its program which aims to encourage and engage more students from South West Sydney to attend university. The Future Direction Network board is proud to announce that its program will be piloted at both Fairfield High School and Westfields Sports High in 2011.

    FDN Chairman Corey Payne was extremely pleased that both schools had not only accepted the invitation to be a part of FDN’s pilot program but have shown great enthusiasm to be part of the FDN experience.

    “Westfields Sports High Principal Roger Davis has been great….Roger was more than helpful back in May when the University of Sydney, Master of Management cohort who were working on the FDN business plan visited the school….and has been really enthusiastic about having the FDN program implemented at Westfields Sports in 2011″ Mr Payne said.

    “Fairfield High Principal Robert Mulas and Head Welfare Teacher Ekbal Sayed-Rich have also been fantastic…..both of them have shown a real desire to be part of what FDN is about and provide greater opportunities for their students to attend University” Mr Payne added.

    The FDN program will help bridge the information gaps that students face in regards to studying at university by creating better access to information and by effectively bringing the university to the students.

    “It can be quite daunting for a student from South West Sydney to attend a university open day at the University of Sydney, UTS or University of NSW” director Anthony Hadley stated.

    “It can be quite a task to catch a bus then a train and then potentially another bus to get to a university open day in the city which is a foreign place for many of them…we need to bring the university to the student…to open their minds to what is available to them” Hadley further explained.

    FDN will also provide tangible role models to speak at school assemblies and speech nights about their own personal experiences at university in order to challenge misconceptions and attitudes South West Sydney students sometimes hold about university.

    “What we have found in our research is that a lot of students would like to study at university, but being the first family member to do so (which is often the case) they have limited access to information regarding university and it just becomes all too hard for them” FDN director Irene Pediotis offered.

    “We need to break down these barriers and provide the platform and mechanisms needed to help bridge these information gaps and at the same time help develop their aspirations” Pediotis added.

     Westfields Sports High is the alma mater of both FDN Chairman Corey Payne and Director Ninus Kanna. The school is Australia’s fist sporting high school and has produced a significant number of Australian and international athletes including soccer star Harry Kewell, Australian Cricket Vice Captain Michael Clarke, world discuss champion Dani Samuels and a long list of NRL and A-League players.

    “We are always looking for ways to help our students academically and on the sporting field” Westfields Sports Principal Roger Davis explained.

    “After Corey presented the FDN program to me several weeks back, I am of the opinion that it (FDN program) will be very beneficial to our students” Mr Davis added.

    Fairfield High School which is a multi-cultural melting pot, with 60% of students coming from non-English speaking backgrounds is extremely focussed on providing opportunities for their students.

    “Currently we run the ABCN GOALS program for our year 9 students and feel that after speaking with Corey that the FDN program will complement this and provide yet another mechanism to help our students understand the opportunities that they have” Fairfield High Principal Robert Mulas stated.

    “We feel that the FDN program will add further value to our students educational offerings at Fairfield High and see real merit in having it implemented at our school in 2011″ Head Welfare Teacher Ekbal Sayed-Rich offered.

    The FDN board are very excited that both schools have agreed to be a part of its inaugural program and look forward to working with both of them.

    Master of Management Students head to South West Sydney Schools

    Jan 21, 2011   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

    Master of Management students from the University of Sydney (who have been working on the Future Direction Network’s business plan and strategy as part of their semester one studies) ventured out to South West Sydney to get a first hand view of the various challenges students face in the region.

    Three schools were visited on the day including Sarah Redfern High, Westfields Sports and East Hills Girls Technology High. Lunch was also provided for at Revesby Workers Club where club President and long-serving local Federal member Daryl Melham provided a guided tour of the club.

    The aim of the road-trip was to give the Masters students a first-hand look at South West Sydney and the types of challenges that students from the region face in transgressing from high school to university.

    Masters student Oliver-Maxwell Verheijden from Holland was quite surprised by the dramatic differences in schools that were not all that far apart. “Our first stop was Sarah Redfern High, which really shocked me….only one student from the previous year had gone to university….at Westfields the ambition was there and a lot of students from the previous year had gone onto uni…but the group of students we spoke with lacked a lot of critical information like knowing where Sydney University actually was” Oliver commented.

    Daryl Melham MP provided the Masters students with a tour of Revesby Workers and explained how poker machines were a key revenue source. Part of the student’s project was to identify funding sources and Mr Melham was able to clarify how the Community Development Support Expenditure Scheme worked to the students. 

    The last school visited on the day was East Hills Girls Technology which has an extremely high rate of its year twelve students go onto university. The Masters students engaged in discussion with Deputy Principal Annette Brunt about the different methods used at the school to ensure that students understood further education was a real option that was available to them.

    “When we spoke with both students and the Deputy Principal it was clear that a lot of emphasis at this school was put on encouraging students to engage in further study. It was evident that university was presented as a real option for them and that regular consultation with both students and parents on the schools behalf reinforced this” FDN Chairman Corey Payne explained.

    “The road-trip provided me with a good opportunity to gain an on the ground insight into the dynamics of South West Sydney. It was really apparent that students from the region face serious challenges….” Masters Student Irina Lange of Germany noted.

    Future Direction Network to collaborate with COMPASS

    Sep 22, 2010   //   by admin   //   Uncategorized  //  No Comments

     The University of Sydney social inclusion program – COMPASS has agreed to collaborate with Future Direction Network (FDN) in 2011 by including both Westfields High School and Fairfield High School as part of the schools in which the COMPASS program currently operates.

     The University of Sydney’s COMPASS program aims to encourage both primary and secondary school children to participate in higher education. It is a partnership between the University of Sydney, the NSW Department of Education and Training and selected secondary and primary schools in Sydney.

    Since the launch of the COMPASS project in June 2009, thousands of students, teachers, parents and University of Sydney students and staff have participated in a range of programs and activities focused on promoting attainment and aspiration in COMPASS school communities.

    COMPASS currently operates its program in sixteen schools across Sydney. In South West Sydney, which is the predominant target market of FDN, COMPASS is currently partnered with both Condell Park High and Picnic Point High.

    “Future Direction Network first came to my attention back in May when the University of Sydney Master of Management students (who were working on FDN) contacted me” University of Sydney Director of Social Inclusion Annette Cairnduff offered.

    “I subsequently met with Corey and he discussed what FDN would be offering….as Corey is an alumnus of the university he was very interested in working with COMPASS” Annette further explained.

    “COMPASS will be adding another group of schools to its program in 2011 and we are very pleased to be able to say that Westfields Sports and Fairfield High will be two of them” Mrs Cairnduff stated.