TAFE Western Broken Hill College Team Leader Byron Hooker is a young star on the rise and has just been announced as a finalist in the prestigious NSW Premier’s Awards.
Mr Hooker, who has been with TAFE Western for more than a decade and has excelled in his current role for more than 2.5 years, is one of three finalists in the Anthea Kerr Award for Individual Excellence - an award that recognises future public sector leaders for their outstanding effort and commitment to the NSW Public Sector.
“As College Team Leader at Broken Hill, Byron has a complex and busy role offering direction and support to students, staff and local businesses regarding their training needs,” Relieving TAFE Western Institute Director Susan Carey said.
“Byron is passionate about the Broken Hill community and is welcoming, supportive and knowledgeable, making the job of fellow TAFE colleagues simpler and stress free.
“He is not only very talented and a huge asset to the Broken Hill community, he is a valuable member of the TAFE Western team and a very deserving finalist in the Anthea Kerr Award for Individual Excellence.”
A proud but humble Mr Hooker said the award nomination came as a complete shock, but he was thrilled to be recognised in this prestigious award.
“It’s a massive honour to be nominated for this award and to be a finalist in such a quality field and have the successes I already have has been amazing,” Mr Hooker said.
“However my ability to receive recognition from the NSW Premier is as much a credit to my colleagues for the amazing team dynamic that we have and the overall outstanding performance of TAFE Western.”
TAFE Western was also announced as one of three finalists in the Driving Public Sector Diversity section, with their Building an Aboriginal Health Worker Skilled Workforce initiative with Western NSW Local Health District winning recognition from NSW Premier Mike Baird.
This program continues to deliver successful employment outcomes for Aboriginal students across regional and remote NSW.
Since the Certificate IV Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care qualification delivery commenced in 2007 to 14 students in partnership with Western NSW Local Health District, it has exceeded all expectations and continues to enhance health and welfare options across NSW communities, from Coonabarabran to Cowra, Brewarrina to Bathurst and Wilcannia to Wellington.
“More than 195 students have gone on to complete the qualification with 80% of graduates (156 students) remaining in full-time Health related employment,” Ms Carey said.
“Many graduates have progressed into senior positions in Aboriginal health, chronic care, sexual health and diabetes management. Others have articulated into further tertiary study in Nursing, Mental Health and Community Development.
“The best part is the program's momentum continues, helping increase the number of highly-skilled registered Aboriginal Health Practitioners in regional NSW while bringing vital medical service and employment into regional and remote communities.
“The associated value to communities' viability and morale is priceless.”
This is the second year in a row TAFE Western is in the running for a Premier’s Award, after IPROWD won the Building Stronger and Safer Communities category last year.
Award winners will be announced at a special presentation in Sydney on October 25. For more information about the Premier’s Awards, please visit www.publicserviceawards.nsw.gov.au
** Photo of Byron Hooker supplied by the Barrier Daily Truth in Broken Hill.