Celebrating success at the 2022 NSW Training Awards

Changemakers in the vocational education and training sector have been honoured for being the best at what they do at the 2022 NSW Training Awards. Two students from Educational Pathways Program schools won their category, with Tahli Gleeson named as the 2022 NSW School-Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year.

Every year the NSW Training Awards acknowledges the achievements of vocational education and training (VET) students, teachers and training providers for being champions of what they do.

On Friday 16 September finalists from across NSW came together at Sydney Town Hall to celebrate in person. In a welcome return to a live event, Minister for Skills and Training Alister Henskens opened the ceremony in its 67th year of running.

Before the award proceedings began, an inspiring video featuring all of the NSW Training Awards State finalists set the tone for the ceremony, highlighting their individual success and hard work.

Educational Pathways VET Ambassadors then took to the stage to co-present awards throughout the evening. Familiar faces such as Liam Muldoon, Maddison Camilleri and Theo Scholl were among the ambassadors who shared their insights from their own experience as NSW Training Award recipients.

Representing the Hunter and Central Coast region as a finalist, Merriwa Central School student Tahli Gleeson was named as the 2022 NSW School-Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year. It has been a successful category for schools in the Educational Pathway Program, with Chelsea McInnes taking out the same award in 2021.

Recognised for her outstanding work-ethic and a ‘get it done’ attitude, Tahli is completing a Certificate II in Agriculture. In collaboration with her school careers adviser, she found the perfect role at Hunter Local Land Services, Merriwa office working as a school-based trainee in the Agricultural Extension team.

“VET is such a practical training pathway and full of opportunities. I now have further job qualifications and a supportive group of work colleagues and industry mentors to help me on my career journey to achieve my goal of working in agriculture,” says Tahli.

During her school-based traineeship, Tahli was exposed to various agricultural functions and gained a greater awareness of the day-to-day life of a farmer. With an expanded resume and her Certificate II qualification in-hand, Tahli looks forward to making positive change in an area she cares about.

Continuing the success for the Educational Pathways Program, Jade Barrington from Vincentia High School was awarded the 2022 NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year. With hopes of becoming a Primary school teacher, Jade completed a school-based traineeship (Certificate II in Business Services), gaining invaluable knowledge, experience and confidence through working with the NSW Department of Education.

This award not only recognises her personal achievements, but also the work she does to support her community.

“As a proud Aboriginal (First Nations) woman I have been a member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student Representative Council (SRC), I have mentored younger students at school as well as volunteered at Wreck Bay Aboriginal Community Council Homework Centre to support the learning of younger students and also worked with Waminda,” says Jade.

For the final award of the evening, Inverell metal fabricator Lachlan Butler was named the 2022 NSW Apprentice of the Year for excelling in his apprenticeship with BOSS Engineering.

The 22-year-old has made big strides in his apprenticeship despite facing challenging circumstances including assuming responsibility on his family’s farm.

“Being involved in an apprenticeship allows you to create and be involved in an environment that is supportive and a community that is all inclusive,” says Lachlan.

A passionate advocate for addressing the skills shortage in rural Australia, Lachlan said he was now keen to use his award platform to encourage others to pursue a trade career through VET, finding the hands-on training VET provided to be world-class.

“Skills training in Australia is extremely important,” he adds.

The 2022 NSW Training Awards creates the opportunity for new Educational Pathways VET Ambassadors to join the cohort. Their unique experiences and success stories help inform and engage students, parents and industry leaders across all Educational Pathways Program schools.

Spanning across several regions, Educational Pathways VET Ambassadors currently represent Western NSW, Sydney Metro, Hunter and Central Coast, Illawarra, North Coast and Mid-North Coast, with many more to come.

For more information on this year's winners visit the NSW Training Awards website.

NSW Training Awards 2022
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