TAFE graduates shine at 2019 awards

Graduates Vicky Plum, Bridget Crossley, Kimberley Clark, Juana Ellison, Corey Whitmore and Karen Goldspink with their awards

TAFE NSW Tumut graduates marked a magic milestone on Monday night when they were honoured for their hard work and determination at a 2019 graduation ceremony at Club Tumut.

Student of the Year for 2019 was  Kimberly Clark.

Teagan Fava, who was named Most Outstanding Student in a Tertiary Preparation Certificate Course said she had decided to redo her Year 12 after initially being unable to receive an ATAR at the time. She said she found the TAFE course much more beneficial than when she had done it through school.

“It was daunting at first but it turned out to be a really good course,” she said.

“I found it was much more hands on. The teachers are really encouraging- they want you to do the best you can.

“Multiple times I asked to stay back in order to catch up and the teachers were always happy to help me out,” she said.

Ms Fava found the experience to be very different to how she had recalled her HSC the last time around, with a more mature environment and fellow students all showing a desire to achieve their goals. 

“The difference between school and TAFE was that the classes are smaller so there were more opportunities for one-on-one consultation with teachers,” Ms Fava said.

“Everyone’s there wanting to achieve the same outcome unlike high school where there are people who don’t always want to be there,” she said.

It’s hard to imagine that Ms Fava would have had much time to herself over the year, with 40-hour work weeks as an Assistant manager at the Reject Shop in Tumut coupled with the study load of the course keeping her busy. She said that her work was always supportive of her ambitions.

“Sometimes I had to take days off at work to catch up on studying, especially around exam time,” she said. “I was lucky to be working with people who were so understanding.”

She encourages anyone interested to embrace what Tumut TAFE has to offer.

“If I can do it, anyone can,” she said

Ms Fava is looking to commence a Bachelor of Medical Radiation at CSU next year despite also already being accepted to do Psychology at Canberra. 

“It’s a four-year degree and will probably be more full-on because I’ll be doing five days a week over there and then working over the weekends,” she said.

“But I’m really looking forward to it and I’d like to thank the teachers I had who helped me along the way,” she said.

A host of awards were presented to some of the highest performing students among the graduates, who came from a diverse range of backgrounds and study areas.

Recipient of the Student of the Year award as well as the Snowy Valleys Council award for outstanding student in the Community Services Sector Kimberley Clark had spent two years completing a Diploma of Early Education and Care through distance education through TAFE. Ms Clark said that she was lost for words to be honored in two categories.

“I’m very thankful and very honored to have received these awards,” Ms Clark said.

“It’s been a really excellent experience. I started my diploma in 2018. I started there with face to face but when I was provided with the opportunity of full time work, I ended up doing long distance education with my regular teacher Kim Pollock from 2017 who has been wonderful,” she said.

“What I have received from Kim as a teacher and all the support she has given me in terms of skills in the workplace as been invaluable,” she said.

Ms Clark said that she is happy to continue working at Bright Horizons Child Care to further apply her skills and that the prospect of university study may be on the cards in the future.

“I just want to thank everyone up at TAFE, Angela Emosi and Jackie Beaven at Bright Horizons for supporting me through my learning journey, as well as my parents and my son Nate,” she said.

TAFE NSW Relieving Regional General Manager Jonathan Davis congratulated all the graduates and said the ceremony was a fitting recognition of the students’ commitment to improving their skills and, ultimately, their lives.

“It’s wonderful to see so many graduates investing in their futures by studying at TAFE NSW,” Mr Davis said.

“For many of them, that involves making short-term personal sacrifices in the knowledge that they will gain the practical skills and work experience that they need to help them pursue their career.

“To see those students up on stage being cheered on by their family, friends and classmates are very special.

“On behalf of TAFE NSW, I would like to acknowledge the personal achievement of all our graduates and wish them every success in future.”

Mr Davis said TAFE NSW had more than 1200 courses available – from short courses to degrees – and many of them could be studied online when and where it suited students via TAFE Digital.