Derby District High School Drone Program to boost students’ employment opportunities

Cain AndrewsBroome Advertiser
Caden Moore, 16, Hamish Wells, 15, Matthew Ellis, 15, Zimmarley Williams-Wilson, 16, Derby District High School deputy principal Mohamed Youssef and Jack McAlister-Gugeri, 16.
Camera IconCaden Moore, 16, Hamish Wells, 15, Matthew Ellis, 15, Zimmarley Williams-Wilson, 16, Derby District High School deputy principal Mohamed Youssef and Jack McAlister-Gugeri, 16. Credit: Supplied

More drones will be buzzing around the Kimberley with High School students from Derby learning to fly drones through a specialised program to prepare them for future career opportunities in a range of industries.

After completing the initial training and preparation, 20 students in Years 10 to 12 are now taking part in the drone program, which will culminate with each of them receiving their drone pilot licence and a Certificate III in Aviation.

The students from Derby District High School will spend a week undertaking theoretical and practical exams as part of an intensive training period before a practical assessment day on the Derby mudflats where they will be assessed on flying and controlling the drones safely.

The course will boost the students chances of gaining employment with five of the 13 students who completed the course in 2021 gaining employment as a direct result of the program.

Derby District High School student Jack McAlister-Gugeri, 16, said there was a lot of book work involved but it was all worth it to get out and learn to fly the drones.

“The drone course will open up a lot of opportunities for us considering there are not many people with drone licences in the Kimberley and throughout Australia,” he said.

Derby District High School deputy principal Mohamed Youssef said the experience provided students with the opportunity to develop technical skills in the aviation industry.

“The course this year was designed and delivered with the concept of using the drone in different contexts such as mining, photography, search and rescue, tourism and station work,” he said.

“The job opportunities are endless for our students after this course.”

Mr Youssef said the students who participated in the course also developed friendships for life.

“The course developed our student’s wellbeing, self-confidence, teamwork, time management and goal setting skills,” he said.

“Students have also developed problem-solving and analytical skills to fly drones and achieve tasks.

“This experience is such an amazing tool to assist our students to achieve outstanding results.”

Teachers from Derby District High School are also learning to fly the drones so they can help teach the course as assistant instructors.

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