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Students shortlisted as finalists in Victorian Training Awards

Gordon's students, Maria Kelly and Felicity Barnett, finalist in the 2021 Victorian Training Awards.Finalists for the 2021 Victorian Training Awards have been announced, with two Gordon students in contention for honours.

The annual awards, hosted by the Department of Education and Training, recognises the achievements of individuals and organisations in the Victorian TAFE and training sector, including apprentices, trainees, students, teachers, training providers, employers and industry representatives.

Creative Maria Kelly, who recently completed an Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Vocational Student of the Year award. Representing The Gordon in the individual category, Maria is both humbled and honoured by the nomination.

"It all feels surreal. I can't believe that I actually got shortlisted for this and I am grateful to The Gordon for lighting this fire in me. I share this honour with people who have supported me along the way, my family and friends here and overseas. My tribe is delighted", shared Ms Kelly.

Joining Maria as a finalist in the prestigious state awards is Gordon apprentice, Felicity Barnett. Completing a Certificate III in Cookery, Felicity is one of three finalists in the Apprentice of the Year category.

Ms Barnett, now head chef at Canteen 3215 said, “I am thrilled and honoured to be a finalist this year. In a time of such uncertainty, I feel very lucky to be doing what I love, and to be recognised for the hard work I have put in to get to this point. I am extremely grateful to all those who have supported me, guided me, and cheered me on through all of my training - making it possible for me to achieve more than I ever could have imagined.” 

In its 67th year, the awards attracted the highest number of nominations for more than a decade, the individual categories proving most popular.

Joe Ormeno, CEO of The Gordon stated, “We are so pleased to see our students succeeding. They have endured unforeseen challenges in completing their training, and so to be recognised at this level for their outstanding achievements is a great testament to their dedication and perseverance.”

Finalists have been named across six award categories for individuals, as well as multiple categories for employers, training organisations and industry collaboration. Winners of the awards will be announced on Saturday, 16 October.