Orange Certificate III Commercial Cookery student Donna Fitzgerald (pictured, left) was yesterday crowned TAFE NSW Western RTO’s Outstanding Graduating Student of the Year for 2016.
Ms Fitzgerald outshone thousands of talented and dedicated students from across western NSW, accepting the award surrounded by family and her employer at a special presentation at Orange’s Highland Heritage Estate.
“These Outstanding Graduating Student of the Year Awards are nominated by our teachers and recognise our most passionate, dedicated, industrious and skilful students,” TAFE NSW Regional General Manager Kate Baxter said.
“Donna excelled in and out of the classroom during her time studying in Orange and working as an apprentice at Tonic Restaurant in Millthorpe. She is well respected by her peers, is an exceptionally talented student and chef and a very deserving winner of our most prestigious award.”
Ms Fitzgerald was nominated for the award by TAFE NSW Orange Tourism and Hospitality Teacher John Olewicz, who was delighted she took home the top award as well as winning the Vocational Student of the Year Award.
“Donna has undertaken Commercial Cookery at TAFE following a successful career in Law and during her studies at TAFE she was a very positive and influential member of her class,” Mr Olewicz said.
“Donna is an excellent example of a mature-aged person with a previous and successful career following her passion and dreams in a totally new direction.”
Dubbo Certificate III in Accounts Administration student Rowan Jayasuriya was runner-up Outstanding Graduating Student of the Year, and claimed top honours in the TVET Student of the Year Award category.
Diploma of Enrolled Nursing student Angie Brown (pictured, right) from Dubbo took home the Aboriginal Student of the Year Award.
Full list of Award winners: