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Mount Druitt and Blacktown students top TAFE NSW awards

Mount Druitt and Blacktown students top TAFE NSW awards

Two TAFE NSW Mount Druitt students, one TAFE NSW Blacktown, as well as a Hassel Grove local, have been recognised for their academic achievement and positive work ethic at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards in Kingswood last night.

Christine Kelly (TAFE NSW Mount Druitt) was announced as the winner of the Industry Achievement Award (Tourism and Experience Services), Patrick Brassell (TAFE NSW Mount Druitt) for the Industry Achievement Award (Supply Chain and eCommerce), Andrew Losurdo (TAFE NSW Blacktown and Kellyville local) and Tara Al-Jehlani (Hassell Grove resident) for the Industry Achievement Award (Technology and Business Services) were announced as Trainee of the Year at the prestigious Western Sydney Excellence Awards at a gala awards ceremony at TAFE NSW Nepean last night.

TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Michael Cullen, commended the winners for the commitment and dedication they have shown to their studies.

“These awards recognise our most passionate, industrious and skillful students, and the fact teachers are the ones who nominate the students’ makes it even more special,” Mr Cullen said.

“I have no doubt these students will go on to forge highly successful careers and will be wonderful ambassadors for TAFE NSW.”

Mr Cullen said the awards exemplified TAFE NSW’s commitment to training the workforce leaders of tomorrow.

“TAFE NSW is proud to equip students with practical skills and work experience so they’re ready to hit the ground running in their chosen field.

“It’s very gratifying for TAFE NSW staff to watch students like Christine, Patrick, Andrew and Tara grow and transform their lives through education.”

Mr Cullen said the awards emphasised the commitment of TAFE NSW to train the workforce leaders of the future when, where and how it suits them.

Christine Kelly said “This year has been particularly rewarding. From the initial orientation, you realise the extent of the qualification and the commitment required to graduate. Beauty often seems superficial, however the general population doesn't understand the physical, emotional and technical skills required to be successful.

“The teachers at TAFE NSW Mount Druitt are of a very high standard and also exceeded my expectations. The level of experience and professionalism from the staff was part of why I succeeded as well. They were all nurturing and encouraging. To this end, the environment has been one of balance between support and enabling the students to push through personal barriers.

“My time at TAFE NSW Mount Druitt has been something just for me. After years of caring for my two children, it was time to have a new goal and to forge a new future for us through role modelling that you are never too old to reinvent yourself.

Patrick Brassell’s interest in mechanics started from a young age, he was always drawn to anything with a motor.

Patrick said “I chose to study at TAFE NSW Mount Druitt as the training provided is of the highest quality and tailored to current industry standards. This is important to me to be able to keep up with the rapid advancements and skills required to become a highly skilled technician.

“My best career achievements include finishing my apprenticeship early, being signed off by my employer, also finishing Automotive Electrical at the same time, therefore, becoming a dual tradesman has been incredibly satisfying and a career goal, having been met.”

Andrew Losurdo said “This course not only provided me exceptionally detailed resources for me to excel in my studies, but also provided me with comfort and reassurance as all the TAFE NSW teachers were always willing to sit in with me and provide additional assistance in understanding concepts.

“The highlight of 2018 for me was being awarded the ICT Trainee of the Year for my cohort at the Certificate III in Networking graduation lunch. I’m very grateful for being considered and selected to receive the award as it means a lot to me.

“Additionally, to be nominated for the TAFE NSW Excellence Award and being selected by my  teacher to receive an award in my category is just a wonderful opportunity.”

Tara Al-Jehlani moved to Australia three years ago from Libya and thanks to the dedication and continuous support of her TAFE NSW teachers were able to find her passion for the finance industry again and gain employment. 

“I was unsure about what I wanted to do after completing my studies but studying with TAFE NSW Granville and with the amazing support and guidance of my teachers I now have a direction not only my professional life but my personal goals as well,” said Tara Al-Jehlani.

“My experience with TAFE NSW Granville has been fantastic, the teaching style of TAFE NSW suits me with its practical approach to learning and I feel the knowledge and skills I have gained are invaluable.”

Major awards received by TAFE NSW students:


Winner/ Student name

Course name

Award Category

Residential suburb

TAFE NSW Study Location

Andrew Losurdo

Certificate III in Networking (ICT)

Trainee of the Year


TAFE NSW Blacktown

Jeffery Amatto


Certificate IV in Community Services

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate of the Year and Industry Achievement Award (Health, Wellbeing and Community Services)

Blue Haven

TAFE NSW Campbelltown

Yeshe Choesang

Certificate III in Spoken and Written English

Industry Achievement Award (Career Pathways, Aboriginal Languages and Employability Skills)


TAFE NSW Campbelltown

Tara Al-Jehlani

Diploma in Banking Services Management

Industry Achievement Award (Technology and Business Services)

Hassell Grove

TAFE NSW Granville

Sarah Wadland

Certificate III in Meat Processing (Retail Butcher)

Industry Achievement Award (Agribusiness)


TAFE NSW Granville

Akifa Mujaddidi

Diploma of Building Design

Industry Achievement Award (Infrastructure, Energy and Construction)


TAFE NSW Granville

Joseph Maberley


Certificate III in Meat Processing (Retail Butcher)

Apprentice of the Year


TAFE NSW Granville

Haya Qudsi

Diploma of Laboratory Technology specialising in Pathology

Industry Achievement Award (Innovative Manufacturing, Robotics and Science)


TAFE NSW Granville

Linda Park

Diploma of Interior Design and Decoration

Student of the Year and Industry Achievement Award (Creative and Design Ideation)

Sydney Olympic Park

TAFE NSW Lidcombe

Patrick Brassell

Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology

Industry Achievement Award (Supply Chain and eCommerce)

North Richmond

TAFE NSW Mount Druitt

Christine Kelly

Diploma Beauty Therapy

Industry Achievement Award (Tourism and Experience Services)


TAFE NSW Mount Druitt


Media contact: Teresa Lane, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner 9796 5476, mobile 0412 773 887.