Careers Adviser – Ms Paula Finlay and Vanessa Dews

The focus of careers at St Mary’s Catholic College is to assist students acquire the skills and knowledge needed to make informed decisions that best suit them and their post-school pathways, whether this takes them onto further education and training or other employment opportunities.

The St Mary’s careers adviser endeavours to meet the needs of all students in an individualised manner. This is predominately facilitated through meetings to ascertain their primary concerns and discussion of the ways to best address them. Students are given professional and informed advice relevant to their strengths, ambitions and interests. Parents are also encouraged to be a part of the process, either by attending the consultation with the students or via telephone or email.

The areas the adviser usually addresses and assists students and carers with are:

  • understanding HSC and RoSA subject selections and their impact on future pathways
  • gathering/researching tertiary and employment information
  • applications for TAFE and other training providers
  • applying for a range of employment opportunities
  • negotiating and establishing school-based traineeships and apprenticeships
  • applying for a tax file number and USI
  • understanding and applying for scholarships
  • dissemination of information regarding early entry and alternative pathways into university
  • co-ordinating work-experience opportunities
  • facilitating university information sessions and open days
  • guest-speaker presentations
  • organising and supervising attendance at the Hunter Valley Careers Expo (150 exhibitors from a range of educational and employment providers)
  • “YES” TAFE program organisation.

The careers adviser at St Mary’s Catholic College, Gateshead, is Paula Finlay – a CAA, and HVCAA member. To contact Ms Finlay, please email