Kyabram dairy farmer and GOTAFE agriculture student Kerrilyn Bassett has won Trainee of the Year at this year’s Victorian Training Awards.
Twenty-three-year-old Bassett received a $10 000 fellowship for her achievement and will go on to represent the state at a national level.
Ms Bassett was genuinely surprised to take out the title, at a recent awards ceremony at Melbourne’s Crown Casino.
“I had a close look at the other finalists and had no idea it would be my name they would call out… I actually hesitated when they did called my name, “ she explains.
“I was thrilled to take out the award but haven’t had much time for the achievement to sink in.
Within hours of winning the award, she was back on the farm in Kyabram for early-morning milking and has been kept busy since on the back end of a hectic calving season.
“I haven’t had time to stop and think about it properly,” she explains.
She has, however, considered the incredible opportunities she has already had in her short career through the numerous awards she has collected and an opportunity to travel through New Zealand as part of a United Dairy Farmers of Victoria study tour earlier this year.
“The networking opportunities have been amazing and will no doubt continue… I love meeting other people in the industry and sharing ideas,” she said.
While working fulltime at Kyabram’s Peppertree Dairy, Ms Bassett has been studying hard to achieve her Certificate IV in Agriculture (Dairy production)with an aim to study for the diploma next year.
Her efforts have been recognised in winning the Certificate III Dairy Trainee of the Year for 2014 and GOTAFE Shepparton’s Most Outstanding Student of the Year award from the National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE).
GOTAFE Agriculture and NCDEA Dairy Farming Industry Trainer, James Goulding describes Bassett as a quiet achiever and very deserving of her awards and subsequent fellowship.
“She has been an outstanding student and always completed her assessments to a consistently high standard,” Mr Goulding explains.
“Kerrilyn is an excellent representative of GOTAFE and the NCDE as well as an ambassador to the Australian Dairy Industry. She is always willing to help other students and has been a mentor to many of her classmates,” he said.
Mr Goulding explains GOTAFE has seen an increase in female agriculture students as a direct result of Kerrilyn’s inspiring story, a huge positive in an industry where young females are not all that common.
She has been praised by many for her dedication and work ethic and has relished working in the dairy industry since leaving a career in retail only three years ago.
Despite having no previous experience as a farm hand she has excelled in her field and loves sharing her knowledge and putting into practice the many skills she has gained through her studies.
“The most rewarding part of my study is being able to come back to the farm and share the knowledge I’ve gained and help influence decisions on the farm,” Bassett said.
“I love the practical trips, excursions and farm visits, getting out of the classroom and physically seeing what we’ve learnt put in action,” she said.