Newcastle locals, Billy Mcloughlin and Jarna Hedley, were recently announced as winners at the prestigious Hunter Training Awards, which was held via a virtual ceremony on the NSW Training Awards Facebook page last month.
Jarna walked away with as the Hunter Training Awards Trainee of the Year whilst Billy took the prize for the Hunter Training Awards Vocational Student of the Year.
TAFE NSW Regional General Manager, Susie George, said the strong showing by TAFE NSW finalists for the six award categories was a testament to their commitment to excellence in their chosen field.
“It is rewarding for TAFE NSW staff and teachers to support students such as Jarna and Billy through their study and see the development of their skills and the contribution they make to the workforce,” Susie said.
“TAFE NSW plays a critical role in shaping the careers of people across a range of important industries that are critical to the economy and we are proud of our students’ success.”
Jarna Hedley, who is employed by HunterNet Group Training as an Administration Officer, said the she is over the moon to have won the Trainee of the Year award.
“This is such a great reward for all the hard work that I’ve put in over the last twelve months and it goes to show that you can do whatever you put your mind to.”
“I would encourage anyone who is considering study or a change in career to just give it a go; there are so many ways you can achieve what you are working towards and TAFE NSW gave me the skills and confidence to progress in my career.”
Shared Services Manager at HunterNet, Jackie Moore, said the award was a fitting recognition of Jarna’s talent and commitment.
“Jarna is a true professional and this award is a testament to her skills, knowledge and all of the hard work that she has put in. We are all very proud of what Jarna has achieved.”
Billy, who is employed by the Catholic Schools Office as a Learning Support Assistant and studied a Certificate IV in Tertiary Preparation, was overwhelmed at the honour and hoped it would inspire other young people to step outside their comfort zones.
“This is a really big personal achievement and I’ve really pushed myself over the past year to complete my studies and achieve great results.
“This award is a validation of all the hard work I’ve put in and it means so much to me,” he said.
Minister for Tertiary Education, Geoff Lee, said that he was delighted that so many of the award winners were from TAFE NSW and that the strong results at this year’s awards demonstrate the high-quality education and training provided by Australia’s largest training provider.
“TAFE NSW plays a critical role in shaping the careers of people across a range of important industries that are critical to the economy,” Geoff said.
“Jarna and Billy are a testament to the depth of talent and exciting career opportunities on offer through vocational education and training pathways.”
The NSW Training Awards celebrate the excellence of apprentices, trainees and students undertaking vocational education and training.
The winners from the Hunter Training Awards will be interviewed and considered for the NSW Training Awards which will are planned to be held in Sydney later this year.
IMAGE | Billy Mcloughlin and Jarna Hedley, winners at the Hunter Training Awards in 2020.