Two Indigenous students are among a group of 17 winners of the Prime Minister’s Award for Skills Excellence
Last year, 467 students were recognised by the Australian Government for outstanding achievement in Vocational Education and Training (VET) through the awarding of Australian Vocational Student Prizes (AVSP).
This year, the top AVSP winner in each of the 17 categories, including best Indigenous student and most outstanding VET student in each State and Territory was awarded the Prime Minister’s Award for Skills Excellence.
This group of students have been honoured for their achievements in vocational and technical education.
Among them are 18-year-old Geraldine Dixon, Highest Achieving Student in the Northern Territory, and 19-year-old Gjai Hoolihan, Highest Achieving Indigenous Student.
Geraldine, a School-Based New Apprentice from Marrara Christina School in Wagaman in the Northern Territory, completed a Certificate II in Business. As an Indigenous student coming from a non-English speaking background, Geraldine also lived away from her home and family while studying. But she overcame these hurdles, working every Wednesday at the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and attending school for the rest of the week.
Geraldine is now undertaking her Certificate III in Business and Administration, and hopes to build a career at DEST.
Gjai, also a School-Based New Apprentice, completed her Certificate II in Library Information Management. At the same time, she also completed a Certificate II in Business and her Year 12 Certificate through the Vocational Education and Training in Schools program.
She is now working at the Australian Defence Force Academy Library, and studying for her Certificate III in Library Information Management.
Both these young women are great examples of the real and exciting career opportunities that vocational and technical education can offer.