Female Tech Trailblazers journey from interns to tech innovators


​From left to right: Siena Catholic College students Libby, Sydnie, and Macey with IT teacher Paul Dionysius.

A team of three technology trailblazers from Siena Catholic College Sippy Downs is planning their next Information Technology (IT) immersive experience these school holidays.  
Macey, Libby, and Sydnie are still coming down from their last holiday adventure, where they were thrust into the heart of the tech epicentre of Sydney, taking part in a global tech company work experience initiative of a lifetime.  
It was their second 2023 holiday spent exploring their future career pathways, with the Term 1 holiday also spent gaining the attention of a large global tech giant for a presentation they developed about their experience working as interns for Concentrix Catalyst, where they helped develop an app for emergency services client.    
With an extensive list of IT work experience, it is no surprise a global tech company was eager to snap up the Year 10 and two Year 12 students, exposing them to cutting-edge technology as part of their internship program. 
Siena Catholic College Year 10 student Macey says she first contacted the tech company when she was still in Year 5. 
“I kept an email from a contact and decided to reach out about doing an IT internship in Year 10. Then Libby, Sydnie, and I all headed off to intern with Concentrix Catalyst,” she says. 
Macey says working on and hearing about classified apps and technology was the most exciting part of being an intern.  
“We got to help build an app for the client which improves safety for frontline workers, and learn how to market and monetise these apps, skills we will need in the future as IT professionals,” she added. 
“Working at the global tech giant was even more exciting. There were so many classified projects, and it was cool just being in the room with tech representatives.”  
Year 12 student Libby said as part of their Concentrix Catalyst internship the trio presented their learnings at an event where they were noticed by tech representatives.  
“We caught the attention of the tech industry with our expert communication skills and impressive PowerPoint about our experience interning at Concentrix Catalyst,” says Libby. 
“It was thrilling to speak in front of so many IT professionals about how you need empathy to design technologies, user app experiences, what makes a good workforce, and where we want to go with our careers. 
“They loved our presentation and invited us to do some work experience at their headquarters in Sydney, hoping to inspire us to continue to pursue our IT studies.” 
Year 12 student Sydnie describes the work experience initiative as ‘out of this world.’ 
“I thought we’d just be doing lots of photocopying, but instead we got to speak with a top executive of the company who did a Zoom call with us,” she says. 
“She told us all about how she worked on some pivotal technology, including the innovation of a popular phone brand. 
“To meet someone who helped develop a technology that changed the world was mind blowing and inspiring all at the same time.” 
Siena Catholic College Academic Leader of Technologies Paul Dionysius says he is a huge advocate for student internships and encouraged the girls to experience the IT industry in the ‘real world.’ 
“The girls have been amazing, bringing back their knowledge and experiences of the IT industry and connecting our school with tech representatives that will benefit other students now and into the future,” he says. 
“With what they have accomplished so far, they are inspiring other female students to get into IT and follow in their footsteps. 
“They have inspired me too. As teachers, our professional knowledge is often only what happens in the classrooms.  
“The girls are able to bring back industry experience and share it with our students and staff. 
Paul says Macey, Libby, and Sydnie have taught him plenty about how they have approached developing technology.  
“I find they create experiences with technology in a different way to how the boys approach the task in the same age group,” he says. 
“When we give students a technology project, the girls spend more time developing the product instead of jumping straight into the coding. 
“And when developing technologies that help others, girls can take a more empathetic approach.  
“The educator says over the past five years he has focused on helping ensure more girls pursue IT subjects and careers.  
“We now have at least 40 per cent of girls in our IT classrooms across all year levels at Siena Catholic College,” he says. 
“We show students how IT study is a valuable pathway, and they can use these skills in any occupation and can help improve lives.” 
Paul says giving female students the opportunity to accelerate their learning is both motivating and inspiring.  
“Our students do multiple semesters of Digital Technology from Year 7, and we give our students the opportunity to accelerate their learning very early on,” he says. 
“At Siena Catholic College, we focus on progression learning rather than age-based learning. This means a student in Year 10 could be studying IT at Year 11 or 12 level at their own pace.” 
Libby says she would like to be an IT Project Manager.  
Sydnie says she is considering a university degree in IT and her dream job is to work for a leading tech company. 
Macey, who has yet to start her senior year says she wants to continue networking in the IT industry during Year 11 next year.  

“I see another tech giant internship in the future,” she says. ​

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