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Awards recognise students' successes

Leanne Chirgwin Student of the Year, Gerritt Maiai Apprentice of the Year.The Gordon Awards for Excellence has celebrated students who have gained the highest standards and displayed outstanding commitment to training, community involvement and leadership.

The prestigious event has seen Student of the Year, Leanne Chirgwin, who completed a Certificate III in Horticulture, come full circle.

"I left home and school when I was fifteen and had never studied or passed anything in my life. So had someone said two years ago I would go back to school and become a qualified horticulturist, I would have laughed.”

Ms Chirgwin followed her interest as a green thumb to create a new career path after losing her employment due to COVID. 

“Following my passion for plants and returning to school has changed the direction my life can now take in my employment, thanks to the teachers who believed in me and gave me the confidence to achieve my dream.” 

Certificate III in Cabinet Making student, Gerritt Maiai, was recognised as The Gordon’s Apprentice of the Year.

"After working as a labourer for two years, I decided I wanted to gain a qualification in cabinet making. I enjoy building things and knew the industry offered creativity, craftsmanship and great opportunities.”

Joe Ormeno, CEO of The Gordon shared a few words.

“We provide opportunities for people to unlock their potential through innovative, flexible and quality education and training. This event is testament of our students continued commitment and endeavour to succeed, and as we now watch them flourish and move forward in their career, many will become leaders of industry and drive ground breaking solutions.”

Thirty finalists were recognised for their outstanding achievements at the Awards, which saw $11,000 in prize money distributed across 16 award categories. The nominees represented a broad cross-section of trade and vocational programs, including more than 4,000 apprentices and trainees from the 14,500 students who studied on-campus, off-campus, full and part-time, online and through industry based education and training opportunities in 2021.

Click here to meet all the award winners.