Picture: TAFE NSW Ambassador Nicholas Cowley with award winner Gerard Dennis and TAFE Illawarra teacher Colin Tritton.
Batemans Bay local Gerard Dennis never thought he would be working on the water when he left his home town of Walgett at the age of 15.
Yet now, thanks to his training with TAFE Illawarra Moruya, Gerard is not only working on the water as a Roads and Maritime Services trainee – he’s an award-winning maritime graduate.
Gerard was recently named the top maritime graduate across South Eastern NSW, receiving the Transport Student Award and the first-ever TAFE NSW Nicholas Cowley Prize for Maritime at TAFE Illawarra’s Annual Awards.
Moruya has become a hub for producing industry-leading maritime graduates under the guidance of local TAFE Illawarra teacher, Colin Tritton. Colin also trained Gerard’s TAFE NSW Prize namesake – Nicholas Cowley.
Nicholas was once TAFE Illawarra’s Student of the Year and one of Australia’s youngest maritime skippers thanks to undertaking TVET – TAFE While at School studies in Maritime with Colin at Moruya campus.
Gerard and Nicholas’ learning journey connection now continues out in the field.
“Nick and I cross paths at Narooma harbour all the time. I’m there two days each week running safety checks on the recreational boats, where Nick works chartering commercial boats.”
Having left his home to pursue an education, Gerard’s advice to others considering gaining a qualification is to: “Get as much exposure to what TAFE has to offer as you can.
“The more you realise what opportunities are out there and what training you can do to reach your goals, you can achieve anything.”
Having experienced the life-changing impact of a TAFE qualification, both Gerard and Nick are now encouraging the community to explore their study options at Choices Day on Saturday 4 June, 9am to 12pm, at TAFE Illawarra’s Moruya and Ulladulla campuses. You can see all other Choices Day locations on this event page.
TAFE Illawarra’s Manager of District Operations for the South Coast, Paul Goodwin, says: “Choices Day gives the community a chance to explore courses on offer in Semester 2, 2016 and enrol.
“It’s a great way for people to seek career advice from our expert staff, get helpful information on how to study now, pay later with VET FEE-HELP student loans, see if they are eligible for fee-free study options.”
There will be information on options to get qualified faster and at a lower cost with Recognition of Prior Learning. Visitors to Choices Day can also get assistance with creating a USI (Unique Student Identifier), which all future students must have before enrolling.
Enrolments for Semester 2, 2016 open on Saturday 4 June. For more information on Choices Day and what courses are on offer, check out our Course Search tool or call 1300 766 123.