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Mr Olewicz upstaged a world-class field of finalists to win the
Tourism and Hospitality and Catering Institute of Australia's most
prestigious award, the Teacher/Trainer of the Year.
"Absolutely shocked – lost for words," a humble Mr Olewicz
said after receiving the award at a special ceremony in Sydney.
"I was totally blown away to even be considered a finalist
against some of the best hospitality representatives in the country
let alone win. This is something that I never expected, but it is very
special all the same."
Someone who was not surprised with Mr Olewicz's success was
Hospitality and Tourism Head Teacher Lesley Smith, who believes this
recognition was very much deserved.
"John has been a vital part of the TAFE Hospitality section for
nearly three decades," Ms Smith said.
"He has proven himself as an innovative teacher, and someone who
will always go the extra mile to help his students. So while John may
not have considered himself worthy of this award, his colleagues at
TAFE NSW and his students know how hard he works, how talented he is,
and how much he deserves to be recognized among the best
teachers/trainers in the country."
This sentiment was shared by Regional General Manager Kate Baxter,
who said Mr Olewicz was just one example of TAFE NSW's world-class
"John has successfully helped more than 2,500 students during
his time with TAFE, many of which have forged successful careers in
hospitality around the world. TAFE NSW is very proud of its dedicated
and talented teachers, and awards such as this just demonstrate how
brilliant they really are," Ms Baxter said.