THE annual Taree District Careers Expo was held last Friday (July 25) and organisers were pleased to see more than 700 local students from schools around the district eager to plan their futures.
Co-ordinator Glen Bowman was thrilled with the event that is put together by the Lower North Coast Careers Advisers Association and the NSW Department of Education and Communities.
The long running local event is all about showcasing post-school options for years 10, 11 and 12 students from around the area, who are otherwise isolated from universities and colleges.
It's the perfect 'one-stop shop' for students to discuss as many post-school tertiary and employment options as possible, from all the major universities, to colleges, police and defence representatives, jobs services and more.
"We're fully booked again this year," explained Glen.
"We're at the stage where we unfortunately have to turn exhibitors away, but this means that we are able to offer a wide range of information that will cater for everyone, whether they're looking to leave school in year 10 or go on to years of study at university."
The organisers begin preparing for the event in March and Glen admits it's also a fantastic day for teachers and career advisors who get to network and make contact with representatives from the different organisations involved.
And for the exhibitors, one of the highlights of Taree's event is undoubtedly the food!
Chatham High School's year 11 hospitality class cater for the event, with 12 students working flat out on Friday to serve a mixed menu of sweet and savoury delights to keep everyone going.
"This is fantastic for them as it goes towards their competency testing and gives them first hand experience into catering," explained class teacher Kerrie Roberts.
Here's what some of the people had to say about the expo this year ...
Cameron Mackenzie, year 10, Taree High School: "I'm thinking about finishing up this year and doing an apprenticeship, hopefully building.
"So I'm looking to see the Apprenticeships Centre and those sorts of exhibitors today, just to find out what's involved and what options are available."
Rachel Emmett, year 10, Chatham High School: "I'm hoping to find out more about what courses I should be selecting for my senior years, to give me the best opportunity of getting into medicine.
"After chatting with some of the uni reps I've got a better idea of what electives I should be considering for year 11 and 12.
"I'm thinking of heading to either Newcastle or Wollongong so it's been great to get to chat with people from those unis."
Maddie McMasters, year 11, Chatham High School is interested in primary teaching. "So today has been great for me to talk about the courses available at the different universities.
"I'm considering Newcastle Uni, especially after chatting with them today."
Saul Brady, year 12, vice captain of Great Lakes College: "I'm thinking of a combined bachelor of commerce and actuarial studies and really like the look of Bond University in Queensland.
"I originally thought law but I've been doing high levels of maths in year 12 and that's changed my mind.
"Getting to speak with the Bond representative face-to-face was great, because I've applied for a scholarship and will be dealing with him in the future so it's been a great day, really helpful and great for making contacts."