Aboriginal students win in TAFE Awards

Aboriginal Student of the Year

TAFE Western's Aboriginal Student of the Year Talisha Kuras with Institute Director Ms Kate Baxter and Shirey Scott a member of teh TAFE Western Aboriginal Community Reference Group

Aboriginal students have won a host of awards at TAFE Western’s annual awards for outstanding graduates.  Among the 12 winners, three awards were presented to Aboriginal students at the function held in Orange.

Of particular importance to TAFE Western was the announcement of TAFE Western’s Aboriginal Student of the Year.  Following her training in Dubbo, Talisha Kuras from Coonabarabran was been named as the top Aboriginal graduate from 2014.

Talisha is an outstanding student in many ways. One of the driving forces in her life is a desire to break down barriers between the NSW Police and the Aboriginal community. There has never been an Aboriginal Police Officer in her home town of Coonabarabran and it is incredibly important for her to be the first. This is why she enrolled in the Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery (PROWD) course at Dubbo.

Kristie Ryan from Dubbo was named in the awards following her achievements in the IPROWD program.  She was joined by Kirsten Derrick from Walgett and Elen Foy.

The awards also included a presentation for Aboriginal Elder of the Year.  The important award this year was presented to Albert Ryan.  Originally from Dubbo, Albert has been the Aboriginal Health Worker for seven years in Orange, employed with Greater West Area Health Service.

He helped set up the Orange Aboriginal Men’s Group and previously held the position of Deputy Chair of Orange Aboriginal Community Working Party.  Albert is passionate about Aboriginal education and training and sees this as a way to change lives.

Kate Baxter, Institute Director, said that she is proud that four of the 12 awards winners in this year’s celebrations are Aboriginal students.  “TAFE Western is committed to providing education and training that benefits Aboriginal people and their communities,” she said.

“We have been striving for many years to develop our cultural competence as a training provider and to provide leadership in post-school education and training in western NSW and in Australia.”

“These award-winning students demonstrate the way education and training does change lives and help people to achieve their aspirations.”

TAFE Western is the largest provider of education and training in western NSW.  In 2014 more than 36,000 students, including some 7000 Aboriginal students, benefited from the training they received. 

The Outstanding Graduating Student Awards are the most prestigious awards for TAFE students from across the region, an area of more than half of NSW and comprising 24 TAFE Colleges across central, western and far-western NSW.