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Hunter students top TAFE NSW awards


Hunter students top TAFE NSW awards

Four TAFE NSW students from the Hunter Valley have been recognised for their academic achievement and positive work ethic at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards this week.

Malcolm Norton from Cooks Hill, Lional Stapleton from North Lambton, Jed Davis from Maryville and Connor Linz from Fingal Bay were all announced as winners at a gala awards ceremony last night at the Hunter Valley Hotel Academy.

Malcolm Norton studied a Diploma of Graphic Design and took home an award for Creative and Design Student of the Year. Lional Stapleton studied Certificate III in Automotive Refinishing Technology and was awarded Supply Chain and eCommerce Student of the Year. Jed Davis completed a Diploma of Business and received an award for Technology and Business Services Student of the Year. Connor Linz completed a Certificate III in Wall & Ceilings Lining and received two awards, the Infrastructure, Energy and Construction Student of the Year as well as Apprentice of the Year.

TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Susie George, commended the winners for the commitment and dedication they have shown to their studies.

“TAFE NSW is the largest provider of education and training in Australia and these awards recognise our most passionate, industrious and skilful students,” Susie said.

“With the dedication and commitment these students have showed, I have no doubt they will all go on to forge highly successful careers and will be wonderful ambassadors for TAFE NSW.”

Ms George said the awards emphasised TAFE NSW’s commitment to training the workforce leaders of the future when, where and how it suits them.

“TAFE NSW courses cater to changing workforce needs. TAFE NSW currently provides training courses for 9 out of 10 occupations. The range of courses these students have been recognised for exemplifies that. It is very gratifying for TAFE NSW staff to watch students like Malcom, Connor, Lional and Jed grow and transform their lives through education.”

Malcolm Norton said enrolling in TAFE NSW courses was one of the most rewarding things he has ever done.

“I have to thank the teachers' for their commitment, wealth of knowledge and for supporting me through both courses while I was juggling full-time work and study, I don't think I could have done it without them.”

Lional Stapleton was so committed to his course he finished it six months earlier than his peers. His plans for the future are to keep working hard, improving himself and look towards building a good future.

“I am ecstatic to have won this award. It really shows that my hard work has paid off and makes my commitment worthwhile.”

Head Teacher Larissa Hartigan, who nominated Jed Davis said “Jed demonstrated commitment and dedication towards his consistent personal improvement. He is indeed a positive role model for other students as he aspired to support and encourage them to achieve their very best in their study pathways. He is a real reflection of what TAFE NSW can provide in the way of a supportive and encouraging working environment.”

Connor Linz was inspired to learn his trade after enjoying working on his parent’s home renovations. He was intrigued by plastering and how it forms the character of a building. Particularly interested in the creative side of his trade and enjoying working with art deco and historical restoration, Connor plans to start his own business in the future which focuses on this niche.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time at TAFE, the teachers have been really supportive and helpful with everything. I’m pretty shocked to have won this award, I didn’t expect this but I’m very happy. It would be great to be at a point in the future that I could put on an apprentice and share my skills and experiences.

Students from Taree, Forster, Casino, Mardi, Port Macquarie, Grafton and Coffs Harbour shared the 13 awards that were presented at the ceremony.

Media contact: Sarah Lievore, TAFE NSW Media Officer, 6586 2299 or