Wednesday, August 28, Jess Panayi ’19 came back to speak to the VCE-VM students as part of the Smith Family Real Talk sessions. As a former VCAL student, Jess has a full understanding of what it means to give your community project and your portfolio presentation everything you have. Jess walked us through a photo presentation of her work at Sunshine Hospital back in 2019, which involved transforming a disused lean-to into an undercover relaxation and games area for patients. She spoke about the significance of teamwork, collaboration, and organisation on such projects, and stressed the importance of doing a good job as you are not only representing the school, but you are learning life skills and meeting with notable people in the community that you, personally, have an opportunity to make a mark on.
Jess’s determination to pivot her somewhat deviant passion for art into meaningful work is inspirational, and her resolve to turn her disruptive behaviour around to be more proactive and productive in her schooling was broadening and motivating for our students.
Jess, who started out in sign writing, now runs a successful car wrapping business, in which she uses many of the communication and organisation skills that she acquired during VCAL. She was such a positive force to have back to speak, and we look forward to seeing how her career progresses in the years to come.
Ms Nicole Gurd – Alumni Coordinator