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Gili Awards - Main copy

Gili Awards

2018 marks the 28th year of the TAFE NSW Gili Awards. Gili (pronounced kili) is an Eora word meaning ‘to shine’ and is an apt name for these awards. The Award recipients, selected from across the State, are a shining example of excellence in Aboriginal vocational education and training in TAFE NSW. The nominees highlight and celebrate TAFE NSW Aboriginal student achievements, as well as those of dedicated TAFE NSW staff members and innovative programs that empower Aboriginal people and communities every day.

View our Award recipients

Gili Awards - Artwork

About the artwork

This year TAFE NSW is celebrating Shekara Hartnett, a Gumbaynggirr and Wangkumara woman based in the Inner West of Sydney, and her artwork "Mapped Country."

For Shekara, art was always a hobby. She never thought about doing anything professional with her art until she attended Eora TAFE.

"Being at TAFE has encouraged me to be more ambitious and that my art is more than just a painting," she says. "It is a piece of me, a piece of my cultural heritage and a legacy for my future generations."

Shekara has certainly made quite an impression with her artworks. Not only has her piece been selected to represent this year’s Gili awards, but a piece of hers was also projected on the walls of Government House during this year's Vivid festival.

Gili Awards - Bio's

Gili Award Finalists

Peter Lalor

Peter Lalor, Manager of Aboriginal Employment Programs, NSW Police Force, epitomises TAFE NSW values. Peter was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery (IPROWD) Program in 2008, and has been instrumental in leading the program successfully for the past 10 years.

Peter’s leadership of the IPROWD Program over the past decade has garnered immense benefits for Aboriginal peoples and communities across NSW, as well as for TAFE NSW. Since 2008 more than 700 students state-wide have enrolled, with many going on to gain employment with NSW Police as sworn and unsworn officers, working in other government agencies, or gone on to further studies including Law, Teaching, Nursing and Justice Studies. Peter’s personal commitment, exceptional advocacy skills and broad networks has been pivotal to successful outcomes for Aboriginal peoples, communities and for TAFE NSW.

Folau Paul Talbot

Folau (Paul) is a proud Gamiriloi man from Boggabilla, a small town on the NSW/Queensland border. Folau was a student of TAFE NSW, completing studies in Dental Assisting through a scholarship with the POCHE Centre for Indigenous Health, and now mentors and organises the scholarships for all of the new dental scholars in the program. Folau plays a major part in ensuring that the scholars live the TAFE NSW values that he learned – that of demonstrating customer first thinking, excellence and integrity in everything he does.

As part of his leadership role in the Central Tablelands Dental Program, Folau conducts numerous dental workshops in Boggabilla, Toomelah, Mungadai, Tingha, Moree and Inverell. Through witnessing Folau’s achievements, and his support, the completion rate of scholars entering the program is at an incredible 97%. His success and continued involvement in the program has a wonderful flow on affect through the community.

Gili Awards - Winners


Award recipients

Encouragement Award

Wakkurri Ellis
TAFE NSW Petersham Campus

Scott Webb
TAFE NSW Campbelltown Campus


Achievement Award

Shanya Bell
TAFE NSW Macquarie Fields Campus

Shekara Hartnett
TAFE NSW Eora College

Stephanie Peterson
TAFE NSW Brewarrina Campus

Kate Williams
TAFE NSW Nowra Campus


Award for Academic Excellence

Cherece Close
TAFE Digital


Apprentice of the Year

Folau (Paul) Talbot
TAFE Digital


Trainee of the Year

Winyinnar Williams
TAFE NSW Nowra Campus


Non-Aboriginal Staff Award

Elizabeth Von Gavel
TAFE NSW West Region


Aboriginal Staff Award

Elizabeth Wright
TAFE NSW West Region


Bruce Kendall Award for Recognition of Service to TAFE NSW

Beth Ridgeway
TAFE NSW Sydney Region


Industry Partnership Award

TAFE Digital & POCHE Centre for Indigenous Health


Community Engagement Award

TAFE NSW Moree & Wee Waa Local Aboriginal Lands Council


Youth Engagement Award

TAFE Digital & Juvenile Justice Centres