Friday, November 25th, 2011
Gilmore College in Kwinana experienced the pilot program of techtrails, a new initiative by Women in Technology, WA (WITWA). Operating as a school incursion, the techtrails program is designed to encourage youth in regional and remote Western Australia to take up careers in technology, science and engineering. The resounding success of the first pilot indicates a real desire for youth to enter a sector suffering a severe skills shortage.

PERTH, Western Australia (24 November 2011) – Gilmore College in Kwinana became the first recipient of WITWA’s techtrails project designed to encourage high school students to enter the workforce in technology roles.

Year 9 students at Gilmore College were treated to a workshop presented in two parts. The Scitech “technotruck” delivered an interactive session where students built and operated their own robots. WITWA followed that meeting two weeks later by conducting a careers exploration session. Small groups of students rotated between ‘pods’ where they could speak directly to young role models in a variety of technology jobs.

Tarnya Damen from Social Media Maven described the event on Facebook, “8 great speakers on diverse technology topics like cosmetic medicine, web design & SEO, construction engineering, electrical engineering, iinet ISP tech compliance and . . . Cybercrime and protecting your digital assets.

Ms. Damen, the keynote speaker for the day, gave a popular talk on social media titled, Who’s Watching You?

It was great to see the students get involved in the conversation and contribute and be inspired by the potential in any one of these career paths. I love inspiring young minds!”

The technology sector in Australia is suffering a skills shortage that only becomes worse as the Baby Boomer generation enter retirement. GenY and Millennials have not considered technology as career choices leaving a huge skills and talent gap across all industries in Australia.

WITWA took the strategic decision to use our expertise and connections to help solve this burgeoning skills shortage,” says Marjolein Towler, WITWA Chair. “We want both students and parents to understand how many exciting and lucrative career options exist for young people.”

Towler continues, “As a first event in our own techtrails journey it was great to see how engaged the students were and how much the speakers enjoyed being there. I consider this a successful pilot from which we can learn much for future techtrail events.

Schools in Karratha and Geraldton have already expressed interest in having the techtrails program run in their districts.

The techtrails program is without government sponsorship and depends on support from the technology sector for funding and staffing and is currently sponsored by University of Western Australia and Horizon Power. WITWA is a 100% volunteer organisation. The techtrails program is completely free of charge for the school.

A fundraising event for techtrails is scheduled in Perth on Thursday, 1 December. Sponsored by Ernst & Young, all proceeds from the evening go directly towards the techtrails schools program.

Contact Profile

Women in Technology, WA (WITWA)

WITWA promotes the continuous development of women in the Technology sector. The techtrails initiative operates throughout Western Australia as a co-ed project to inform high school student about technology career opportunities. With Chief Scientist of WA, Lyn Beazley, as the techtrails Patron, techtrails depends on support from the technology sector for funding and staffing.
Marjolein Towler
P: (08) 9417 3628


witwa, techtrails, technology, Scitech, education, ernst & young, university of WA, Horizon Power



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