Vocational Student of the Year

Winner: Ashlee Coleman - Certificate III and Certificate IV in Community Services

Employer: Machado Joseph Disease Foundation
Registered training provider: Charles Darwin University

After starting a degree she discovered wasn’t right for her, Ashlee Coleman later enrolled in a Certificate III in Community Services then a Certificate IV, which she graduated from in May 2016. She chose community services for her interest in working with disadvantaged groups such as youth and women at risk, cultural minorities and Aboriginal people. She’s now also studying a psychology degree.

Ashlee, 20, successfully integrated her on and off-the-job training into her work placement, applying knowledge from her classes to real-life work situations. Training in both certificates significantly increased Ashlee’s teamwork, leadership and communication skills. Her most recent placement was so successful that she continues to work there as a volunteer.

Born and bred in Darwin, Ashlee loves to travel and recently returned from an overseas trip where she gained more awareness of how other Western societies live, further motivating her to continue her studies in this area.

Runner up: Ayak Magok - Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care

Employer: Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School
Registered training provider: Transforming Training

Ayak Magok’s family came to Darwin from Sudan as refugees. As the eldest child, Ayak has always taken care of her siblings, so childcare was her natural career choice. She commenced study of a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care in 2015 with a casual voluntary work placement in child care at the Holy Spirit Catholic Primary School, finishing her study in November 2015.

Ayak, 21, overcame early language difficulties to become an asset to her employer, who spoke highly of her ability to relate well to the children and staff. She was soon offered a paid part-time position and more responsibility. Ayak was able to balance her work, home and study life to successfully complete her Certificate III and commence studying the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Ayak is heavily involved in Darwin’s multicultural community and her local church, recently helping to organise a World Refugee Day event.

Last updated: 24 June 2019

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