“Never stop being curious” was the message passed onto McCarthy Catholic College students, who were given a rare insight into the world of technology when Telstra paid them a visit as part of their involvement in the P-TECH program.

P-TECH is an Australian Government initiative that provides students with an industry supported pathway to a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related diploma, advanced diploma or associate degree.

The Emu Plains college is the only school in the Diocese of Parramatta to receive this funding from the government.

McCarthy Catholic College Principal Tania Cairns said P-TECH is all about the establishment of long-term partnerships between industry, schools and tertiary education providers.

“At McCarthy, we are very honoured to have Telstra as our key partner in P-TECH,’’ Mrs Cairns said.

As part of the partnership, the Telstra team, including executive director of business technology services Christopher Smith and general manager of business services Karen Gee, visited the school.

“This partnership will mean opportunities can be provided for students to engage with the world of work and better understand the relevance of their learning to jobs and post-school pathways,’’ Mrs Cairns said.

PrincipalTania Cairns

Mr Smith said Telstra is proud to be working with the students of McCarthy Catholic College.

“In today’s fast-changing workplace, there’s a greater need to create vocational pathways for high school students that are focused on technology,’’ Mr Smith said.

“Through our involvement in this program, we hope to give young people the support and confidence to explore the growing career opportunities available to them in technology."

Mrs Gee encouraged the McCarthy students to consider that the possibilities are endless when it comes to working with technology.

Mrs Cairns wanted to emphasise that technology is for everybody.

“The future is bright. Your future is in your hands. You don’t need to make these choices alone,’’ she said.


During Telstra’s visit to the school, students were engaged in group activities and workshopped how to solve a local traffic congestion problem using technology.

As a result of this visit, the school will be receiving a “Digital Explorer Kit” from the Telstra Foundation with many more students now keen to take part in the P-TECH program.