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Local TAFE NSW students take gold at 2019 Hunter Training Awards


Two TAFE NSW students from Maitland and surrounds were announced as award winners at the prestigious Hunter Regional Training Awards Presentation Event on Friday night, held at NEX in Newcastle’s CBD.

Of a possible six individual awards on offer at the Training Services NSW event, they won:

  • Trainee of the Year - Kaitlin Smith from Farley
  • Apprentice of the Year - Jacob Linton from Bishop’s Bridge

Another five TAFE NSW students from the Maitland and Cessnock areas were named as finalists.

TAFE NSW Maitland student Kaitlin has a Certificate III and IV in Business Administration, and next week begins a Diploma of Human Resource Management as part of her third traineeship with Port Stephens Council.

She said, “Winning this award is an amazing opportunity and ridiculously exciting.”

“I greatly appreciate having the opportunity to undertake my traineeships with Port Stephens Council. I would like to thank the Council and TAFE NSW, especially my supportive team members and teacher.

“My advice to others is if you have an opportunity to do a traineeship then undertake one even if you don’t quite know where you want your career journey to go. At first I wasn’t sure and now I’m onto my third traineeship and doing my Diploma in Human Resource Management.

“It’s definitely helped me make decisions around what I am passionate about and what career path I want to take. And my TAFE NSW experience has been really, really good. I have thoroughly enjoyed going every week.”

Jacob completed his Certificate III in Electrotechnology after entering the awards, and has moved on to study an Advanced Diploma in Electrical Engineering at TAFE NSW Newcastle while working for AGL.

He said, “It’s been a long journey. I’ve worked very hard to get where I am and it’s a big honour that it’s being recognised. Without the support of AGL and my family I wouldn’t be where I am so I’d like to thank them.

“My TAFE NSW experience has been good. The electrical course is well designed and I’ve appreciated the flexibility with being able to attend classes at different times if I couldn’t attend one or the other.

“I’ve now secured a position at AGL as an electrical engineering technician and am currently training at work to be an operator. My end goal is to be a panel operator, supplying the state with electricity.”

TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Susie George has congratulated the region’s “training champions” on their impressive performance.

“TAFE NSW is proud of the winners’ achievements and confident that the exciting learning opportunities we created for them helped develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their career,” Ms George said.

“Being able to access and continue with high quality education and training is a key factor in students securing a solid job and becoming an effective member of the workforce. Employers look for currency of knowledge and practical, hands-on experience for their employees, and that is something I can proudly say TAFE NSW provides.

“It’s incredibly rewarding for our staff to watch students like Jacob and Kaitlin grow, in the knowledge that the skills and talents they learn with us have the potential to transform their lives.”

The annual Training Services NSW event recognises and rewards the outstanding achievements of vocational students and demonstrates the extent of quality in the vocational education and training sector. The winners of the Hunter Training Awards will be considered for the NSW Training Awards, to be held in Sydney in September.

TAFE NSW has a wide range of life-changing courses, from certificates to degrees, that the Hunter region community can explore by visiting the TAFE NSW InfoFest between 24 and 28 June 2019 or attending online information sessions at

The full list of TAFE NSW student winners and finalists is below:

Award category




Apprentice of the Year

Jordan Phillips

Certificate III in Sports Turf Management


Apprentice of the Year

Ethan Linsley

Certificate III in Carpentry


Apprentice of the Year

Bradley Kirkwood

Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology


Apprentice of the Year

Maddison Clarke

Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology


Apprentice of the Year

Joel Farina

Certificate III in Electrotechnology


Apprentice of the Year

Benjamin Riley

Certificate III in Electrotechnology


Apprentice of the Year

Jacob Linton

Certificate III in Electrotechnology

Bishop's Bridge

Apprentice of the Year

Jaidyn Misson

Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical


Apprentice of the Year

William Hammond

Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical

Port Stephens

Apprentice of the Year

Andrew Everingham

Certificate III in Plumbing


Trainee of the Year

Chloe Atfield

Certificate III/IV in Business Administration


Trainee of the Year

Kaitlin Smith

Certificate III/IV in Business Administration


Trainee of the Year

Jack Haszard

Certificate III in Warehousing


Vocational Student of the Year

Jed Davis

Diploma of Business (Marketing)


School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year

Katherine Hooper

Certificate III in Health Services Assistance



Australia’s largest training provider, TAFE NSW offers over 1200 courses and many can be studied online via TAFE Digital, when and where it suits students. Visit or call 131 601.

Media contact: Kristy Sheppard, TAFE NSW Media & Communications Business Partner, 4923 7784 or 0407 450 860.