Forster local and TAFE NSW Great Lakes student Amanda Marshall has been recognised for her academic achievement and positive work ethic at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards in Kurri Kurri.
Ms Marshall who completed Certificate II in Auslan at TAFE NSW Great Lakes in 2018, was announced as the winner of two prestigious awards at a gala awards ceremony at the Hunter Valley Hotel Academy, she won both Student of the Year and Career Pathways, Aboriginal Languages and Employability Skills Student of the Year.
TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Susie George, commended Amanda for her commitment and dedication which she has shown to her studies.
“Amanda’s ability to absorb Auslan and to communicate with her Deaf teacher as well as other Deaf Community Members has been outstanding. She has taken every opportunity outside of class to immerse herself in Auslan and as a result has attained an extremely high level of skill.
“Amanda’s success is further proof that TAFE NSW has the greatest range of courses available which gives our students a head-start in their pursuit of exciting careers. It also delivers on our commitment to train the workforce leaders of the future when, where and how it suits them,” Susie said.
Amanda said enrolling in Auslan studies has been the best thing she has ever done. Her plans are to continue her studies and keep building connections in the Deaf community so she can become a qualified interpreter.
“I fell in love with the language immediately. Learning Auslan has been what I've looked forward to every week this year, I've learned so much and have had lots of fun. The language is beautiful and each opportunity I get I want to learn more. Throughout the year I have noticed my skills improving and I've been able to communicate with people from the Deaf Community, something that I would never had been able to do before.”
Amanda has incorporated the use of Auslan into her job as a child care worker, teaching the children phrases to sign as a bid to raise awareness of the Deaf community and to ensure the children are accepting when they meet a member of the Deaf community in the future.
“When I found out I’d won two Excellence Awards I was speechless, which was fine because I know Auslan. I feel so thrilled and over the moon to have even been nominated. It is the most rewarding experience to be recognised for your dedication and skills in learning a language that opens up so many doors to a world I never knew about.
“Winning two TAFE NSW Excellence awards is an absolute honor and has motivated me even more to keep working towards my goals of interpreting and inclusivity,” Amanda said.
Students from Taree, Port Macquarie, Casino, Hunter Valley, Grafton, Mardi and Coffs Harbour shared the 14 awards that were presented at the ceremony.
Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer