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The future looks bright as Tamworth students shine at TAFE NSW awards

Tamworth students have excelled at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards, with three 2017 graduates claiming prestigious awards at a special ceremony in Mudgee yesterday.


Tamworth award winners


Tamworth Hairdressing student Kirsty McArthur was announced as the winner of the prestigious Apprentice of the Year Award, before taking out the top gong, the Student of the Year Award. Health Services student Lara Follington was presented with the VET in Schools Student of the Year Award, while Beauty student Sara Salariosa received an Industry Achievement Award for the Tourism and Experiences category.


TAFE NSW Regional General Manager Kate Baxter presented the students with their awards at a special gala ceremony at Blue Wren Winery in Mudgee, describing the three successful students as extremely talented and great role models.


“These awards are a great opportunity to recognise our most passionate, industrious and skilful students. It’s very gratifying to see these students grow and transform their lives through education, with TAFE NSW equipping them with practical skills and work experience that ensures they are job ready,” Ms Baxter said.


“Kirsty has been an outstanding student from day one at TAFE NSW. Just to emphasise how talented she really is, she won a bronze medal at the Regional Hairdressing Worldskills finals in 2017 and was named the Student of Year for Hairdressing at TAFE NSW in Tamworth last year.


“Lara continually demonstrates all the personal skills that are required in nursing and aged care. She is compassionate, has great communication skills and is committed to bettering peoples’ lives.


“Sara has demonstrated a commitment to training that is to be commended. This commitment is matched by immense talent and a desire to constantly improve her skills.


“All three students may be young in terms of experience, but they are all emerging leaders in their respective fields and great examples that hard work pays off.”


Ms McArthur was nominated for the award by TAFE NSW Hairdressing teacher Ivy-Maree Tinson, Ms Follington received her nomination from TAFE NSW Health teacher Simone Williams, while Ms Salariosa received a glowing nomination from TAFE NSW Beauty teacher Melissa Nyman.


Full list of award winners:


  • Student of the Year: Kirsty McArthur - Tamworth;
  • Apprentice of the Year: Kirsty McArthur - Tamworth;
  • Trainee of the Year: Rezvan Abedi - Bathurst;
  • School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year: Emika Denzel - Armidale;
  • VET in Schools Student of the Year: Lara Follington - Tamworth;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year: Mandy Hall – Broken Hill;
  • Industry Achievement Award (Agribusiness) Ardina Jackson - Armidale;
  • Industry Achievement Award (Health, Wellbeing and Community Services) Belinda Roach - Dubbo;
  • Industry Achievement Award (Infrastructure, Energy and Construction) Cody Towell - Dubbo;
  • Industry Achievement Award (Technology and Business Services) Mandy Hall – Broken Hill;
  • Industry Achievement Award (Tourism and Experience Services) Sara Salariosa - Tamworth;
  • Aboriginal Elder of the Year: Aunty Pat Doolan – Dubbo.