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TAFE NSW teacher wins North Coast VET Trainer of the Year

TAFE NSW Wollongbar

TAFE NSW Commercial Cookery Teacher David Forster has been named Trainer of the Year at the 2021 North Coast NSW Training Services Awards at Coffs Harbour.  

 The award recognises Mr Forster’s outstanding contributions in the hospitality industry at TAFE NSW Wollongbar, working with employers and students to skill the region’s workforce.   

He was one of four TAFE NSW winners at the North Coast NSW Training Awards, which celebrates the excellence of trainers, apprentices, and students in the vocational education and training (VET) sector.   

Mr Forster says he was very honoured to receive the award and the opportunity to share his passion for TAFE NSW and vocational education and training with a wider audience.   

“I work to be the whisk that brings all the ingredients together for the perfect emulsion so that employers and students can engage in the training they need, when they need it,” said Mr Forster.  

“As industries grow, it’s important as VET trainers that we continue to learn to support the changing needs of industry.”  

Among the students Mr Forster has trained in the region, TAFE NSW graduate Tien Nguyen says David’s industry skills and experience inspired him to learn new cuisines and motivated him to be a better chef.   

‘I still call David for advice in my career, and it was thanks to his mentoring that I completed a Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery after finishing my apprenticeship,” Mr Nguyen said.     

TAFE NSW Head Teacher Hospitality Mary Allan said the strong showing by other VET Trainer of the Year finalists is a real testament to Mr Forster’s commitment to excellence as a VET professional.  

“David is well known and respected in the region; the depth of his industry knowledge and networks makes him one of the VET sector’s greatest advocates.” 

“There wouldn’t be an apprentice around that doesn’t know David and his exemplary knowledge of the hospitality industry.”  

Winners of the North Coast NSW Training Awards are now in the running for the national 2021 Australian Training Awards, which will be held in Sydney later this year. 

Explore hundreds of courses and pursue your passion with life-changing training at TAFE NSW. For more information visit or phone 131 601. 

Media contact: Kelly Lawler, Communications Specialist. Phone: 0408 481 864. Email: