Medowie local, Alida van Driel will set sail on a career in the maritime industry after being awarded the Hunter TAFE Foundation’s 2017 Barker Maritime Scholarship.
Alida was one of 14 students awarded scholarships by the Hunter TAFE Foundation this week that recognise outstanding students studying in a range of skills areas including fashion, Aboriginal cultural arts, nursing, early childhood and hospitality.
Alida works as a General Purpose Hand for Newcastle Ferries and was one of the first two females to work for the organisation. The scholarship will cover the cost of the TAFE NSW Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 metres near coastal) and will support Alida’s dream to be the first female harbour master of the Port of Newcastle.
Alida said the assistance of the Hunter TAFE Foundation scholarship, sponsored by the late Don Barker and his wife Annette Lynch, will help her fast-track her career.
“Without the scholarship, it would have been years before I could think about further study,” Alida said.
“When I achieve a Certificate III, I will be able to take on more responsibilities and gain more confidence on the water. This means I will have a more promising career available to me.”
TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Maritime Studies, Glenn Hunter said Alida’s determination and skillset would take her a long way in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
“I have been sailing for 30 years and in that time, I’ve worked with less than five women. Alida has wonderful potential and this training will give her the practical industry skills she needs to work either domestically or internationally in the maritime industry,” Glenn said.
Hunter TAFE Foundation is a not-for- profit organisation working with Hunter business, education and community leaders. It is committed to supporting education and training by providing financial support to TAFE NSW students studying in the Hunter and Central Coast regions who are experiencing either personal or financial hardship.
IMAGE |Alida’s employer Darren Carey, Alida van Driel and scholarship donor Annette Lynch.