2017 NSW Training Awards Winners - Individual

Meet the Award category winners of 2017.

2017 Apprentice of the Year

Jordan Cahill

Jordan Cahill

Trade: Horticulture - Landscape Construction Certificate III
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: The Gardenmakers Pty Ltd

Jordan chose landscape construction because it combines a variety of trades in one. He’s demonstrated exemplary skills in timberwork, stone masonry, brickwork, and horticulture on projects ranging from multi-million dollar developments to playground construction.

After winning multiple World Skills accolades, Jordan has been invited to join their judging and leadership teams. In 2017 Jordan completed a work-based scholarship with UK’s The Outdoor Room working at the Royal Chelsea Flower Show and now plans to own his own landscaping business.

“My hands-on training was invaluable. My teachers constantly pushed me to meet the highest standards. My teachers are now my industry mentors.”

2017 Trainee of the Year

Madison Coelli

Madison Coelli

Vocation: Business Services - Business Administration Certificate IV
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: GetSet Inc
Hosted by: Southern Cotton

Madison began her traineeship in weighbridge operations before quickly moving up the ranks to high-level administration and logistics. Along the way, she rose to every challenge becoming resilient and self-reliant.

Madison’s traineeship gave her the confidence to secure her dream job in logistics and trade at Walnuts Australia making her a role model for women in the agricultural industry. In 2016, Madison was awarded Leeton Business Awards’ Trainee of the Year and crowned Sunrice Festival Fundraising Ambassador for SteppingOut4Youth.

“My career has flourished due to my traineeship. It’s been eye opening to see how VET has equipped me for success.”

2017 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Donald Dundas

Donald Dundas

Vocation: Plumbing Certificate III
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: Skillset Ltd
Hosted by: Warrumbungle Shire Council

Donald chose plumbing because he believes more Aboriginal people should be in the trade. Donald excels at all aspects of his job. His enthusiasm, leadership and specialist skill set has earned him the respect of staff and peers.

Whether it’s mentoring, communicating with the community or organising effective workflow, Donald leads by example. He has encouraged many local youths to become apprentices. Donald was awarded 2016 Team of the Year from Warrumbungle Shire Council.

“I’m a proud Aboriginal man driven to be a leader not only of my people, but to encourage all to have a go and better themselves.”

2017 School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year

Mark Doughty

Mark Doughty

Trade: Horticulture - Parks and Gardens Certificate III
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: Skyline Landscape Services Pty Ltd
School: McCarthy Catholic College Emu Plains

By the age of 14, Mark was running his own lawn mowing business. An energetic, determined and reliable apprentice, Mark loves giving back to his community. He performs voluntary landscaping at his school, in local parks and for St Vincent De Paul, Mt Druitt.

Due to timetabling clashes between school and training, Mark has to catch up on schoolwork independently. Despite these challenges, he is excelling academically and dreams of owning a premium landscaping business.

“I take great satisfaction in the transformative nature of my work. Comparing my before and after images drives me to gain more experience and knowledge.”

2017 Vocational Student of the Year

Liam Muldoon

Liam Muldoon

Vocation: Automotive Mechanical Diagnosis Certificate IV
Trained by: TAFE NSW

Currently a fly-in-fly-out technician with Gold Fields Australia, Liam constantly identifies industry changes that require further training. Liam’s strategic study choices have equipped him with a unique skill set that’s highly sought after by employers.

For his Certificate IV, Liam studied remotely meeting his tutor face-to-face during his return home to Ballina. Despite juggling the demands of a young family, his enthusiasm and effort paid off. Liam is also passionate about training young apprentices and is recognised by his employer as a future leader.

“The skills I’ve gained from TAFE have set me on a very successful career path.”

2017 VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year

Darek Figa

Darek Figa

Employed by: TAFE NSW

An inspiring TAFE teacher of Animal Studies since 1991, Darek’s innovative practice of behavioural enrichment supports animals in captive environments to live more enriched lives.

Instrumental in developing industry relationships with organisations such as Wildlife Sydney and Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, Darek creates training opportunities that allow students to develop practical skills while assisting the enterprise they’re working for.

Since 2005, Darek has designed student immersion trips, which have grown to 2-week international study tours. These life-changing experiences have exposed students to an exciting range of species, modern conservation techniques and behavioural enrichment.

Darek is also Director of the Orangutan Foundation International Australia.

2017 VET in Schools Student of the Year

Rose Cox

Rose Cox

Vocation: Hospitality - Kitchen Operations Certificate II
Trained by: Public Schools NSW, Ultimo
School: Strathfield Girls High School

Rose sees cooking as an art form where she can be experimental and expressive. As the primary carer for her mother and sister, Rose is a reliable, organised, problem solver and dedicated student. She displays advanced culinary skills and regularly demonstrates leadership during school catering events.

She successfully completed work placements at Novotel Darling Harbour and Steersons Steak House, where she’s been offered an apprenticeship.

A School Vice Captain and Zonta Young Women in Public Affairs winner, Rose sits on the NSW Carers Advisory Council, is an ambassador for the Kookaburra Kids Foundation and was a 2016 NSW Youth Parliamentarian.

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