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Finalists - WA Training Awards 2017

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Central Regional TAFE would like to congratulate three students who have been selected as finalists for this year’s WA Training Awards.

The winners will be announced at a presentation dinner at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday, September 15, 2017

Central Regional TAFE is very proud of our finalists and we wish them luck for the finals. 


WA School-Based Apprentice of the year

Benjamin Rowe 

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A Year 12 student balancing final year studies and building, repairing and maintaining tractors has become one of four State finalists for the WA Training Awards’ school-based apprentice of the year.

Geraldton Grammar School student Ben Rowe has been spending Thursdays and Fridays at German agricultural machinery manufacturer Claas Harvest Centre since March last year.

“School-based apprenticeships are pretty hard to get because they’re competitive and a lot of employers will shy away from it because they only get the student one day a week,” Ben said.

“I started on the recommended one day a week, but I really loved it so I went to two.

“It’s been a lot of fun.”

Claas Harvest Centre branch manager Wesley Stephens said Ben had been performing well.

“He’s really bright and intelligent,” he said.

“We’re actually going to offer him a full-time apprenticeship.”

Ben is completing a Certificate II in Automotive Servicing Technology, along with studying maths, English, woodwork and outdoor education at school.

He said being a State finalist for the award was “very cool” and he hoped his parents were proud.

“They seem proud of me, they like that I’ve gone and done the training by myself,” he said

“I’d like to thank Claas for hiring me and also Miss Bruce. She works in the science department but she also takes charge of the TAFE students and she’s been great.”

Article and photo courtesy of Tamra Carr - Geraldton Guardian

wa cultural diversity training award 

Lalida Udomsak 

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Lalida came to York from Thailand with her Australian partner, a ships chef, in 2012 and since then, as well as pursuing her studies, has devoted herself to becoming an integral member of the local community.

Her absolute determination to succeed became evident during her early years in a small rural village in north-eastern Thailand.

A lack of educational opportunities meant that she could attend school only between the ages of seven and 12.  This frustrated her thirst for knowledge, and forced Lalida into the low-paid workforce.

She worked in rice paddy fields and various Bangkok factories.

“I just moved around,” Lalida said.

Her move to Australia opened a new world for Lalida and she seized the opportunities to improve herself.

“I took two part-time jobs as a kitchen hand and chambermaid to save for a second-hand car so I could drive to Northam to study and pay the fees,” she said.

“Then I joined line dancing, bought a ukulele, enjoyed gardening and gave community Thai cooking classes.”

Lalida and her partner have built a house in York, and still managed to continue sending money back to her family in Thailand.

She has also been succeeding with her TAFE studies, especially as she has a firm goal in mind.

With a Certificate I in General Education for Adults, Lalida is working towards completing a Certificate III in Aged Care so she can forge a career in aged care nursing.

All this time Lalida is working at enhancing her English skills, and she has earned the admiration and respect of campus staff.

Principal lecturer in General Education for Adults, Dr Sharon Ross said teaching Lalida was a rewarding experience.

“She epitomises the ideal learner with her enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to study,” Dr Ross said.

“She has clear learning goals with a strong focus on becoming fluent in reading and writing English, including developing her digital literacy.”

“She sees this as the gateway to further study and employment.”

“Lalida wants to be able to participate fully in the community and the workplace, and sees education and training as the foundation for her integration into Australian society.”

wa vocational student of the year 

Kyle Morgan 

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Over the past 12 months Kyle Morgan has gone from feeling unfulfilled in his job as a Storeman, to excelling as one of the top vocational students in the state.

“After finishing high school I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” said Kyle.

“But I knew I didn’t want to leave Geraldton, my family and my friends.”

After high school Kyle started working in an entry level job while he decided on a preferred career path. Before he knew it, it was six years down the track and he realised he was stuck in a rut.

“I had a rough idea of what I wanted to study, so I started looking around at what courses TAFE had on offer. I got some guidance from a few lecturers and ended up enrolling in the dual qualification Diploma of Environmental Monitoring & Technology and the Diploma

of Laboratory Technology.”

Kyle’s future has been going from strength to strength since he enrolled.

“I finished the 18 month course in 12 months and was the winner of the Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vocational Student of the Year Award for the Mid West and Gascoyne regions.”

Central Regional TAFE Applied and Environmental Sciences Lecturer, Belinda Lycett, endorsed Kyle as an excellent student, with a dedicated attitude to learning. 

“Kyle worked very well as a leader in the classroom, laboratory and at field sites.”

Not only was Kyle learning valuable new skills, but he also gained a new found self-belief.

“Completing my studies gave me the confidence and qualifications to take on a role as a casual supervisor for Conservation Volunteers Australia, leading a team of 18 participants on a Green Army project.”

Kyle now passionately works in the role of Pool Compliance Officer with the City of Greater Geraldton.

“Pursuing vocational training to change my career path was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’m really happy in my new position and workplace and I feel like my job is very worthwhile. I’m making a positive difference within the community, potentially saving a kid’s life and raising drowning awareness.”

Kyle continued, “Completing my studies has given me confidence, job satisfaction and provided me with opportunities I would have never experienced otherwise.”



Page last updated September 18, 2017