TAFE NSW students win big at 2019 Hunter Training Awards

TAFE NSW students win big at 2019 Hunter Training Awards

Three local TAFE NSW students were announced as award winners at the prestigious Hunter Regional Training Awards Presentation Event on 21 June at NEX.

They won half of a possible six individual awards on offer at the Training Services NSW event:

  • School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year – Katherine Hooper from Islington
  • Apprentice of the Year – Jacob Linton from Bishop’s Bridge
  • Trainee of the Year – Kaitlin Smith from Farley

Another dozen local TAFE NSW students were named as finalists.

Katherine is studying a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance at TAFE NSW Newcastle and working at the Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital.

“I am overwhelmed and honoured to win and cannot thank enough everyone who supported me,” Katherine said.

“My TAFE NSW experience has been absolutely amazing. Everyone has been very supportive and the teachers go above and beyond to make sure we do our best.”

“My career goal is definitely medicine. After I complete my course I want to study to be a registered nurse and then work for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). My longer term goal is nuclear medicine.”

Jacob completed his Certificate III in Electrotechnology after entering the awards, and has moved on to study an Advanced Diploma in Electrical Engineering at TAFE NSW Newcastle while working for AGL.

“It’s been a long journey. I’ve worked very hard to get where I am and it’s a big honour that it’s being recognised. Without the support of AGL and my family I wouldn’t be where I am so I’d like to thank them,” Jacob said.

“My TAFE NSW experience has been good. The electrical course is well designed and I’ve appreciated the flexibility with being able to attend classes at different times if I couldn’t attend one or the other.”

“I’ve now secured a position at AGL as an electrical engineering technician and am currently training at work to be an operator. My end goal is to be a panel operator, supplying the state with electricity.”

TAFE NSW Maitland student Kaitlin has a Certificate III and IV in Business Administration, and next week begins a Diploma of Human Resource Management as part of her third traineeship with Port Stephens Council.

“Winning this award is an amazing opportunity and ridiculously exciting,” Kaitlin said.

“I greatly appreciate having the opportunity to undertake my traineeships with Port Stephens Council. I would like to thank the Council and TAFE NSW, especially my supportive team members and teacher.

“My advice to others is if you have an opportunity to do a traineeship then undertake one even if you don’t quite know where you want your career journey to go.”

“At first I wasn’t sure and now I’m onto my third traineeship with the Council and doing my Diploma in Human Resource Management. It’s definitely helped me make decisions around what I am passionate about and the career path I want to take.”

“My TAFE NSW experience has been really, really good. I have thoroughly enjoyed going every week.”

TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Susie George has congratulated the region’s “training champions” on their impressive performance.

“TAFE NSW is proud of the winners’ achievements and confident that the exciting learning opportunities we created for them helped develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their career,” Ms George said.

“Being able to access and continue with high quality education and training is a key factor in students securing a solid job and becoming an effective member of the workforce. Employers look for currency of knowledge and practical, hands-on experience for their employees, and that is something I can proudly say TAFE NSW provides.

“It’s incredibly rewarding for our staff to watch students like Jacob, Kaitlin and Katherine grow, in the knowledge that the skills and talents they learn with us have the potential to transform their lives.”

The annual Training Services NSW event recognises and rewards the outstanding achievements of vocational students and demonstrates the extent of quality in the vocational education and training sector. The winners of the Hunter Training Awards will be considered for the NSW Training Awards, to be held in Sydney in September.

IMAGE | Kaitlin Smith wins Trainee of the Year at the NSW Training Awards


TAFE NSW is Australia’s largest training and education provider with more than 500,000 enrolments and 1,200 courses. As an education innovator, we’re focused on shaping the future through state-of-the-art facilities, systems, technology and teachers. Our graduates are equipped for the jobs of today and the careers of the future.

TAFE NSW offers the best of campus-based delivery as well as flexible, online and work-based learning. Collaboration, diversity and the strong relationships between our locations contribute to and magnify the value of TAFE NSW and importantly, the benefits that we deliver to communities and the economy of NSW.


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