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TAFE NSW Bathurst student, Kirsten Fitzpatrick and TAFE NSW Bathurst teacher, Bridget Thomas were recognised for their achievements at the 2019 TAFE NSW Gili Awards in Sydney 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.

Ms Fitzpatrick who was awarded TVET Award (Schools), said, she was really proud to win the award.

“It’s inspiring to know that my achievements at TAFE NSW have made a real impact on those around me.

“After completeing the Certificate III in Community Services at TAFE NSW, I’ve gone on to study a Bachelor of Criminal Justice at university and I encourage my peers to follow the same rewarding career path.”

Ms Thomas recieved the Non-Aboriginal Staff Award for her dedication to teaching a range of courses in visual arts to inmates at the Bathurst Correctional Centre.

“It’s been rewarding to motivate the students to learn new skills and help them achieve positive outcomes through the Girrawaa Centre,” Ms Thomas said.

“I feel really encouraged to receive this award and will continue my efforts in this area.”

TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Kate Baxter, congratulated the winners for their hard work, dedication and commitment to transforming their lives and the lives of others 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 students whose achievements I am extremely proud to acknowledge.

“Kirsten and Bridget have demonstrated remarkable talent, ambition and determination through their studies and teaching at TAFE NSW and their commitment to the local community.” said Ms Baxter.

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 Curtis, TAFE NSW Media Officer, (02) 6338 2509, mobile 0427 901 515.