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Inner West students top TAFE NSW awards

Inner West students top TAFE NSW awards

Four TAFE NSW students from the Inner West have been recognised for their academic achievements and positive work ethic at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards in Ryde yesterday.

Grace Spencer from Ashfield, Georgia Stevanovic from Rodd Point, Christopher Currie from Marrickville, and TAFE Digital student Xanthe Young from Haberfield were all announced as the winners at a gala awards ceremony held at TAFE NSW Ryde.

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

“These awards recognise our most passionate, industrious and skillful students, and demonstrates the commitment of TAFE NSW to train the workforce leaders of the future when, where and how it suits them,” Ms Wood said.

“We are confident that the exciting learning opportunities we created for these winners helped them to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their career.

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

“It’s incredibly rewarding for TAFE NSW teachers to watch students like Grace, Georgia, Christopher and Xanthe grow in the knowledge that the skills and talents they learn with us have the potential to transform their lives,” Ms Wood concluded.

Grace Spencer is a career changer who was originally working in the hospitality industry before she made the move to study Visual Merchandising after witnessing a Visual Merchandiser rearranging a window display.

“During my time at TAFE NSW I learned so much about the retail environment including colour and design theory, consumer psychology, photography, display composition and working with mannequins. I was fortunate enough to secure a job in the industry six months into my course, and believe it was because I did a number of work placement opportunities with companies such as Country Road, Myer, Ikea and Sass & Bide.

“During this time I experienced different sectors of the industry from fashion to homewares and food, from window dressing to merchandise signage and everything in between. Being able to work in a hands on environment with lots of different people has given me more experience and learning opportunities than I could have ever hoped for.”

Georgia Stevanovic has been studying part-time at TAFE NSW for four years and has an interest in sustainability and embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture into the Early Childhood Environment. 

“While studying at TAFE NSW, I volunteered my time and taught sport to a number of children in my local community. This gave me the opportunity to secure practical experience in working with children. I’m also extremely interested in encouraging young children’s early brain development by inspiring self-regulation, higher order thinking and meta cognition all within a play based learning space.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from some of the best teachers while studying at TAFE NSW, and have been nominated to submit a research paper I prepared as part of my assessment studies to the Childhood Education Journal. Without the special guidance of my teachers, I wouldn’t be in the position that I am today.”

Christopher Currie is a proud Bundjalung man from Yamba who has a passion for music and visual arts. Through his talents as a songwriter, Chris brings to the forefront issues of identity in the community and culture as he truly embodies what makes an excellent Aboriginal student to the wider community. When Chris is performing an original piece of music, he is telling the stories of his life and commanding the audience to listen.

“During my time at TAFE NSW, I’ve had the opportunity to perform at a number of TAFE NSW functions, record an original demo, and create the music to accompany the 3D animation which was projected onto the façade of Government House Sydney as part of Vivid Sydney in 2018. I worked closely with Aboriginal artists from TAFE NSW Eora and other musicians and animators from across the TAFE NSW network to achieve a common goal with a deadline.”

TAFE Digital student, Xanthe Young, was fortunate enough to commence employment in the industry as a Trainee and began a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at the same time. Since that point, she has never looked back.

“As I was a Trainee, I was able to able to learn and implement the different practices throughout my studies which encouraged me to further my skills. I found the TAFE Digital teachers to be super helpful as they were genuinely interested in furthering my career. I would often be encouraged to attend industry events to network and further my development skills in this space. During my time at Explore and Develop Leichhardt, an Early Childhood facility, I nominated myself to be part of the Indigenous Perspective Committee. This would see Indigenous perspectives embedded throughout the centre. I’ve also played a big part in running the 0-2 year old room and helping develop the weekly program, record keeping and stepping up into the higher room leader position when required.”     

TAFE Digital General Manager, Megan Aitken said, “I have no doubt these students will go on to forge highly successful careers and will be wonderful ambassadors for online learning and TAFE NSW. As a TAFE Digital student, our students all study online, at a time convenient to them, through their mobile or laptop, anytime during the day. Students can access teacher support or complete the studies on their own, at their own pace, which gives them great flexibility in their training and education.”

Media contact: Laura Kelly, Media and Communications Business Partner,, mobile: 0411 777 676