Moruya student Courtney Stewart has been honoured for her academic achievement and work ethic at the 2018 TAFE NSW Region Excellence Awards.
“This means the world to me. I was really shocked when they called out my name,” Miss Stewart said.
Miss Stewart who completed Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care at TAFE NSW Moruya in 2017, was announced as the winner of the prestigious Campus Student of the Year Award, at a gala awards ceremony in Wollongong.
Her TAFE NSW journey began while she was still in year 11 but her career began just two days after finishing school.
“I went to an open day at TAFE NSW Moruya and spoke to a teacher about early childhood courses. From that moment I was hooked,” she said.
“I started my TAFE NSW course while I was in year 11 and did work placement at the Moruya Learning Centre.
“They offered me a job so I finished school on the Friday and started work on the Monday.”
Miss Stewart said she would recommend students look at studying a TAFE NSW course while at school.
“It means you will be qualified faster. I finished school and was fully qualified two-months later.
“The workload was a breeze with the support of the TAFE teachers. They made sure it was manageable and fit into my schedule.
“I’m passion about this industry. I’ve always wanted to work with children. The biggest thing for me is watching these children grow and being that person who helps them learn those new skills.
“I’m looking at doing my Diploma in Early Childhood Education and maybe one day opening my own family daycare centre,” she said.
During the awards, TAFE NSW Regional General Manager Kerry Penton commended the winners for setting a benchmark in their chosen areas of study and helping inspire other students to follow suit.
“These awards recognise our most passionate, industrious and skilful students, and the fact that TAFE NSW teachers have endorsed the student’s hard work and achievements, makes it even more special,” Ms Penton said.
“I have no doubt these students will go on to forge highly successful careers and will be wonderful ambassadors for TAFE NSW.”
Ms Penton said the awards exemplified TAFE NSW’s commitment to training the workforce leaders of tomorrow.
“TAFE NSW is proud to equip students with practical skills and work experience so they’re ready to hit the ground running in their chosen field.
“It’s very gratifying for TAFE NSW staff to watch these students grow and transform their lives through education.”
TAFE NSW teacher Annette Anido said Miss Stewart quickly established herself as a conscientious student with plenty of motivation and initiative.
“In her final year she showed her commitment to her education by completing all of her assignments by February,” Ms Anido said.
“On work placement at the Moruya Learning Centre Courtney consistently showed maturity and a skill level of someone much older and more experienced.
“She looked like she was already a pre-school teacher.”
Full list of award winners:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year: Winyinnar Williams [Nowra];
Tourism and Experience Services Student of the Year: Hannah Stubbles [Nowra];
School based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year: Winyinnar Williams [Nowra];
Campus Student of the Year Award: Angela Muller [Nowra];
Technology and Business Services Student of the Year: Tonia Lavalle [Ulladulla];
Agribusiness Student of the Year: Anne Walshaw [Goulburn];
Campus Student of the Year Award: Anne Walshaw [Goulburn];
Infrastructure, Energy and Construction Student of the Year: Mark Williams [Moss Vale];
Apprentice of the Year: Mark Williams [Moss Vale];
Campus Student of the Year Award: Bronwyn Beard [Moss Vale];
Career Pathways, Aboriginal Languages and Employability Skills Student of the Year: Jade Ryan [Wollongong];
Health Wellbeing and Community Services Student of the Year: Paul Piera [Wollongong];
Innovative Manufacturing, Robotics and Science Student of the Year: Callum Mayo [Wollongong];
Campus Student of the Year Award: Callum Mayo [Wollongong];
Trainee of the Year: Aidan Brooks [Wollongong];
Campus Student of the Year Award: Ethan Gomez-Staines [Wollongong West];
Campus Student of the Year Award: Rohan Herring [Shellharbour];
VET In Schools Student of the Year: Annaliese Phipps [Shellharbour];
Campus Student of the Year Award: Courtney Stewart [Moruya];
Campus Student of the Year Award: Mohammad Attar [Bega];
Supply Chain and eCommerce: Jessica Turney [Yallah];
Campus Student of the Year Award: Rachel Montgomery [Yallah];
Campus Student of the Year Award: Zuzana Webster [Yass].