Georgia Patmore was named 2018 Trainee of the Year and Samantha Trotter the 2018 Apprentice of the Year at the Illawarra & South East Regional Training Awards presented by the Illawarra Vocational Training Committee (IVTC).
Representatives from industry, training organisations, apprenticeship support networks and Training Services NSW were present at Villa D’Oro for the announcement of the awards supported by a wide range of local businesses and organisations.
The awards are held annually in late June to identify outstanding achievement in the Vocational Education and Training sector.
Ms Patmore and Ms Trotter will now progress to the NSW awards held in Sydney in September before the national awards are held in November.
Ms Patmore was recognised for her work with a Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism.
She had started a university degree in tourism, but wasn’t sure that it was really the right industry for her so she dropped to part-time and did her traineeship with Yass Valley Council.
In 2017 Ms Patmore won the Markus Gibson Huck Young Achiever and Tourism award.
The traineeship has taught her time management skills, independence and a work ethic.It also confirmed for her that tourism is the right field for her and she is now back at uni full-time finishing her degree.
Recently, her supervisor resigned and she has stepped into the supervisor role.
She said her traineeship gave her the confidence to do it.
Ms Trotter moved from Cooma at 17 to become a Pastry Chef with The Gumnut Patisserie in Bowral.
“It was a big decision to move to an area where I knew no one,” she said.
But she was so keen to start her pastry career she not only did that but has topped her year at TAFE every year since she started.
She was recognised for continually pushing herself to compete and be tested against Industry professionals.
Ms Trotter won the regional and then National Apprentice of the Year Award in Pastry Cooking in 2016.
She also won champion ribbons at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Fair in 2015 and 2016.
In 2015 she was named national winner of the Sydney J Packham National Scholarship Awards and won a paid trip to Paris which included attending the Europain exhibition, one of the largest International Trade Shows for her industry.
Ms Trotter was also recently awarded the Gold Medal in the 2018 Australian Nationals at World Skills in Sydney.
Other major winners on the night went to Emarni Cooke who won the 2018 VET in Schools Student of the Year Award.
Ms Cooke has been doing Certificate II in Kitchen Operations and impressed the judging panel with her passion.
She is currently working at The Mossy Café where she is completing her Certificate II in Kitchen Operations and works part time.
The School Based Trainee of the Year Award went to Thomas Burn who has been doing a Certificate III in Engineering Fabrication.
He has been doing a school-based apprenticeship with Merimbula Engineering to try and give himself an edge on other school leavers doing their HSC.
In his spare time Mr Burn is involved in Voluneer Fire Fighting, RSL activities and school leadership roles.
The Vocational Student of the Year went to Hayley Cayir who did a Certificate IV in Mental Health.
She completed her study at UOW College Australia taking her one step closer to making her dreams a reality.
She said she was now able to move forward into studying Psychology which she has wanted to do since Kindergarten.
“Dreams can come true,” she said.
Ms Cayir presented a speech at the awards on behalf of her vocational peers. She discussed her journey and was also honoured with an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for her selected course.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award went to Chloe Herbert who has been doing a Diploma in Community Services.
She completed her Certificate IV and then the Diploma of Community Services at TAFE Wollongong.
‘She has overcome some challenges that can often form barriers to adult learning.
During that time he applied for an Indigenous Scholarship which allowed her to participate in an Outbound Mobility Program through TAFE NSW in India with Elicia Ford, the National Disability Coordination officer for NSW.
She was successful in gaining her first ever job with Flagstaff as a Life Choices Support Officer.
She said has a passion for supporting people with disabilties transition to self-sufficiency.