On Friday 28th March, Durack Institute of Technology held its annual ceremony for the graduating students and award winners of 2013.
The event was held in the Batavia Hall at Geraldton Grammar School, and saw approximately 300 guests attend including local dignitaries Ian Blayney MLA, Shane Love MLA, Mid West Chamber of Commerce President Trevor Lake and representatives from partnering agencies, communities, industries and employers.
Durack received approximately $11,000 in donations from these partnering agencies, communities, industries and employers which supported the presentation of 70 outstanding achievement awards to students excelling in individual courses throughout 2013.
2013 saw the following graduating student numbers
- Diplomas & Advanced Diplomas - 129
- Geraldton Certificates I to IV - 1592
- Carnarvon Certificates I to IV - 181
- Exmouth Certificates I to IV - 52
- Offshore Certificates I to IV - 8
Total for Durack Institute of Technology - 1970 graduating students in 2013
The keynote speaker for the evening was Paul Dyer, CEO and Director of Nursing at St John of God Hospital Geraldton, sharing stories of aspiration and achievement about his journey from a young adult starting off in the health care industry to his current role as a leader, father and community member. Mr Dyer’s presentation was filled with comical anecdotes about life, at times engaging with audience members to deliver a message about striving for excellence and not mediocrity.
The other guest speaker for the evening was the 2013 West Australian Vocational Student of the Year, Natasha Farr. Ms Farr was also receiving her Diploma of Environmental Monitoring and Technology and Diploma of Laboratory Technology that evening as a graduating student. Ms Farr’s presentation was aimed at encouraging other students (and the community in general) to never let obstacles hold them back from achieving their dreams. Ms Farr cited her fellow classmate and mother of six -Michelle McIntosh (who won last year’s Rio Tinto Aboriginal Student of the Year) as a source of inspiration for her to achieve her own goals.
The Tuscan themed menu for the event was prepared and served by the Hospitality and Commercial Cookery students from Durack’s Zeewijk Training Restaurant under the supervision and support of their Chef Lecturers.
The ceremony closed with the highlight of the evening, the presentation of the major award winners for 2013. Representatives from the four major sponsoring bodies were invited to recognize all finalists on stage with individual presentations and announce the winner of the $1,000 prize for their respective category.
Aboriginal Student of the Year was sponsored by Rio Tinto with representatives Michelle Mackenzie and Roland Hayden attending the ceremony to recognise these finalists for their achievements
- Tyson McEwan from Geraldton qualifying with a Certificate II in General Education for Adults and Certificate II in Seafood Industry (Fishing Operations)
- Kevina Mitchell from Geraldton qualifying with a Certificate IV Community Services and Certificate IV YouthWork
- Regina Richardson from Geraldton qualifying with a Certificate III Community Services, Certificate IV Community Services and Certificate IV in Youth Work
- Liam Ryder from Carnarvon qualifying with a Certificate III Business
Regina Richardson was named the winner of the 2013 Rio Tinto Aboriginal Student of the Year. During her acceptance speech, Ms Richardson attributed the driving force behind her commitment to her study, as the need for more skilled Aboriginal Community Service professionals in the community. Ms Richardson also cited the importance of her providing an example to her children about pursuing studies past high school as an important part of her journey. In 2010, she estimated that from a total of 204 descendants on her grandmother’s side, less than a dozen had a qualification.
Apprentice of the Year was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Geraldton with representatives Laurie Holland and Geoff Burton attending the ceremony to recognise these finalists for their achievements
- Polly Bamford from Carnarvon qualifying with a Certificate III Hairdressing - endorsed by her current employer, LeAnne Day from Heddi’s Hair Salon
- Amansha Brian from Geraldton qualifying with a Certificate III in Engineering - Fabrication Trade (Heavy/Welding) - endorsed by his past employer, Peter Shilling from RCR Mining
- Kim Ferrara from Dongara qualifying with a Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical Technology (Light Vehicle) –endorsed by his current employer, Russell Chapman from Mid West Mobile Mechanics
- Zoe Filgate from Geraldton qualifying with a Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) -endorsed by her current employers, Steve and Merrill Dalgleish from Dalgleish Catering
Kim Ferrara was named the winner of the 2013 Rotary Club of Geraldton Apprentice of the Year.Mr Ferrara acknowledged the support of his employer, family and Durack Lecturers as the main reason for his success. He also noted his passion for the automotive industry, interest in emerging trends and professional development as important elements to his success in 2013/2014.
Trainee of the Year was sponsored by Karara Mining Ltd with representatives Steve Campbell, Peter Marwood and George Sauvell attending the ceremony to recognise these finalists for their achievements
- Tess Carmichael from Geraldton qualifying with a Certificate III in Business - endorsed by her previous employer, Wendy Cowley from the City of Greater Geraldton
- Jemma Cross from Exmouth qualifying with a Certificate II in Business - endorsed by her current employer, Denise Bailey from the Shire of Exmouth
- Aimee Rengel from Geraldton qualifying with a Certificate II in Business - endorsed by her current employer, Tracey Williamson from the Department of Parks and Wildlife
Aimee Rengel was named the winner of the 2013 Karara Mining Ltd Trainee of the Year.When accepting this major award on stage, Ms Rengel noted the dedicated support of her employer, the Department of Parks and Wildlife which gave her the opportunity to develop a broad range of skills in the workplace. As a result, Ms Rengel says she has a clear desire to further her education and reach her goal of moving into a management role.
The final major award of the evening was Vocational Student of the Year sponsored by the Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The competition for this award was extremely high and for the first time in Durack history, five finalists were selected. Chamber President, Trevor Lake attended the ceremony to recognise these finalists for their achievements
- Lynsey Allen, an international student from Ireland qualifying with a Diploma of Laboratory Technology
- Debra Brand from Geraldton qualifying with a Certificate IV in Beauty Therapy, Diploma of Beauty Therapy
- Certificate II in Nail Technology Juliet Camerer from Geraldton qualifying with a Diploma of Counselling, Diploma of Community Services Work and Diploma of Youth Work
- Samantha Punch from Carnarvon qualifying with a Certificate IV in Education Support
- Colin Sherman from Geraldton qualifying with a Certificate IV Digital Media Technologies
Colin Sherman was named the 2013 Mid West Chamber of Commerce and industry Vocational Student of the Year.As Mr Sherman received his award on stage, he recognized that his recent involvement in the technical support for the local racing industry providing transmission and recording of races was a significant personal achievement for him. Mr Sherman also mentioned the support of his lecturers and family which helped him build on his self-motivation, initiative and develop a strong confidence in his ability to achieve quality results.
All four winners of Durack’s major awards will be encouraged to enter the prestigious Western Australian Training Awards, and be mentored by the 2013 West Australian Vocational Student of the Year, graduating Durack student - Natasha Farr.
Managing Director Bert Beevers and the Corporate Executive Team will also be attending the regional graduations and award ceremonies in Carnarvon and Exmouth to celebrate the achievements of those students during early April.
For further information on this media release contact (08) 9956 2749 or firstname.lastname@example.org