2023 NSW Training Awards - Winners


Our Winning Apprentices and Trainees

Posted on 18/09/23 in

Get to know our winning apprentices from this years' state event!

Get to know our winning apprentices at the 2023 NSW Training Awards.
We are proud to announce three Australian Apprentices currently working with Apprenticeship Support Australia have won an award at this year’s state event. Aaliyah Morley won the NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award, Molly Smith, who won the NSW School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year award and Bridie Searle who won the NSW Trainee of the Year award.
Congratulations to Aaliyah, Molly and Bridie for your hard work and dedication in achieving these awards.

2023 NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year - Aaliyah Morley

2023 NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Qualification: Certificate III in School Based Education Support

Trained by: KARBEN Training Solutions

Employed by: Department of Education

School: Peel High School

Region: New England

Aaliyah Morley felt it was her responsibility to pursue a teaching qualification. “As a proud Gomeroi woman, I want to be part of the change,” she says. “I want to help close the education gap for Indigenous Peoples and link students with learning their local Gamilaraay language and culture.”

Aaliyah’s dedication to what she does has her balancing a full schedule. Alongside studying for the HSC, she has commitments to coaching, her community (through Indigenous dance and weaving), a role as a Student Representative and her Certificate III in School Based Education Sport, where she works at the local primary school and runs her own cultural activities at recess and lunch.

While her achievements have been personally rewarding, they also ripple throughout her community. “My qualification has impacted my students, my community and my family – I am the only one to achieve an SBAT, which encourages other young people to consider this pathway.”

2023 NSW School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year - Molly Smith

2023 NSW School Based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Qualification: Certificate III in Health Services Assistance

Trained by: TAFE NSW

Employed by: Hunter New England Local Health District

School: McCarthy Catholic College

Region: New England

Some people are hardwired to help others. Molly Smith is one of these gems and, after witnessing the incredible impact of nurses, she knew that she wanted to take on this profession.

This led her to a School-based Traineeship via a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance at a regional hospital. “It lets me study something I’m passionate about, but it’s also given me a place where I feel at home,” says Molly. “The team I work with makes me feel accepted for who I am.”

This realisation was a big deal for Molly, who has, at times, faced self-doubt and mental health challenges. “The support from my colleagues and teachers makes me believe in myself.”

With plans to become a Registered Nurse after university, Molly is already on track for her dream career. “Nursing has given me confidence, valuable skills and a sense of belonging – I’m excited about what my future holds.”

2023 NSW Trainee of the Year - Bridie Searle

2023 NSW Trainee of the Year

Qualification: Certificate IV in Project Management Practice

Trained by: Australian College of Commerce & Management

Employed by: Thales Australia Limited

Region: Central & Northern Sydney

In 2022, Bridie Searle had never been on a ship. Cut to today, and Bridie manages million-dollar maritime projects, something made possible through her vocational pathway.

At 17, Bridie began her Certificate IV in Project Management Practice. Her love of hands-on learning through school left no doubt in her mind that a VET pathway was for her. “The balance of theory and practical offers an unmatched training program – it was pivotal to my success.”

And she’s earned great respect along the way. “Bridie has fast-tracked her qualification and is now the most sought-after Project Superintendent within our company,” says Natalie Genc, Bridie’s Training & Capability Manager.

Bridie’s day-to-day role sees her working on Destroyers, guided missiles or being a crane co-ordinator – an incredible learning curve for someone her age. “When I reflect on the person and professional I’ve become during this traineeship, it fills me with pride. I’ve picked up so many skills that are transferable across multiple roles and industries.”


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