Blogs (Media Centre)




TAFE NSW Excellence Award Winner Dee Mahoney

Two Ryde locals have been recognised in this year's TAFE NSW Excellence Awards for academic achievements in their library services and property valuation courses.

Dee Mahoney of Ryde and Eastwood’s Perle Narumitrekagarn were among dozens of major award recipients across NSW.

Ms Mahoney was named Technology and Business Services Student of the Year at the prestigious Sydney Excellence Awards at a gala awards ceremony at TAFE NSW Ryde on 23 May.

Having received a redundancy after working as a journalist for more than 30 years, Ms Mahoney decided to turn her love for books, words, and people into a rewarding new career. She completed a Diploma in Library and Information Services at TAFE NSW Ultimo and now works as a library assistant at the Sydney Mechanics' School of Arts Library and a library technician at St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill.

“My husband was a journalist too, and when he enrolled to study at TAFE NSW after also taking a redundancy, I was inspired to see what types of courses might be out there for me. When I discovered the Diploma in Library and Information Services, I knew it would be perfect,” Ms Mahoney said.

“It was fantastic to be back in the classroom – I'd done my bachelor’s degree in the 1980s and a graduate diploma in the 1990s, so it had been a while! The atmosphere was amazing – I really enjoyed learning and collaborating with students from all different backgrounds, from overseas-trained engineers to people just a couple of years out of high school.

“The teachers were so knowledgeable and passionate – their anecdotes about their experience in libraries gave so much depth to the course and really inspired us. They gave so much of their time to helping us succeed – they really put the ‘vocation’ into Vocational Education and Training.

“We also got plenty of practice in everything we'd need for the workplace and had the opportunity to do virtual work placement during COVID-19. That provided me with valuable practical experience and wonderful mentors, and ultimately helped me land two wonderful jobs.

“I recommend TAFE NSW to everyone – the course took me only one year to complete but within that timeframe I’ve built a new career, gained wonderful mentors, made friends and joined a new community. My son also studied at TAFE NSW before starting university, and his girlfriend has just finished a TAFE course.

“The course has been truly life-changing for me, and I am thrilled and honoured to be awarded Student of the Year. This award is a tribute to my teachers, my classmates, and the TAFE NSW community, and I look forward to continuing to spread the word about TAFE NSW. I want to shout it from the rooftops, and I tell everyone I know: go to TAFE, it's brilliant! You'll never look back.”

Perle Narumitrekagarn, an international student from Thailand, studied a Bachelor of Property Valuation at TAFE NSW Ultimo and was awarded International Student of the Year and Higher Education Student of the Year.

“I’ve always had an interest in property, and after studying a Bachelor of Economics and Masters in Property Investment and Development at university, I decided I wanted to pursue a career as a valuer,” Ms Narumitrekagarn said.

“The TAFE NSW Bachelor of Property Valuation, which is accredited by the Australian Property Institute, gave me hands-on, practical valuation skills across a wide range of asset types including residential, commercial, and public sector assets. I landed a job as an assistant valuer in my second year and since graduating, I’m now working as an assistant valuer specialising in residential developments at Cushman and Wakefield."

“I’m honoured to have received two TAFE NSW Excellence Awards – it was a total surprise! I’m looking forward to becoming a Certified Practising Valuer at the end of this year and building a successful career in the industry.”

Media contact: Emma Woodward, Communications Specialist,, 0409 618 291