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Eleanor’s success is woven in strength

Furnissdale resident and fashion graduate Eleanor Litterick has won the South Metropolitan TAFE (SM TAFE) Vocational Student of the Year Award.

The awards recognise the achievements of students from across SM TAFE, as well as five major award winners in the categories Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, International Student of the Year, Vocational Student of the Year and the Cultural Diversity Training Award.

During Eleanor’s three years of fashion training at SM TAFE Bentley she impressed her lecturers with her study commitment while juggling life as a young single mother. 

While at times overwhelmed with the pressures of studying and raising a family, Eleanor credits SM TAFE with helping her learn how to manage her time, expectations, and how to be kind to herself. 

Eleanor said her love for fashion came from her grandma, who she describes as an ‘incredible seamstress’.

“The beautiful costumes and clothing she made for us inspired me to learn to sew,” Eleanor said.

In her first-year sustainability unit Eleanor grew a bio fabric from kombucha tea, harvested and dried it and made a kombucha skirt which won the Eco Design Category at Future Runway Perth Fashion Festival in 2017. 

“SM TAFE provided lots of opportunities to get first-hand experience in the industry through work placements and fashion events, which helped us to understand how the industry operates, establish networks and build an impressive portfolio,” Eleanor said.

“My lecturers were incredibly supportive and were able to see my passion and potential for the subject and help me develop that into a well-rounded skill set that I’m now able to apply to my new business.

“Since graduation, I’ve been working on my label CITIZEN, and am looking forward to launching my first collection.”

SM TAFE General Manager Training Services and panel chair Blair Marsh said Eleanor’s study commitment and focus on environment sustainability made her a worthy recipient of Vocational Student of the Year.

“Eleanor has achieved so much in her three years of study and her eco designs have been featured at numerous shows including the Perth Fashion Festival and Wearable Art Mandurah,” said Mr Marsh.

In 2017 Eleanor was invited to Cambodia to visit the Asian Hope International School.  She taught workshops on fashion to primary school students who were putting together a runway show based around the theme of identity.

“It was a really rewarding experience to work with the students, discussing their own and others perceptions of their identities as the new generation of Khmer youth, and assist them in turning those concepts into beautiful fashion pieces that they modelled themselves on the runway,” Eleanor said.

Eleanor’s focus on environmental sustainability continued throughout her studies and her final non-gendered graduate collection in 2019 featured entirely recycled and sustainable fabrics and a zero waste pattern design technique.

SM TAFE offers a Certificate lV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Merchandising and a  Business and Merchandising Diploma (the first in WA) which teaches students fashion business skills, including an internship in a fashion business environment.

Page last updated June 05, 2020