Merriwa Central School's Tarnisha Winsor shines at 2018 NSW Training Awards

CASSILIS student Tarnisha Winsor has taken out the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year honours at the 2018 NSW Training Awards.

Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen congratulated the youngster, saying she was acknowledged for a school-based traineeship in Business Services at Upper Hunter Shire Council as part of her HSC studies at Merriwa Central School. 

“Tarnisha is an inspiration to any pupil thinking about a Vocational Education and Training (VET) pathway after their HSC,” Mr Johnsen said.

“Her council manager says Tarnisha’s skills have grown considerably as she gained confidence to the point where she was elected president of the Merriwa School Representative Council (SRC) and school captain for 2018.

“At work, the traineeship has led her to take a higher profile in community functions including as organiser of council’s NAIDOC celebrations last year.”

Tarnisha said she took on the traineeship to learn new skills and improve her chances of getting a job after the HSC.

“I found it hard at first to juggle my school studies with the VET studies,” she admitted.

“But, it forced me to be more organised and plan ahead to complete the work as sometimes I just couldn’t attend the Business Services classes.

“The traineeship was also helpful as the things I was learning in the classroom I could put into practice at work, which made the learning experience much more enjoyable and easier to understand.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro said the students, educators and training providers represented at the NSW Training Awards were living proof NSW’s Smart and Skilled VET system was a first-class choice for a rewarding career and lifestyle.

“We’ve committed $2.2 billion to skills development initiatives in the recent Budget including $285 million to make all apprenticeships fee-free over the next four years so we expect to see many more VET students emulate Tarnisha’s success in future,” he explained.

“I congratulate Tarnisha on her achievement in winning the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year award and wish her all the best when she represents NSW at the Australian Training Awards in Sydney in November.”

The NSW Training Awards are conducted annually by the NSW Department of Industry in recognition of outstanding achievements in VET.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year Award is sponsored by the NSW Skills Board.