Picture: Stuart Ayres, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events presents TAFE NSW Illawarra's Ashleigh Barnes with the 2016 Student Achiever Award for Tourism and Hospitality.
After topping the State in the Tourism, Travel and Events HSC subject, Bega’s Ashleigh Barnes has gone on to win the 2016 Minister’s Student Achiever Award for Tourism and Hospitality.
The 18-year-old received the prestigious award today at a special ceremony at Sydney’s Parliament House, which celebrated the importance of professional training and encourages talented students to progress their tourism careers.
Ashleigh received the award for her outstanding academic achievement in the Tourism, Travel and Events HSC subject she studied at TAFE NSW Illawarra’s Bega campus. The subject was delivered via the TAFE While at School program.
On winning the award, Ashleigh says: “It’s such a shock, I wasn’t expecting it. But I’m really proud to have been recognised.
“I’m thankful for my TAFE teacher, Debbie Meers, for nominating me for the award.
“I couldn’t have achieved the results I did without the support of my teachers, who were always encouraging and supportive,” she says.
“They helped us all to achieve the best we could.”
While Ashleigh is now enjoying a gap year working at Bega’s local tourist hot spot, the Bega Cheese Café, she says her TAFE studies have placed in her good stead for university.
“I’m heading to Griffith University next year to study a Bachelor in International Tourism and Hospitality Management.
“I’m really looking forward to it. I feel confident that I’ll be able to do well in my subjects, having already developed knowledge and skills in the industry while I was still at school.”
On her long term goals, Ashleigh says: “The big dream is to establish a career in hotel management. I can’t wait to see what the future holds and where in the world my career takes me.”
Belinda Mackinnon, TAFE NSW Illawarra’s Relieving Institute Director, says Ashleigh is a talented and driven young professional with a promising career ahead of her.
“Ashleigh’s resounding success and skills are a testament to the quality of training she received from our dedicated teachers at TAFE NSW Illawarra’s Bega campus.
“The skills and experience she has gained during her hands-on studies make her an asset to her future employer and will allow her to excel in the industry,” says Ms Mackinnon.