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The awards recognised the efforts in 2014 of top-performing students studying either on-campus, on-the-job or online on the North Coast, across NSW and Australia.
The top award for Student of the Year went to aged care student Catherine Slater, who completed her Certificate III in Aged Care at Grafton Campus last year.
Ms Slater, who had dreamt of a career in aged care, said that she never imagined she would be standing on a stage accepting such an award, having had to learn to walk again following corrective surgery five years ago.
“Completing my course this year fulfilled a dream for me that at one point I felt was never achievable,” Ms Slater said.
Ms Slater was also joint winner of the Community Services and Health Student of the Year Award, sharing the spoils with Macksville TAFE student Abbey Browning.
Institute Director Elizabeth McGregor said that the Awards night was an inspiring celebration of the vocational dreams and achievements of many North Coast TAFE students across the region.
“It’s a complete privilege for us in North Coast TAFE to have somehow been a part of these achievements,” said Ms McGregor.
Other major award winners were:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year
Jessica Maher, from Taree
Certificate IV in Community Services Work, Taree Campus
Apprentice of the Year and Manufacturing and Engineering Student of the Year
Leigh Ryan, from Wingham
Cert III in Electrotechnology Electrician, Port Macquarie Campus
Trainee of the Year and Primary Industries Student of the Year
Sheridan Wicks, from East Kempsey
Certificate III in Horse Breeding by distance through Taree Campus
TVET Student of the Year
Kayla North, from Banora Point
Certificate II in Retail Make-up and Skin Care, Kingscliff Campus
School-Based Trainee of the Year
Jamie-Lee Sheard, from Pottsville
Statement of Attainment in Hairdressing, Kingscliff Campus
Business Student of the Year
Bernadette O’Sullivan, from Bellbrook
Certificate III and IV in Business Administration, Kempsey Campus
Creative Industries Student of the Year
Natalie Kiryk, from Suffolk Park
Diploma of Graphic Design, Kingscliff Campus
Community Services & Health Student of the Year (joint winners)
Catherine Slater, from Townsend
Certificate III in Aged Care, Grafton Campus
Abbey Browning, from Ulmarra
Certificate III in Aged Care and Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (Acute Care), Macksville Campus
Construction Student of the Year
Tony Gava, from Lismore
Certificate III in Bricklaying, Coffs Harbour Campus
Education and Employment Support Student of the Year
Jaydon Bishop, from Mapleton
Certificate III in Employment and Training, Kingscliff Campus
Information Technology Faculty Student of the Year
Lei Bush, from Caffrey’s Flat
Cert IV in Digital Media Technologies
Tourism and Hospitality Student of the Year
Kaitlin Lefevre from Rainbow Flat
Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism, through Port Macquarie Campus