Macarthur locals win top nods at TAFE awards

Maxine Colligan.
Maxine Colligan.

Three Macarthur TAFE students have been rewarded for their hard work at the Southern and South West Sydney Training Awards.

Rhonda Sampson, Samuel Jenks and Maxine Colligan took out three categories at the prestigious awards, hosted by Training Services NSW.

Ms Sampson took out the award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of Year.

The TAFE NSW student, who operates her own graphic design business and studied a Diploma of Graphic design, was one of five winners on the night.

The St Helens Park resident said she was thrilled to receive the award and be recognised for her hard work.

Ms Sampson has completed designs for Aboriginal community groups, not-for-profits and local councils, but she said winning the award was one of her proudest achievements to date.

"As an Aboriginal graphic designer, I strive to embody my culture in the work I produce and to be recognised for my commitment to the Aboriginal community is so special to me," Ms Sampson said.

Rhonda Sampson.

Rhonda Sampson.

"I'm a big ambassador for the positive transformation TAFE NSW can have in people's lives and career and am thankful for the hands-on skills I learnt in my diploma that helped me kickstart my future."

Fellow TAFE student Mr Jenks was awarded the VET in School Student of the Year award.

The Picton High Scool student said he has enjoyed his TAFE NSW course and that it was a great honour to receive the award.

"It is a great honour to win the award. I was thrilled to even be nominated so to win the award is an awesome achievement," he said.

"I have really enjoyed the hands-on experience of my Certificate III in Information Digital Media and Technology and the practical knowledge that my teachers have provided.

"It is empowering knowing I am one step closer to my dream career working in cyber security and I'm still in high school."

Samuel Jenks

Samuel Jenks

The hotly contested Apprentice of the Year award was given to Glen Alpine's Maxine Colligan.

Ms Colligan said the award wasn't just a testament to her hard work throughout her TAFE NSW course and passion towards her trade, but a reflection of all women working in non-traditional trades.

"This award is a victory for all women in trades, who, like me, love the industry they're working in," she said.

"To be named as Apprentice of the Year is a very proud achievement for me.

"I'm thankful for the dedication my TAFE NSW teachers put into the course and empowered me with the practical skills I needed to forge a career in the automotive industry."

TAFE NSW regional general manager Michael Cullen said the strong showing by the finalists for the six award categories was testament to their commitment to excellence in their chosen field.

"The exceptional result in these prestigious awards is a reflection of the quality, hands-on training TAFE NSW provides students to help them reach their career ambitions and ensure we have a skilled and capable workforce of the future," Mr Cullen said.