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CoRE to Career: Denzyl Moncrieff's Journey in Geology

Empowering Future Leaders in STEM

In the realm of STEM education and career development, real-world experiences and industry engagement are invaluable. The CoRE Learning Foundation, through its innovative CoRE Learning Model and partnerships with industry leaders like IGO Ltd, is transforming the landscape for young learners. Denzyl Moncrieff's journey from a CoRE student to a successful professional in the mining industry exemplifies this transformation.

Denzyl's CoRE Experience

Denzyl Moncrieff, an alumnus of the CoRE Learning Foundation, describes his experience in one sentence: "CoRE changed my life for the better." His story is a testament to the profound impact that hands-on learning and industry engagement can have on young minds.

Growing up with family members working as truck drivers in the mining industry, Denzyl initially thought he would follow a similar path. However, CoRE and its dynamic educator, Suzy Urbaniak OAM, opened his eyes to the world of geology. "CoRE gave me my career," Denzyl recalls. The program's practical and immersive approach allowed him to discover his natural affinity for geology, ultimately leading him to pursue a BSc in Applied Geology from Curtin University. Denzyl proudly became the first Aboriginal male to achieve this degree, paving the way for a remarkable career in the resources sector.

In 2017 Denzyl and Suzy went on SBS Insight for an episode called "A Teacher Changed My Life", it's a must-watch if you want to really understand the difference a program like CoRE makes for students like Denzyl.

Career Milestones and Industry Contributions

Denzyl's career trajectory has been nothing short of inspiring. His roles have ranged from an exploration geologist and mine geologist to an approvals coordinator and a heritage and land access specialist. His contributions have been recognised at the highest levels, including appointments to the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Committee of WA and the Advisory Committee for Curtin University's School of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Reflecting on his choice to work with IGO Ltd, Denzyl highlights the company's sponsorship of CoRE as a major factor. This connection underscores the value of industry partnerships in shaping educational pathways and career opportunities for students.

Diversity and Inclusion in the CoRE Learning Model

For Denzyl, the CoRE Learning Model was particularly effective due to its practical, hands-on approach. He emphasises the significance of field trips. The model's flexibility and focus on the learning journey, rather than rigid end goals, allowed him to be creative and think outside the box—skills that continue to benefit him in his professional life.

"As an Aboriginal person, the CoRE Learning Model was really easy for me to grasp and excel at. It was practical and hands-on. There were field trips with time on Country. It was more about the final product and the lessons you learned along the way, rather than having the same old, boring style of teaching where there was only one way to achieve the final product. This allowed a lot of flexibility with my learning and it gave me an opportunity to be creative about learning and the projects I was working on. I still do this today, there are many ways to achieve a certain outcome of a project, and I often think outside the box in order to achieve that outcome."

Enhancing STEM Education

In addition to its experiential learning model, CoRE’s Gamifying Earth Science (GES) initiative has revolutionised how students engage with STEM subjects. Through interactive games like Resource! Respond! Rescue! and Old as Dirt, students learn complex geoscience concepts in a fun and engaging way. These tools not only make learning enjoyable but also deepen students' understanding and retention of critical STEM knowledge.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Denzyl Moncrieff’s journey from a CoRE student to a professional in the mining industry illustrates the transformative power of CoRE’s educational model. By bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world applications, CoRE empowers students to explore their passions and pursue meaningful careers. As Denzyl’s story shows, the CoRE Learning Foundation is not just about education—it's about changing lives and shaping the future of STEM.

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