The 2017 TAFE Western Vocational Students of the Year are Kathleen Hevesi and Donna Fitzgerald.
Kathleen’s story is one of overcoming adversity with a successful outcome at the end. A single parent who suffers from an auto-immune illness, Kathleen was determined to not let her illness stand in the way of her goals.
That goal was to complete her TAFE training, which she did with aplomb. Importantly, her can do attitude caught the eye of the NSW Government Department of Family and Community Services (FACS), where she successfully obtained employment.
During her time at TAFE, Kathleen was an outstanding team player, a motivated and self-reliant student who possessed leadership skills that were the envy of her peers. Congratulations Kathleen.
“Kathleen has done an outstanding job of managing her TAFE study along with FACS workplace training and being the sole parent of her four-year-old son. Kathleen demonstrated her resilience by embracing continually study, with the Diploma of Community Services in 2016 and now a University degree in 2017.” – Andrew Foy-Brown.
2016 was a momentous year for Donna, who successfully completed a Certificate III and IV in Commercial Cookery and also her apprenticeship with highly regarded Millthorpe restaurant Tonic.
During her time at TAFE, she excelled in and out of the classroom. Her work was always completed to the highest quality, and her techniques and knowledge were both exemplary. She understood the importance of training, and did everything she could to maximise her skills and knowledge.
Donna was a very positive and influential member of all her classes. She was well respected and revered by other students and staff, and her talents were only matched by her tenacity and burning desire to achieve success.
“Donna is an excellent example of a mature-aged person with a previous and prestigious career following her passion to work and study in a new field and the power of the VET sector in allowing her to follow her dreams and achieve success in a totally new direction.” – John Olewicz.