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Hole in one for three TAFE NSW graduates


Hole in one for three TAFE NSW graduates

TAFE NSW graduate Jacinta Lopez

With an unemployment rate in Casino of 9.2%[i] in comparison to the New South Wales state average of 3.9%[ii], local job seekers need to equip themselves with skills and industry contacts in order to succeed in finding a career path right for them.

There is currently a skills shortage for chefs across the tourism and experience services industry at various skill levels which TAFE NSW is helping students capitalize on.[iii]

Three TAFE NSW hospitality students have secured employment at Casino Golf Club upon graduation of the Certificate II and III in Hospitality. Jacinta Lopez - Caldwell, Heidi McPaul and Amber Johnstone – all who identify as Aboriginal and are well respected within their community - have all been hired at Casino’s social institution in the kitchen to work their way up the rankings to become a Head Chef.

Casino Golf Club General Manager, Andrew Porter says that the TAFE NSW students graduated with knowledge and practical experience of what is needed in the kitchen.

“The foundation training was there and Jacinta, Heidi and Amber all have a skill level well-above what a new trainee would come into the workplace with so it was an easy choice for us as a club, in order to maintain our high level of service to hire the TAFE NSW graduates.”

Heidi graduated in 2017 and was delighted to hear she had been successful in her application to work in the kitchen at the Club. Since commencing her employment last year, she has been promoted to Sous Chef.

“While studying the Certificate II in Hospitality at TAFE NSW, I learnt how to perform under pressure which is what you need to do in a busy hospitality environment. TAFE NSW helped with making connections through internships while we were studying so I was job ready when I graduated.”

Jacinta graduated in 2018 with a Certificate II in Hospitality and after trying her hand in other industry areas, now loves working at the Casino Golf Club.

“The atmosphere is great because you get to meet so many people working in hospitality. I’m really happy and work with great people.”

For more detail on TAFE NSW courses, face-to-face or online, visit or call 131 601.


Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer,


[i] NSW unemployment rate lowest on record, Published 21st February, 2019

[iii] TAFE NSW research, conducted in December 2018