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TAFE NSW student overcomes adversity to become role model for female apprentices

TAFE NSW Newcastle

TAFE NSW student overcomes adversity to become role model for female apprentices

A young TAFE NSW student from East Maitland has shown learning challenges haven’t held her back, collecting several accolades across two coveted awards ceremonies.

The 2023 TAFE NSW Gili Awards were held during National Reconciliation Week, and shine a light on Aboriginal student achievements and the dedication of TAFE NSW employees to deliver positive outcomes for Aboriginal people and communities.

Newcastle graduate Lucinda Shilcock was awarded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, Trainee of the Year and Infrastructure, Energy and Construction Student of the Year - at the event at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

The TAFE NSW Student Excellence Awards celebrate the successes of the most outstanding students. Lucinda was once again a stand out - taking home Student of the Year, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year and Apprentice of the Year at the event held in Port Macquarie.

Miss Shilcock is studying a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician and has gained experience working in high-rise, residential and commercial construction – as well as home automation, automatic doors, lifts – and building switchboards in mines. She is now qualified and working for Kone Cranes Australia.

Lucinda says not being able to read or write, she initially met education with fear. However, she fell in love with learning while at TAFE.

“Electrotechnology is heavily math based and given I am dyslexic and struggled at school, there were people who told me I couldn’t do it,” she said.

“But I was determined and worked incredibly hard. TAFE’s training was very industry specific and taught me the essential skills, that I actively use in my job each day. It was such a positive learning experience that I was able to gain my confidence and work in some really incredible jobs.”

“My teacher Mr Bailey truly changed my life. If I didn’t understand the concepts he would keep trying different angles to explain it to me. He never made me feel insecure spent countless hours helping me. He is truly a great person, amazing educator and friend.”

TAFE NSW Teacher Derek Bailey says Lucinda has consistently displayed determination, drive, and dedication to achieve her goals.

“Lucinda embraced learning with passion and has been generous with her time, helping fellow students when they struggle on difficult concepts,” he said.

“She is a shining light for women in non-traditional trades, for people with learning disabilities, for young indigenous women, and for anyone struggling to find the inspiration they need to make the most of themselves and their lives.”

Media contact: Lauren McAllister, Communications Specialist,, 02 7920 5000.