Justin Sheppard is a Big Picture Advisor in association with Big Picture Education Australia, offering innovative programs that are revolutionising the education system. Designed to support passionate high-school students through identifying and exploring what excites them, the program is producing incredible results.
I met Justin early on in my career, snapping him and his wife up to work in one of my businesses. It wasn’t long before I realised the worth of what the duo could offer, as did others in the industry. A few years on, and I was keen to check in with Justin and hear about all the goals his kicked since we worked together.
Big Picture Education
Justin was accepted into a Physical Education (PE) course at university, through an early acceptance scheme, which guaranteed a him space, before he’d even finished high-school. His passion for sports and the success he enjoyed drove this opportunity. Little did he realise that years later he’d find himself offering young adults an opportunity to explore their passion in a similar way, as a Big Picture Advisor.
Big Picture Education Australia is bucking the trends of traditional education. Offering a university recognised program, that removes high-school students from mainstream curriculum, to focus on learning opportunities that nurture passions. Through the innovative program, students are encouraged to combine project-based learning with internships and mentor programs.
The Advantages of Exploring Passions Early On
The Big Picture Education Programs provides participants with an opportunity to test out their desired career paths, while receiving valuable guidance and support. It’s the perfect environment for students to test commitment levels, make mistakes and learn from others. Justin admits that sometimes students start out on a path that they eventually realise is not for them. This in itself is a positive outcome, with students encouraged to take a step back and re-think what motivates and excites them. The best part is, they can do this before launching into a four-year university degree. Or before they take on a mortgage that binds them to a job they don’t enjoy.
Not only does the program encourage and support people to build a career around their passions, it helps provide a purpose for students who become disengaged in traditional teaching environments. The program provides direction to youth who may otherwise struggle to stay in school, instead helping them foster a sense of responsibility and pride.
Building the Right Foundations
Justin is very proud of his students and the outcomes they achieve. Through the program, he has guided students with passions in areas such as forensic science, architecture, medicine and countless trades. Justin is modest when speaking about the role he plays in their success. Throughout our chat however, you can hear his own passion, bursting from within. While hesitant to take credit, it’s easy to see that Justin is teaching his students priceless foundational skills. Despite the outcome of the program, each student will undoubtfully learn skills that will assist them time and time again, throughout their lives.
Also, in this episode, Justin and I chat about:
- Justin’s background working in the Accommodation Industry
- What Justin learnt through travel
- Grabbing hold of opportunities
- Making an impact on people’s lives
- Discovering your passion
- Outcomes of the Big Picture Educational Program – Graduation Portfolio
- Traditional methods for choosing a career
- Careers of the future
- ‘Unlearning’ to foster better learning
- Real life learning opportunities
- The future of education
- Taking stock in things that interest you
- The importance of self-discovery
- Letting fun be your guide
- Nurturing your children’s passions