When she received the official offer to study fashion at RMIT, Jessica Payne looked back on a year of hard work in RMIT’s VET in Schools program and knew where to attribute her success.
Ms Payne studied a Certificate IV in Textiles Design and Development at RMIT during her Year 12 studies, travelling from Geelong to Brunswick every Wednesday to take part in the program.
The culmination of her work was an elegant gown inspired by the historic actions of Rosa Parks in 1955.
A tribute to the brave African American woman who refused to relinquish her seat on the bus for a white man in Alabama, USA, the dress features two thousand black roses handmade from scrap chiffon, silk, tulle, satin, wool and faux leather.
Ms Payne, who will study a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at RMIT in 2012, has put her success down to the skills she developed through the VET in Schools program.
"My mum and I agree, this program was the smartest thing I could ever have done for now and potentially my entire career," Ms Payne said.
"The learning from this program will be valued forever – my colour selection is better and I organise my garment structure better because I understand textiles better.
"Without this program, I would not have had the understanding of fibres, fabrics and texture which is all the fundamental principles of the fashion industry."
Ms Payne completed her VCE studies at Sacred Heart College, Newtown, and received 100 per cent for both her fashion portfolio and the Rosa Parks gown.
She thanked her Studio Arts Fashion teacher, Kristen Pelletier, and the RMIT VET in Schools program for the integral roles they played in her success.
'My advice to kids in years 10 to 12 interested in fashion is to do the RMIT VET in School Certificate IV in Textiles Design and Development, because it gave me all the knowledge I needed to understand the fashion principles of design and the process application," Ms Payne said.
In the future Ms Payne hopes to be able to continue making gowns that are inspired by her beliefs and values, just like her Rosa Parks gown.
VET in Schools programs are vocational training programs approved by the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA).
The programs lead to nationally recognised qualifications thereby offering students the opportunity to gain both the VCE and a national portable VET qualification.