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Jeffery Amatto shines at TAFE NSW Gili Awards

TAFE NSW Campbelltown

Jeffery Amatto shines at TAFE NSW Gili Awards

TAFE NSW Gili Awards winner Jeffery Amatto

TAFE NSW Campbelltown student Jeffery Amatto was recognised for his achievements at the 2019 TAFE NSW Gili Awards in Ultimo last night.

Attended by The Hon. Dr Geoffrey Lee, Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, the 2019 TAFE NSW Gili (pronounced kill-ee) Awards celebrate the achievements of Aboriginal students, as well as the accomplishments of TAFE NSW employees and innovative programs that have empowered Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout 2018. 

Jeffery Amatto who was awarded an Achievement Award, said, “I feel very blessed and grateful to receive this award, especially as the longest period I spent at school was to year 8, and now I’m receiving a Gili Award, it truly is a blessing.

“I live a life today that I dreamt of in an addiction. I have used my past experiences to travel around Australia to conduct my drug and mental health workshops, in the last two years I have travelled over 65,000km. As Aboriginal people, we’re spiritually connected to this country, we need culture to heal, we can’t heal in gaol.“

TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Michael Cullen, congratulated the winners for their hard work, dedication and commitment to transforming their lives through vocational education and training outcomes for Aboriginal people.

“Last night’s celebration marked the 29th year that the TAFE NSW Gili Awards have recognised the power of vocational education and training, and the life changing pathways to employment or further study for Aboriginal people.

“Gili is an Eora word meaning ‘to shine’ and is fitting for Jeffrey whose achievements I am extremely proud to acknowledge.

“Jeffery has demonstrated remarkable talent, ambition and determination through his studies at TAFE NSW and commitment to his local community,” said Michael Cullen.

The 15 awards were presented in 12 categories at the event. The full list of award winners are:

Award Category


TAFE NSW study and home location

The Gili Award

Ashleigh Knight


Encouragement Award

Chenoa Endacott


Encouragement Award

Kalem McLean


Achievement Award

Stephanie Morris

TAFE Digital / Surfside

Achievement Award

Juanella McKenzie

TAFE NSW Campbelltown

Achievement Award

Jeffery Amatto

TAFE NSW Campbelltown

Award for Academic Excellence

Norma Binge

TAFE Digital/ Buderim QLD

Apprentice of the Year Award

Steven Green

TAFE NSW Grafton

TVET Award (Schools)

Kirsten Fitzpatrick

TAFE NSW Bathurst

Non-Aboriginal Staff Award

Bridget Thomas

TAFE NSW Bathurst

Aboriginal Staff Award

Natalie Wilcock & Rebecca Murphy

TAFE Digital

Bruce Kendall Award

Elsie Gordon


Industry Partnership Award

NECA emPOWER Aboriginal Apprentice Readiness Program


Youth Engagement Award

NECA emPOWER Aboriginal Apprentice Readiness Program


Community Engagement Award

Wiradjuri Language




Media contact: Emma Cawley, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, mobile 0412 478 415