Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute wow the world in Montreal

Representatives from Kangan Institute and Bendigo TAFE were recognised on the world stage at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) 2023 Awards of Excellence held in Montreal recently.

One of Kangan Institute’s exceptional leaders, Phillip Murphy PSM was awarded bronze in the Lifetime Achievement category while Bendigo TAFE student Desirae Kilduff received the bronze Outstanding Student Achievement Award.

CEO of Kangan Institute and Bendigo TAFE Sally Curtain said the recognition on the world stage was a testament to the achievements of Phill and Desirae and their far-reaching impacts.

“Receiving bronze awards in their categories against representatives from technical and vocational education providers throughout the world is truly remarkable!” said Ms Curtain.

“Being recognised on the global platform demonstrates Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute’s commitment to fostering the growth of quality skills and training among staff, such as Phill and for the benefit of students, like Desirae.”

Desirae Kilduff has completed a dual diploma in Human Resources & Leadership and Management, with Bendigo TAFE.

Named the 2022 Victorian Koorie Student of the Year (and a finalist in the national awards) Desirae has a passion for supporting First Nations Peoples into training and career pathways.

This interest was ignited during a traineeship at an organisation that had a Reconciliation Action Plan in place and a strong commitment to their First Nations employees. Inspired by this work, Desirae began exploring ways to forge a career in this direction.

Today, Desirae is employed as an Indigenous Program Manager while continuing to develop her potential through further studies, including a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment developed specifically for Indigenous learners and an Advanced Diploma in Leadership and Management and a Master of Indigenous Business Leadership.

On hearing of her success Desirae said:

“Recognition on a world stage has been a highlight of my career. I feel blessed to work with mob and am committed to continuing my learning to empower myself and support my community.”

CEO of Kangan Institute and Bendigo TAFE Sally Curtain said:

“Desirae is a great role model for education and training and an advocate in her community who can show first-hand that skills and training can lead to a rewarding career.

“I hope to continue to advocate for TAFE; vocational education and training is an alternative and cost-effective pathway that can lead to rewarding and highly remunerated careers,” said Ms Curtain.

“It has been a privilege to see Desirae excel at every turn through her education and we can’t wait to see what she does next – as her journey has really only just started!”.

Phillip Murphy PSM dedicated more than 30 years of his career to the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, initially starting as a sessional teacher back in 1985 and rapidly advancing his career from there.

For the last 20 years of his career Phill drove innovation for the broader organisation including transforming two struggling automotive colleges into the Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE), Australia's largest and most respected auto training institute.

This success led to partnership and specialisation model for the organisation with industry to deliver further centres of excellence in Health and Community and Food and Fibre.

More recently Phill led a program to digitise and enhance the student experience from enrolment to accreditation and was awarded the Public Service Medal in 2021 for his outstanding public service to vocational education and training, prior to retiring in December 2022.

On learning of his award win, Phill said:

“I am very pleased to accept this award, whilst also acknowledging many other fine award winners, including Desirae.

“I am forever grateful for my time in VET and TAFE in particular with its focus on industry and I see this award as VET industry recognition for the career I have thoroughly enjoyed.

“Of course none of this occurs in isolation from the great support and collaboration with many exceptional colleagues over those years. It has been a good time to reflect on those 30 odd years.”

CEO of Kangan Institute and Bendigo TAFE Sally Curtain said:

“Thanks to Phill’s early vision, ACE is now widely regarded as a vital part of Victoria’s automotive industry supply chain and is now a model for Austrade’s Australia-India Future Skills Initiative.”

“Phill has showed many times during his career that he is not afraid to think big and share his vision with the organisation in order to deliver quality student and industry outcomes.

“He is a long-time vocational education and training (VET) advocate and we are so proud of what he has achieved both personally and professionally and the legacy he leaves with us from his visions and planning.”

Australian TAFEs performed incredibly well in the awards with Holmesglen, Chisholm, QLD TAFE and RMIT also recognised.

The Awards seek to distinguish WFCP member institutions and individuals whose exceptional initiatives are strengthening applied learning and research outcomes and celebrate remarkable contributions to skills development and the wider economic and social development.

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