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Inspiring Maddie scoops the pool at TAFE NSW Excellence Awards

TAFE NSW Shellharbour

Inspiring Maddie scoops the pool at TAFE NSW Excellence Awards

WINNING SMILE: TAFE NSW Shellharbour graduate Maddison Peisley shows off her incredible four awards at the recent TAFE NSW Excellence Awards – Southern NSW.

25 May 2021

An inspiring Aboriginal youth worker has emerged triumphant after a “year from hell” to claim a swag of awards – including Student of the Year – at the prestigious TAFE NSW Excellence Awards – Southern NSW last week.

Maddison Peisley, 20, described as “surreal” the feeling of being called to the podium four times at the awards, including for Trainee of the Year, Student of the Year, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year and Technology and Business Services Student of the Year.

It comes after a challenging 2020 for Ms Peisley, where she spent more than five weeks in hospital after complications with the birth of her first child, Dakaree.

Ms Peisley, a Wandandian woman of the Yuin nation, admitted she had an unruly high school life before enrolling in a Diploma of Youth Work at TAFE NSW Shellharbour in 2019.

It was during work placement for the course that she was offered a casual role at Southern Youth and Family Services (SYFS).

She has now completed a business administration traineeship at SYFS and remains at the organisation in a role split between administration work and acting as a mentor to young jobseekers.

She said she was hoping to use her star turn at last week’s TAFE NSW Excellence Awards – Southern NSW to inspire other young people to strive to reach their potential.

“It was incredibly surreal to be acknowledged in that way and I really hope it can impact on the young people I work with to continue studying,” Ms Peisley said.

“To me, education is the key to opening up so many doors. In a world that’s forever changing, you’re not going to advance if you don’t keep up your education.”

Ms Peisley, who recently completed a Certificate III in Business Administration at TAFE NSW Shellharbour, said

“TAFE NSW has been much more enjoyable to me than school because it’s an adult learning environment,” she said.

“My teachers all loved their job and were so experienced in their industry – they always went above and beyond in answering your questions.”

TAFE NSW Shellharbour business administration teacher Jodie Moes said Ms Peisley was a shining example of how TAFE NSW could help change the trajectory of a young person’s life.

“Maddie has an exceptional attitude and ability to overcome hurdles, and we are all so pleased to see her success,” Ms Moes said. “The skills you learn in a TAFE NSW business administration course are transferrable to so many industries.

“Business administration these days isn’t just about office skills, it’s about things like leadership, emotional intelligence and public speaking.”

If you’re interested in studying business administration at TAFE NSW, visit or call 13 16 01.

Media contact: Daniel Johns, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist, (02) 6938 1441, mobile 0477 722 428