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Major Award Winners Announced

Our 2020 Major Award winners for the Midwest, Wheatbelt and Goldfields regions have been announced at recent Graduation and Awards events across the regions. 

See below for the full list of each region's Major Award winners. 

In the Midwest, over 30 locally sponsored Outstanding Achievement Awards, across various industry areas, were also presented to students who excelled in their studies last year. The Midwest event also celebrated 2020 Diploma graduates. 

Central Regional TAFE Managing Director Bill Swetman said the Graduation and Awards evening was a highlight on the college’s annual events calendar.
“Not been able to hold the event in person last year due to COVID made this year particularly special” Mr Swetman said.

“It was great to see so many family, friends, sponsors, industry partners and members of the community come together to support our students who have made a great effort to finish their training”.

“As a College we feel proud that so many of our graduates have already gained employment locally, and have had a great start to their careers or pursuit of further studies”.

“Local support has always being strong in all of our regions and we thank our sponsors and industry partners for their ongoing commitment to the success of vocational education and training in our region” he said.

Midwest Trainee of the Year recipient, Adrienne Beel, said it was a great surprise to win and felt grateful for the doors that have opened because of her training at TAFE.

“I went from working at Dominos to becoming an Apprentice Hairdresser, Salon Manager then State Manager for a franchise” Ms Beel said.

“Then I decided that I wanted a change of scenery and went to drive trucks in the mines. TAFE has facilitated opportunities for me to make the career change and learn whilst on-the job”.

“It’s given me skills to work out where I want to be and the hands-on nature of learning has really suited me”.
Kama FitzGerald, Midwest Vocational Student of Year said she felt honoured to receive the award and that it’s one of the proudest moments of her life.

“I’ve been able to take away so much from my two years of training at TAFE. The lecturers were so enthusiastic and I felt really supported by them and my peers’ Ms FitzGerald said.

“I’ve now been able to gain further employment in my dream job and I look forward to working there full time when my children are older”.

“Looking forward I’d like to continue my studies in Community Services, and eventually go to University and get a degree in Social Work. I’d love to continue my work in the community with vulnerable young women”.
“It’s definitely never too late to follow your hopes and dreams”.

Donnelle Whitby, a Leonora based student and this year’s Goldfields Aboriginal Student of the Year said she felt very honoured and happy to win the Award.

“It took me a while to complete my studies and there were a few times I wanted to give up but my Lecturer kept encouraging me. She was able to come to visit me often and was really supportive in helping me to finish”.

“I really enjoy my work at the Leonora Childcare Centre and look forward to continuing my studies in future”.

This is the first time in the history of the Goldfields region that all four recipients have been female graduates.

All Major award winners will have the opportunity to apply for the 2021 WA State Training Awards. Central Regional TAFE had three state award finalists last year.

To view each event's photo gallery please visit our Facebook page.

2020 Major Award Winners

Midwest Region

Kama FitzGerald

Kama is described as a passionate individual who is driven by the love of what she does and the benefits and positive differences she makes in people’s lives, especially in her current employment at SHINE (which she describes as her dream job).

In her finalist interview with the panel, Kama spoke about her sibling, and fellow finalist in such a generous and enthusiastic way. Her willingness to put others first is exemplified time and time again.

Her hard work and dedication is evident in her successful completion of three Diploma qualifications last year (and another two qualifications the year prior). All done whilst also juggling work, home and family commitments. 

Kama hopes to go on to study a Bachelor of Social Work at University, continuing her work in the community and providing a great future for her family. Her ability to put her training into practice and advocate for the benefits of education, make her an outstanding ambassador for the Midwest and a worthy recipient of this award.

Daniel Stewart

Daniel is described by his lecturers as someone who consistently delivers excellent work, brings innovation through problem solving and who constantly demonstrates a high level of accuracy.

Always displaying a positive attitude, and dealing with challenges in an optimistic way, he exhibits a drive that goes far beyond what is expected.

His employer describes him as a team player who has been able to utilise his skills to a high level, taking the lead on developing systems and procedures and liaising and supporting customers on technology-controlled systems.

He has demonstrated leadership skills both in the classroom and on the job, and has put his passion to good use by applying his skills to support peers in the motor sport community, as well as mentoring emerging apprentices, new to the engineering trade.

He has completed his Engineering – Mechanical Fittter apprenticeship and aspires to complete further studies to both broaden his knowledge and to obtain a leadership position in the future.

Adrienne Beel

In 2020, Adriene completed a Certificate II in Surface Extraction Operations.

Her lecturer describes her as having a can-do attitude and eagerness to learn. She has approached her traineeship with a willingness to grow and develop, always asking questions and seeking guidance when needed.

The selection panel were impressed with her enthusiasm and ability to perform highly in her assessments whilst also continuing her on-site work commitments.

The panel commended her ability to change her career path from a qualified Hairdresser to now working as an Operator in the mining industry with BHP. She is a team player who has gained confidence and found joy in the change of lifestyle. Throughout her training she has helped mentor other students and has willingly faced any challenges head-on.

Adrienne has demonstrated an interest in developing her skills further and taking on leadership roles in the future. She hopes to further specialise in mining job roles related to Work, Health and Safety and sustainability.

She is a driven and dedicated individual who will achieve anything she sets her mind to, and will make a great leader in the future.

Ashlee Corbett

Ashlee has been a dedicated student set to achieve her goals. She is a natural leader who has achieved so much and constantly encourages others to do the same.

Her lecturers say she is a joy to have in the classroom and has been a great inspiration to her classmates, particularly during uncertain times due to COVID-19, where she had to study from home for a period of time, whilst also looking after her family.

Having had previous qualifications in mining, Ashlee, who as a single mum, had been unemployed for four years set out to start a new career path. She enrolled in a Certificate III in Tourism and Certificate III in Business Dual Qualification and has excelled in every aspect of her training.

She has been a past Rio Tinto Scholarship recipient and is currently progressing her education by completing a Certificate IV in Business.

She aspires to start her own business one day, running cultural tours in the Northhampton area. We have no doubt she will achieve anything she sets her mind to.

Goldfields Region

Kimberley Sartori

In 2020, Kimberley completed a Diploma of Nursing.

Her lecturers commend her for excelling in all theory and practical assessments. She has a positive attitude and believes you are never too old to learn and follow your dreams.

Kimberley has shown great commitment to her studies and is passionate about helping the Kalgoorlie community access high quality medical care. She is now working as an Enrolled Nurse at Bega Garnbirringu.

She hopes to go to University to become a Registered Nurse and one day work as a Paediatric nurse or Midwife.

Victoria Putter

Victoria started her training whilst still at school as a VETDSS student. Following her apprenticeship (a Certificate III in Electrotechnology) she went on to complete her Certificate IV in Instrumentation.

Her lecturers have been impressed with her dedication, always being a team player having an eagerness to learn.

Her employer ranks her as one the top apprentices at their firm with a wide range of proficient skills and competency. She helps and supports junior apprentices and is able to adapt easily under pressure. She has taken on leadership roles and will have a fantastic future in the industry.

Abbey Thomson

Abbey has completed her Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care, and has now also enrolled in a Certificate IV in Education Support.

Her lecturer describes her as a committed and dedicated educator. She has real passion and a caring nature who ensures she is always being a positive role model and advocate for the children in her care.

Abbey has worked through challenges throughout her studies, working through her dyslexia and has shown persistence and diligence in achieving her assessments. She has also gained confidence throughout her journey.

Her employer says she conducts herself professionally and always received positive feedback from the families at the Centre she works for. We have no doubt that she succeed in anything she sets her mind to.

Donnelle Whitby

Donnelle has completed a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.

She is a Leonora student who has shown great dedication to the completion of her studies. She has had a long journey during which she has overcome many personal and professional hurdles. However she continued and maintained her commitment.

She is a very proud Yamatji woman who is a very active member of the community in Leonora. She is respected and take every opportunity to talk to other about her vocational journey and encourages them to study and follow their career ambitions.

She is looking forward to possibly further her studies by completing a Diploma in Early Childhood and Care.

Wheatbelt Region

Suzanne Dutton
Certificate IV in Community Services

Sue has been a standout student who was always organised, committed and never hesitated to support and mentor the other students. She has a quiet confidence and calming nature with a great sense of humour and the ability to lighten the mood after discussing a heavy topic. She always submitted work that was of a high standard and always willing to conduct additional research and share resources with the rest of the class.

Sue was a tremendous help when she assisted her lecturer James deliver mental health units to 16 new chaplains where she provided coaching and mentoring support during roleplays and guidance in how to write professional pastoral/disclosure records. Sue is a well- respected Area Chaplain at YouthCARE, where she manages 40 chaplains across 42 schools, using her training and learning to gain a better understanding of community work and to initiate collaboration opportunities.

Ken Pryer
Certificate III in Engineering- Fabrication Trade

Ken completed his apprenticeship at Water Corporation where he has secured full time employment. He has become a Safety Rep and hopes to become a full coded welder in the next year and a team leader in the future. Ken has demonstrated that he can work well with anyone, from management, in the office and within a team in the field.

He has shown to complete a high quality of work and passed all of his welding tests in his first attempt which resulted in completing his apprenticeship in reduced time. Ken is always looking for ways to improve himself and his work and displays a positive attitude towards learning and feedback.

During his apprenticeship Ken was always happy to help the other apprentices and now in his current work he is continuing to mentor other apprentices.

Dyna Gow
Course in Initial General Education for Adults

Dyna has come from very humble beginnings and endured many struggles to get where she is now. Denied any form of education in her youth because of poverty, she has shown great strength, courage and initiative to take up this learning opportunity at TAFE.

She was shy and nervous learner who has been transitioning into a person who is not afraid to share her ideas and views. Dyna is an enthusiastic participant in class activities and has confidentially accepted challenges like presenting about Cambodia and her culture in front of her class and becoming digitally competent.

Dyna is now studying a Certificate I in General Education (Introductory) and hopes in the future to gain employment where she can help others. 

Georgia Field
Certificate III in Business Administration

Georgia has shown an admirable work ethic in both her studies and at her traineeship at Bruce Rock Engineering. While completing her Certificate III in Business Administration, she was also studying a Bachelor of Agriculture, as an external student with Charles Sturt University. Georgia was able to keep to her agreed study plan in spite of a busy work environment and her university study.

During the lockdown she dedicated a lot of her time to her studies and was ahead in her study plan which allowed her to complete her traineeship a month earlier than planned. As a trainee Georgia exceeded expectations, quickly developing and taking on duties above what was expected of her.  

Georgia has shown a hunger for knowledge and never afraid to ask questions to ensure she is on the right track. Georgia is now continuing to study a Certificate IV in Marketing and Communication to assist her small business venture and hopes in the future to complete her Certificate IV in Business as well.

Natasha Ball
Certificate III in Education Support

Natasha is the Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer and an Education Assistant at Dalwallinu District High School and decided to complete a Certificate III in Education Support to further her experience and knowledge within the classroom and to be a positive role model for her children and students.

Natasha’s role at the school is quite diverse, she supports 39 Aboriginal students and advocates for them both inside and outside the school. Like her commitment to the school, Natasha’s commitment to completing her Certificate II was unwavering.

Her achievement throughout the course has always been of a high standard, yet as her levels of understanding grew so did the quality of her assessment work. Natasha is continuing her studies and has enrolled into a Certificate IV in Education Support as this course has an emphasis on supporting students with special needs.

Makalia Scott
Certificate I in Gaining Access to Training and Employment

2020 was a difficult year for Makalia, she had to endure a lot of changes that have had profound and long lasting effects. Due to restrictions she didn’t have a class to go to, had to be away from her fiancé and her supports were placed on hold. Makalia was able to communicate these feelings and ask for help and through this was given the space and help needed to keep moving forward.

She has risen to the challenge and attends class regularly working to her very best ability each week. Makalia has shown inspiring and astonishing strength in managing her anxiety, pushing through the difficulties and managing her course work. She had the courage to attend Minister Sue Ellery’s visit and to attend International Day of People with Disability even though there were a lot of people at these events that she didn’t know.

Makalia has shown amazing leadership skills and resilience in both her personal life and her study. She has barriers to learning that require great strength and concerted effort to do what others find easy, yet she never waivers in her commitment to her education which will allow her to grow and become better equipped for employment and life in general. Makalia is a shining example of what a dedicated student looks like.