2016 NSW Training Awards Winners - Individual

Meet the Individual Award category winners of 2016.

2016 Apprentice of the Year

Courtney Harrison

Courtney Harrison

Trade: Automotive Mechanical Technology (Light Vehicle) Certificate III
Trained by: TAFE NSW - New England Institute
Employed by: Dieselequip

The Certificate III Light Vehicle Mechanical Technician apprenticeship combined with her work at Deiselequip, has resulted in Courtney having a full understanding of safe and reliable work. “You have the lives of the vehicle owner, their families and other road users in your hands.”

She is recognised by her employer as “an essential part of our team”. She approaches every aspect of her work diligently and cheerfully.
Courtney has flourished in a traditionally male-dominated workplace. “I had to meet a lot of challenges in pursuing my career, but with the right attitude, work ethic, patience, instructors and family support, I am so close to achieving one of my major goals.”

Courtney also looks forward to giving back to community through teaching at a high school or training organisation.

2016 Trainee of the Year

Daniel Kelty

Daniel Kelty

Vocation: Telecommunications - Network Engineering Certificate IV
Trained by: Ramsden Telecommunications Training Pty Ltd
Employed by: Programmed Skilled Workforce Ltd
Hosted by: Telstra

Over the last few years, Daniel has courageously changed the direction of his life. After reaching the finals of TV’s MasterChef he started a traineeship with Telstra, and within two years successfully obtained Certificates III and IV in Telecommunications – Network Engineering.

Daniel’s attention to detail and dedication to “getting it right the first time” has proved invaluable in the installation and maintenance of data and wireless networks. One of his traineeship assignments was installing 4G mobile telephone services to rural communities in northern NSW.

Being a mature-age trainee has the advantage of rich life skills, allowing him to mentor his fellow trainees and encouraging them to perform at the highest standards. He is an enthusiastic and dedicated learner, and an ideal employee with definite leadership potential.

2016 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Leteah Mitchell

Leteah Mitchell

Vocation: Community Services Work Certificate IV
Trained by: TAFE NSW - North Coast Institute

Leteah has embraced her studies in Community Services Work Certificate IV and brought to life her passion to help people in the community, particularly those who are disadvantaged.

An example of Leteah’s commitment was her role in establishing a drop-in centre for youth at the Taree PCYC as part of her work placement. The centre provides a safe space to allow important “time-out” for young people who are having difficulty with the school system.

Leteah has chosen this career path because “as a social worker I want to support people to where they want to be and reach their goals, even if they’ve lost their way.”

An advocate for continuing education, she has successfully encouraged three of her family to enrol in certificate and diploma courses.

2016 School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year

Tyrone Pynor

Tyrone Pynor

Trade: Business Services - Business Certificate II
Trained by: Australian College of Commerce & Management Pty Ltd
Employed by: Aboriginal Employment Strategy Ltd
Hosted by: National Australia Bank
School: Pendle Hill High School

Tyrone sees his school-based traineeship with the National Australia Bank as “an opportunity to gain the skills to make real decisions about my choice of career path.”

As part of the team at NAB’s Merrylands branch, he excelled in all aspects of banking services, including customer assistance and gaining an understanding of all the financial products and services offered.

His supervisors commented on Tyrone’s attention to detail, approachability to customers and staff, and commitment to excellence. Developing time management skills was critical to ensuring all school assignments were completed punctually.
Looking ahead Tyrone declared, “my future has never looked brighter”.

2016 Vocational Student of the Year

Francine Ikirezi

Francine Ikirezi

Vocation: Business Administration Diploma
Trained by: TAFE NSW - South Western Sydney Institute

Francine is from Rwanda, and grew up in refugee camps before immigrating to Australia. Employed at an aged care facility, she wanted to explore the possibilities of joining their administration team, and started travelling from Goulburn to Bankstown each week to complete her Diploma in Business Administration.
Francine did not let her lack of previous education and literacy skills stop her from achieving success, putting in many hours at the library to gain the skills and knowledge needed to complete her work, as she did not have a computer at home.
Her teacher remarked “Francine has developed from a shy immigrant who knew no-one and was not sure where or what could be possible for her in her new country, to being independent and self-confident.”

Francine’s goal is to one day set up an aged care facility in Rwanda.

2016 VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year

Donna Colombini

Donna Colombini

Employed by: TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute

Throughout her sixteen years of teaching hairdressing, Donna has encouraged each student to gain not only core salon skills, but also an understanding of the latest trends and techniques.

She is always looking for opportunities to expose her students to innovation and exceptional quality, and it is not unusual for leading models to be seen in Donna’s classroom, along with top fashion photographers.

Donna recently organised an Italian study tour, providing a rich and memorable insight into their industry for the students.

Donna has achieved “Right Way” certification from Service Skills Australia. She has developed a work place assessment model for new apprentices, leading to an increase in student enrolments.

2016 VET in Schools Student of the Year

Erin Gray

Erin Gray

Vocation: Live Production and Services Certificate III
Trained by: Trustees of the Roman Catholic Church for the Diocese of Parramatta
School: St Andrew's College

Achieving her Live Production and Services Certificate III provided an added bonus for Erin. “It provided me with a balanced and structured lifestyle, and forced me to manage my time.”

Erin has demonstrated outstanding proficiency in all aspects of stage production, including lighting design, sound systems and artist management. She always keeps up to date with the latest equipment: “Kinetic lighting, as used in the Vivid Festival of Light, gives events a wondrous nature.”

Erin has excelled in all academic and creative elements of her course, approaching every stage with enthusiasm. Her skills are generously shared with other students through a willingness to mentor. “It is essential that all work is well presented, with my work adding meaning to the piece.”

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