Kelso local, Caroline Morris, was announced as the Apprentice of the Year at the 2023 NSW Training Awards at Town Hall in Sydney on Friday night.
The annual awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of students, trainees, and apprentices in the vocational education and training sector, with finalists representing the best in their field.
Accepting the award for her studies in Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trades at TAFE NSW Orange, Caroline said it was a rewarding feeling to be named the best out of a strong list of nominees.
“I’m in shock, to be honest. It’s such an enormous achievement just to be nominated, so to have received this award alongside my incredibly talented peers is incredibly rewarding.
“School was never my strength and I’ve never had this level of success in anything I’ve dabbled in, so this win is a whole new thing for me. I really threw myself into my TAFE NSW studies and the practical experience – it’s such a great feeling to find something I’m good at to and get the opportunity to shine and be recognised for it,” she said.
Caroline, 24, works at Newcrest Mining’s Cadia Valley Operations, and Cadia’s General Manager, Mick Dewar, said Caroline’s hard work has had broad impact on the community.
“Caroline’s success with this award reflects her hard work and commitment to continuous learning. Her dedication and skill development sets Caroline apart as an exceptional apprentice who is making valuable contributions to the broader Newcrest team and our community,” Mr Dewar said.
TAFE NSW Chief Delivery Officer Janet Schorer said the competition was strong, with TAFE NSW finalists representing a range of in-demand industries providing critical services to NSW communities.
“Winning an NSW Training Award is an outstanding achievement, and it’s significant that many of our winners are from regional communities,” said Ms Schorer.
“In the Central West region, the mining industry is five times larger than the whole of NSW, accounting for 6% of the local workforce.
“Caroline is an example of the high-quality graduates TAFE NSW is training to meet skills demand now and into the future.”
TAFE NSW was also named a finalist in Large Training Provider of the Year.
“It’s great to see TAFE NSW recognised as a leading provider of education and training. It’s a testament to our industry-qualified teachers and the job-ready skills they deliver to students across NSW,” Ms Schorer said.
NSW Training Award winners now progress to the Australian Training Awards, which will be held in Hobart on 17 November.