Strength-based Approach to Career Education Conference

The Department of Education and Training Victoria is hosting a one-day conference on 4 March 2019, at the MCG from 9:00am to 3:40pm (registration from 8am).  

This aim is to build the capacity of career practitioners and relevant school staff to deliver a strength-based approach to career education, with a particular focus on vulnerable students.

The conference will include presentations from Gray Poehnell and participants also have the opportunity to attend workshops on trauma-informed counselling and cultural competency.

Career practitioners from all Victorian schools, government, Catholic and independent are invited to attend the conference.


Gary Griffiths - Lensaloft


8.00 am


9.00 am

Acknowledgement of traditional owners and Introduction

Department of Education and Training Victoria

9.20 am

 Student Speaker

9.40 am

Keynote: Strength-based approach to career education

Gray Poehnell

10.40 am

Morning Tea 

11.00 am


  • Trauma informed counselling
  • Cultural competency
12.30 am


1.15 pm


  • Trauma informed counselling
  • Cultural competency
2.45 pm

 Endnote: Crafting a better story presentation

Gray Poehnell

3.30 pm

Plenary and Endnote

3.40 pm




Student Speaker


Northern Bay P-12 College

Roghayeh (Rocky) Sadeghi is a Year 12 student from Afghanistan. Roghayeh arrived Australia as a refugee with her mother and nine siblings in 2012.

Roghayeh is currently in Year 12, and plans on going on to study law. Her dream is to be a human rights lawyer one day. Roghayeh is an advocate for diversity, inclusion, equality and the rights of the LGBTQI+ community, as well as, being a role model for the Muslim community. She is committed to working towards a world that is free from bullying, racism, sexism and discrimination of all forms. Being a young and a passionate speaker she hopes to inspire others to have resilience and make their dreams come true.


Trauma-informed counselling Workshops


Senior Trainer, Berry Street

Grace has worked as a teacher in primary, secondary and tertiary settings.

Grace has a particular focus on how schools can support young people with disabilities and young people who have been impacted by trauma or disadvantage in their lives.

Grace’s work in leadership roles has focussed on teaching and learning initiatives to bring about educational change and transform culture.



Senior Trainer for Berry Street Education, Berry Street

Benji has worked with some of Victoria’s most vulnerable young people within the juvenile justice system. Prior to working at Berry Street Benji was Lead Teacher and Vocational Education and Training in Schools (VETis) manager for Parkville College.

Benji has a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and a Master of Teaching (Secondary) and is a published co-author in ‘Journal Of Anxiety Disorders’ - 2018 ‘Systematic review and meta-analysis of dropout rates in individual psychotherapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.’


Cultural competency Workshops


Trainer and Project Officer, Centre for Multicultural Youth

Zoe works for the Centre for Multicultural Youth as a Trainer and Project Officer in the MY Education Team which supports educators and service providers to improve the educational outcomes of students from migrant and refugee backgrounds in Victoria.

Zoe worked as a primary school teacher for seven years and has experience teaching in both mainstream primary schools and language schools here in Victoria, and in the UK.

Zoe has been a volunteer on a Soup Van in Melbourne for over eight years, and has also worked as a volunteer at a Homework Club and a school holiday program for disadvantaged children.


Sector Support and Training Officer, Centre for Multicultural Youth

Linette has worked for the past 33 years, mostly in not for profit community based organisations with issues ranging from sexual assault and family violence to youth work, child protection and environmental issues in counselling, service provision, leadership and management roles.

Linette currently works at the Centre for Multicultural Youth as the Sector Development and Training Officer. She also has casual training roles with Child Wise (a child safety organisation), and the Domestic Violence Resource Centre.