SEVERAL northern suburbs residents are among the finalists in this year’s WA Training Awards.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year finalist Shayna Daniels juggled studying a diploma of event management with being a single mother, working and volunteering in her chosen field.
After suffering postnatal depression, the Clarkson resident was inspired to move into event management when she experienced the profound impact community events hosted by organisations like beyondblue had on people.
Miss Daniels is working to open her own business where she will employ indigenous trainees and aims to raise awareness and funds for organisations specialising in indigenous mental health.
As part of her studies, she is planning a fundraiser for Headspace in November.
Dental technician Lauren Bruce-Smith’s passion is making people smile, and she’s excited her work has led to becoming a finalist for the September 15 presentation dinner.
The Apprentice of the Year finalist constructs and repairs dentures and other appliances helping her patients eat, speak and smile without pain or embarrassment.
“It’s very hands on – not many people know how they are made,” she said.
Initially drawn to the creative aspect of the field, the Banksia Grove resident soon discovered it was patient satisfaction that drove her to succeed.
Miss Bruce-Smith’s abilities have seen her mentor more junior apprentices and secure fulltime employment a month after finishing her formal studies.
Girrawheen’s Harrison Salter-Browne is vying for the title of school-based Apprentice of the Year, while Robert Taylor, of Iluka, and Jane Goodfellow, of Kallaroo, are finalists in the Trainer of the Year category.
North Metropolitan TAFE was also announced as a finalist in the large Training Provider of the Year category in June.
Department of Training and Workforce Development acting director general Anne Driscoll said the awards program showed how marketable skills and quality training translated into jobs.
“Vocational education and training is the backbone of industry in WA and makes our state productive and competitive,” Ms Driscoll said.
“Nurturing talent through programs like this builds capacity which helps boosts our economy.
“Some finalists have overcome significant hurdles to come this far.
“They inspire us all as we learn of their stories and achievements.”
Winners will be announced at a presentation dinner at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre on September 15 and each winner will receive $5000.
Winners may also be eligible to compete against the nation’s best in the Australian Training Awards in Canberra this November.