Vocational students honoured at MWLP Awards Night

Some 250 excited nominees, families, educators, host businesses and VIPs attended the MWLP Student Work Placement Awards recently.

Students were nominated by their host employers for outstanding performances during their work placement. These students are in years 11 and 12 and undertaking vocational courses as part of their Higher School Certificate, where work placement is a mandatory requirement.

Some 500 hosts were asked to nominate their best students (from 6,000 candidates) and the results were outstanding!

Winners l to r Stephanie Nguyen, Basma Koro, Rachael O’Toole who collected the award on behalf of Emmanuelle Ashby, Lachlan McGrady, Seanelle Everingham, Kelsey Commons, Gaius Commons, Corey Brabender, Abby Braga, Brianna Sivell, Megan Nguyen and John Stone (absent Raymond Azar)

Kelsey Commons from Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College was nominated not once, but three times across two different frameworks – Hospitality and Entertainment.

Peter Cassidy, Head Chef at Glass Brasserie Hilton Hotel said “Kelsey was a great student. She showed real enthusiasm and fit into the team well. We offered her an apprenticeship but she wanted to continue her studies.”

Both Horizon Theatre Company and 32 Hundred Lighting thought Kelsey was exceptional. Thanh Tran from 32 Hundred Lighting said “Her enthusiasm was outstanding and she had a great understanding of the business and spent her time wisely. She was really keen to learn from all the staff and was clearly one of the best students we have ever had.”

It was no wonder Kelsey was awarded MWLP’s Work Placement Student of the Year.

MWLP Work Placement Student of the Year Kelsey Commons

In Kelsey’s words “I am gobsmacked to win. The night was amazing. VET education has changed my perspective on education. VET is more practical and the knowledge is easier to hold onto. Since studying Hospitality my maths skills are a lot better and I’m much more enthusiastic in my studies. It is an honour to be nominated by my host employers and to win is just wonderful.”

Patrick O’Reilly, Principal of Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College added “We are very proud of our students being recognised at tonight’s Awards. I am proud to see some of our students in the winner’s category. MWLP does a fantastic job supporting Southern Cross. The single biggest benefit the Awards provide is recognition of students’ competence and confidence.”

“It is fabulous that Kelsey was recognised by three employers in two frameworks. She is destined to go a long way. In a world that can often be dominated by numbers, including the ATAR, tonight showcases that achievement comes in all sorts of ways and we should celebrate them all.”

The frameworks included Automotive, Business Services, Construction, Electrotechnology, Entertainment, Hospitality, Human Services, Metal & Engineering, Primary Industries, Retail Services and Tourism & Events and the winners are:

Automotive – Mechanical
John Stone – TAFE NSW, Campbelltown Campus

Business Services
Stephanie Nguyen – Mount St Joseph Milperra

Corey Brabender – John Therry Catholic High School

Raymond Azar – La Salle Catholic College

Dual winners Gaius Commons & Kelsey Commons – Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College

Hospitality – Food & Beverage
Brianna Sivell – Robert Townson High School

Hospitality – Kitchen Operations
Abby Braga – Meriden

Human Services
Megan Nguyen – Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College

Metal & Engineering
Seanelle Everingham – Airds High School

Primary Industries
Lachlan McGrady – St Gregory’s College

Retail Services
Emmanuelle Ashby – Ambarvale High School

Tourism & Events
Basma Koro – TAFE NSW, Campbelltown Campus

Dr David M Williams, MWLPs CEO, summarised the night “This is what Vocational Education and Training (VET) is all about. Not only do students reap the rewards from work placement and the connections they make with industry, employers are linked to the future workforce. It is a win/win for everyone.”

The night would not have been possible without our Platinum Sponsor NECA Training and Apprenticeships, our Gold Sponsors My Gateway and Skillsroad.com.au and our in-kind sponsors Sevaan Group and Wests Leagues Club.

About MWLP Linking Youth:

MWLP is a not-for-profit community organisation. Its work focuses on improving education and transition outcomes for all young people; especially in preparing them for the world of work, nurturing aspiration, career management and entrepreneurialism, whilst simultaneously addressing the ongoing needs of business. For more information please visit www.mwlp.com.au

Media relations contact: Sue Scobie Ph 0438 046 293 or email sue.scobie@mwlp.com.au