South Metropolitan TAFE was proud to celebrate last year’s highest achieving students at the annual Awards Ceremony held at Crown Perth on 15 March.
The ceremony saw more than 50 students win achievement awards, and seven students win major awards in the following categories:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year
Glenda Humphries: Certificate IV in Mental Health
Sponsored by Shell
A Noongar woman, Glenda studied a Certificate IV in Mental Health, which has given her the skills to gain employment as an Aboriginal mental health worker at Bunbury Hospital. Glenda decided to study this course as she knew a lot of people affected by mental health issues, and wanted to be able to help.
Her leadership ability was evident from day one in the classroom and during the course she grew as a mentor to the younger students. Her natural and relaxed approach allows her to build rapport quickly with a variety of people. She has promoted health initiatives in remote areas such as Newman and Jigalong. And is also a respected member of her community, being part of the Yakadanjoo Committee in Bunbury.
Apprentice of the Year
Cameron Lennox: Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade (Plant Mechanic)
Sponsored by MEGT
Cameron completed a Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Plant Mechanic) and showed true dedication by travelling more than 350 kilometres each time he attended class. Cameron works as an apprentice with Cunningham Ag Services, a Case IH farm machinery business, where he’s been given the responsibility of overseeing all aspects of projects from development, costing, manufacturing to commissioning. He thrives on the challenges and opportunities that arise from the rapid advancements in technology in the agricultural industry. Cameron isn’t’ a stranger to success, having won a gold medal at the State WorldSkills competition and he won bronze at the national event last year.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Student of the Year
Esfandiar Shahmir: Certificate IV in Education Support
Sponsored by MercyCare
Esfandiar emigrated from Iran in 2013 where he completed a Bachelor of Drama Theatre and worked as a professional musician touring the world. When he came to Perth he wasn’t fluent in English so decided to study the Certificate IV in Written and Spoken English at South Metropolitan TAFE. He followed this up with the Certificate IV in Education Support. Esfandiar is passionate about working with children with disabilities, and the favourite part of his course was the work placement at Castlereagh School.
He did not have the best learning opportunities as a child, so wants to be able to help the next generation succeed - he also believes there’s a lot he can learn from them in return. Esfandiar is also community focused, having performed as a musician at a Red Cross benefit concert and for refugee groups in Perth.
International Student of the Year
Rui Scheidt Feix: Diploma of Landscape Design
Sponsored by ABN Training and St John of God Healthcare
Rui was an oceanographer and scuba diving instructor in Brazil, before moving to Australia almost three years ago to study the Diploma of Landscape Design. Rui fell in love with WA’s native plants and wildflowers, and has a strong commitment to sustainable practices. Last year Rui secured a landscaping position with Nature Based Play, a company which thrives on working with communities and local ecology to create adventure parks for people of all ages.
His motto in class was ‘think globally, act locally’. In the future, he would like to create a link between landscapers in Australia and Brazil so they can share sustainability practices. He would also like to gain an internship with a renowned landscape designer or architect who develops social and environmental projects.
School-based Apprentice of the Year
Ashleigh Copeland: Certificate II in Animal Studies
Sponsored by Applecross Rotary
Ashleigh achieved her WACE at Comet Bay College and successfully completed her Certificate II in Animal Studies traineeship while working part-time. She completed her work placement at Purrfect Pets and had a fantastic attitude, taking direction very well and mentoring other work placement students. In the future, she sees herself studying veterinary nursing and may even go on to become a veterinarian. Her lecturer said she would thrive in an ambassadorial role.
Trainee of the Year
Sian Taylor-Thaw: Certificate III in Hospitality
Sponsored by Rotary Club of Cockburn
Sian studied the Certificate III in Hospitality - Kitchen Operations through a traineeship at the Perth Quadriplegic Centre. She was incredibly shy to begin with, but quickly developed the confidence and self-esteem to become a full-time cook. Sian has gained a lot of respect from her colleagues after initiating a partnership with the Centre and OzHarvest, a company which collects quality excess food from outlets and delivers it to hundreds of charities for people in need. To this day more than 850 kilograms of food has been donated from her workplace. Sian has developed into a confident, skillful and creative cook, and sees herself becoming a pastry chef or running her own cake shop in the future.
Vocational Student of the Year
Nardine Burgess: Diploma of Event Management
Sponsored by City of Swan
Nardine completed the Diploma of Event Management to an extremely high standard and demonstrated a great level of respect for the training, with a willingness to take on extra work where possible. Nardine said she always wanted a career that brought people together in a fun environment, which stemmed from having a large family. Last year she volunteered at the Good Food and Wine Show, Skills West Expo, 65 Roses Day for Cystic Fibrosis, WA Training Awards, LNG 18 and Beaumont Kalgoorlie Races.
She was recently announced as one of Accor Hotels Graduate Management Trainees for 2017, an extremely competitive program which will see her working for the Novotel Perth Langley hotel, in her first rotation.
Many of these students will now go on to compete at the WA Training Awards.
We congratulate all of our award winners and wish them well with their future endeavours!
See the live video on our Facebook page, where photos from the night will soon be available.
Front L-R: Ashleigh Copeland, Glenda Humphries, Nardine Burgess
Back L-R: Rui Scheidt Feix, Esfandiar Shahmir, Cameron Lennox, Sian Taylor-Thaw