GOTAFE’s Benalla & Wangaratta Campuses held their annual GOTAFE Trade Awards Gala Dinner on Wednesday 5th December at Oaks at the Wangaratta Turf Club. The awards saw us recognise the achievements of our apprentice students at a gala dinner, attended by apprentices, their employers, business owners and guests.
Awards were presented to apprentices in the first, second, third or fourth years from Automotive, Building & Construction, Electrical, Engineering, Hair & Beauty, Hospitality, Baking and Plumbing learning areas.
This year, Paul de Gelder was our special guest speaker. Paul spoke to guests about his life journey that led him to a career as a navy diver, how he survived a shark attack in Sydney Harbour where he lost an arm and a leg, and how he now travels the world as at top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids.
Jessica Plum from Badaginnie was announced as GOTAFE’s 2018 Apprentice of the Year for Benalla & Wangaratta campuses. Jessica, a Hospitality Apprentice, was one of the eight final year apprentices who were awarded the Outstanding Apprentice Achievement Awards for their respective learning areas.
Jessica recently completed SIT30816 Certificate III in Hospitality (Commercial Cookery) with GOTAFE and is now working with Benalla Gallery Café.
“I am proud to have been nominated. I have always been made to feel comfortable by my trainers at GOTAFE. Food is my passion and GOTAFE has equipped me with the skills I need to be able to go into the future. I feel like I can go anywhere with the training I have undertaken here at GOTAFE. It has allowed me to believe in myself.”
GOTAFE Trainer Glenn Kealy has nothing but high praise for Jessica. “Jessica joined this group of apprentices in 2016 while completing Certificate III in Hospitality. She then took the next step and commenced an apprenticeship.”
“From the very beginning, Jessica always wanted to learn and took everything on board to better herself. Jessica has continued to be a standout and in July of this year, she competed in the AUSTAFE Culinary Competition where she won a bronze medal. Her true character shone through earlier this year when the group faced adversity. Jessica was practically the glue that held the group together. She was an exceptional support to the other students and also to me as her trainer.”
Jessica is a dedicated apprentice who gives 100% at work. In her downtime, Jessica likes to tend to her garden where she grows her own produce to use in her cooking. She also enjoys yoga and also is a current Lions Club Member where she assists with raffles and fundraising.
As long as she can be creative and continue to learn, Jessica plans to continue to work in food as it’s her passion.