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'Skills for life' - Coffs Harbour Students Shine at TAFE NSW Excellence Awards

'Skills for life' - Coffs Harbour Students Shine at TAFE NSW Excellence Awards

Two TAFE NSW graduates from the Coffs Harbour region were recognised for their exceptional achievements at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards for the North region last week.

Elisabeth Cross took home VET in Schools Student of the Year and Jonah Blackburn was awarded School based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year and at a prestigious event held in Port Macquarie.

TAFE-delivered Vocational Education and Training (TVET) studies can be used to help students gain a place in a TAFE NSW Higher Education course or at a university, by contributing to their ATAR and providing work placement training. School-Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships combine paid work, school and TAFE NSW training.

TAFE NSW Executive Director Education and Skills for North Jason Darney congratulated all 11 award winners for their commitment and dedication to achieving their study goals.

"It's fantastic to highlight the achievements of regional students, as well as the diversity of talent being nurtured to skill our local communities across Northern NSW," said Mr Darney.

"The winners represent a range of study and industry areas from health, construction to events. Their skills are in high demand, and their success inspires the next generation to take the next step in their lifelong
learning journey."

Mr Darney said the awards exemplified TAFE NSW's commitment to training the workforce leaders of tomorrow.

"TAFE NSW is proud to equip students with real-world practical skills and experience so they can hit the ground running in the workplace," he said.

"It's very gratifying for TAFE NSW staff to watch students transform their lives through education."

VET in Schools Student of the Year winner Elisabeth Cross says her TAFE course, a Certificate III in Events, helped her gain valuable skills, which transfer across many industries.

“Through the TVET program, I was able to finish school with an advantage, given I had already completed further studies,” she said.

“My teacher was incredibly supportive, always going above and beyond – and it was through TAFE that I was able to connect with local businesses who were looking for staff. I was able to get casual work in the event industry, learning firsthand about event planning, while still at school.”

“While I have gone on to study in a different field at University, I have found I am constantly using the skills I learned through TAFE – they transfer to everyday life, and they have given me the confidence to succeed in whatever I choose to do.”

TAFE Teacher Melanie Sherry described Elisabeth as a bright, inquisitive student who is diligent in her studies.

“Ellie has proven if you want to do your best, you have to give your best and push through difficult times,” she said.

“I have watched Ellie grow to develop an impressive work ethic and even organise extra study sessions with her class after school and on weekends. She is motivated and confident, with a positive attitude to all she puts her mind to.”

“In the work placements, she demonstrated that she is mature beyond her years and a great representative of her school and TAFE NSW.”

Media contact: Lauren McAllister, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, 0432 929 941