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Creative endeavours lead to honours

Maria Tet Kelly and Felicity Barnett GAE winners 2021.JPG

The artistic talents of students at The Gordon have shone through to take top honours in the 2021 Gordon Awards for Excellence.

Student of the Year, Maria Kelly, who completed an Advanced Diploma of Graphic Design, chose the course to advance her skills and gain new perspectives from trainers and peers. “This course was the perfect way to upskill, to stay current and to build upon my overseas education and experiences”, shared Ms Kelly.

“Currently I am running my own business at Kubo Kreative, freelancing as a graphic designer and communications consultant”, continued Ms Kelly. As a mature aged Filipino born student, Ms Kelly, who considers graphic design her third language, is raising two children while growing her own agency where she intends to employ people of various backgrounds, including those with a disability. 

In another twist of vision and creativity, Felicity Barnett, who completed a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, was awarded Apprentice of the Year. “As a young girl I was always in the kitchen producing and making food for my family and friends to enjoy. My favourite part was always watching people’s faces light up when they ate the food I made, something which has stuck with me whilst I have completed my apprenticeship”, said Ms Barnett.

Enjoying the art of cooking and being able to express ideas on the plate has motivated Ms Barnett to create her own recipes which she shares on her Instagram page, @cookingwithfelicity. “I love how you can use the same ingredient and they can be completely different from dish to dish”, stated Ms Barnett. Employed at Café 3215, Ms Barnett hopes to one day open her own café. 

As the most prestigious event on The Gordon’s calendar, the Gordon Awards for Excellence recognises students who have gained the highest standards and displayed outstanding commitment to training, community involvement and leadership.

Joe Ormeno, CEO of The Gordon, was impressed with the commitment all students showed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, “Last year proved particularly challenging for our students as they moved to remote learning for the majority of the year, yet the dedication and perseverance they demonstrated was incredible.

The Awards allow us to recognise the efforts and determination of our students. We are particularly excited to see each of them take on their next challenge of making a difference in the workplace and broader community”
, said Mr Ormeno.

This year the virtual event saw 37 finalists vie for $11,000 in prize money across 16 award categories. The nominees represented a broad cross-section of trade and vocational areas, including more than 3,500 apprentices and trainees from the 14,000 students who undertook their training on-campus, online, off-campus and in the workplace with The Gordon last year.