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Class act: Career-changer Clare claims top gong at Riverina Training Awards

TAFE NSW Primary Industries Centre

Class act: Career-changer Clare claims top gong at Riverina Training Awards

FUTURE FOCUS: Vocational Student of the Year Clare Gibbs (middle) with former Member for Riverina Kay Hull and current Member for Riverina Michael McCormack at Friday night’s 2019 Riverina Training Awards.

17 June, 2019

A former chef and now aspiring farmer has been awarded the prestigious Vocational Student of the Year at the 2019 Riverina Training Awards at the Rules Club in Wagga Wagga on Friday night.

TAFE NSW Primary Industries Centre student Clare Gibbs, who was a chef at local eatery Scribbles before deciding to pursue a career in agriculture, was “overwhelmed and humbled” at being awarded the major prize.

TAFE NSW students claimed all six of the awards on offer at the Training Services NSW event.

“This has been a huge learning curve for me and a real career 180,” Ms Gibbs said.

“I’d really like to thank my TAFE NSW teachers who pushed me and guided me all the way and my family and friends who supported me in my decision to change career.”

Ms Gibbs, who has completed a Certificate IV in Agriculture at TAFE NSW PIC, is now furthering her studies by enrolling in a Diploma of Agriculture.

She hopes to eventually return home to help run the family farm in Temora and is also considering a career in agronomy.

TAFE NSW Regional General Manager Kerry Penton commended the winners for setting a benchmark in their chosen areas of study and helping inspire other students to follow suit.

“These awards recognise the region’s most passionate, industrious and skilful students, and the result is a glowing endorsement for the quality of education and training provided by TAFE NSW,” Ms Penton said.

“I have no doubt these students will go on to forge highly successful careers and will be wonderful ambassadors for TAFE NSW.”

Ms Penton said the awards success exemplified the commitment of TAFE NSW to train the workforce leaders of tomorrow.

“TAFE NSW is proud to equip students with practical skills and work experience so they’re ready to hit the ground running in their chosen field,” she said.

“It’s very gratifying for TAFE NSW staff to watch these students grow and transform their lives through education.”

The annual Training Services NSW event recognises and rewards the outstanding achievements of vocational students and demonstrates the extent of quality in the vocational education and training sector.

The winners of the Riverina Training Awards will be considered for the NSW Training Awards, which will be held in Sydney this September.

The full list of awards won by TAFE NSW students included:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year - Patricia Espie-Whitburn
  • Apprentice of the Year - Evan Gargaro
  • Trainee of the Year - Samuel Heffernan
  • Vocational Education Training Student of the Year - Clare Gibbs

To find out more about studying at TAFE NSW for semester two, phone 13 16 01 or visit