Blogs (Media Centre)

Port Stephens Gold at 2019 Hunter Training Awards


A TAFE NSW student who is employed by Port Stephens Council was announced as Trainee of the Year at the prestigious Hunter Regional Training Awards Presentation Event on Friday night.

Award winner Kaitlin Smith has completed a Certificate III and IV in Business Administration in the past couple of years and next week begins a Diploma of Human Resource Management as part of her third traineeship.

TAFE NSW students won three of a possible six individual awards on offer at the Training Services NSW event, held at NEX in Newcastle’s CBD. The others were Apprentice of the Year and School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year. Another 12 TAFE NSW students were finalists.

Kaitlin 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.”

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 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

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.