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Sam gets a career sporting chance with prestigious awards win

TAFE Digital

Sam gets a career sporting chance with prestigious awards win

GOOD SPORT: Trainee of the Year Sam Heffernan (middle) with former Member for Riverina Kay Hull and current Member for Riverina Michael McCormack at Friday night’s 2019 Riverina Training Awards.

17 June, 2019

A Wagga Wagga teenager’s plan to forge a career in sports administration has been given a major boost after he claimed the prestigious Trainee of the Year award at the 2019 Riverina Training Awards on Friday night.

Sam Heffernan, 19, was recognised for his talent, patience and positivity at the gala awards ceremony at the Rules Club in Wagga Wagga.

TAFE NSW students claimed four of the six awards on offer at the Training Services NSW event.

Mr Heffernan, a sport trainee at the Catholic Education Diocese of Wagga Wagga who studied a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation via TAFE Digital, said he was shocked when his name was read out as the winner.

“It was a huge shock but also an amazing feeling,” Mr Heffernan said.

“To be recognised this and to have the opportunity to represent at the state level is beyond what I could have imagined.

“The Certificate III was a great course to do and I learned so much from it that will help with my career.”

TAFE NSW Regional General Manager Kerry Penton commended the winners for setting a benchmark in their chosen areas of study and helping inspire other students to follow suit.

“These awards recognise the region’s most passionate, industrious and skilful students, and the result is a glowing endorsement for the quality of education and training provided by TAFE NSW,” Ms Penton said.

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

Ms Penton said the awards success exemplified the commitment of TAFE NSW to train 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,” she said.

“It’s very gratifying for TAFE NSW staff to watch these students grow and transform their lives through education.”

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 Riverina Training Awards will be considered for the NSW Training Awards, which will be held in Sydney this September.

The full list of awards won by TAFE NSW students included:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year - Patricia Espie-Whitburn
  • Apprentice of the Year - Evan Gargaro
  • Trainee of the Year - Samuel Heffernan
  • Vocational Education Training Student of the Year - Clare Gibbs

To find out more about studying at TAFE NSW for semester two, phone 13 16 01 or visit