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Kangan Institute celebrate their students outstanding achievements

On Wednesday night, Kangan Institute celebrated its students outstanding achievements and their ability to overcome challenges to pursue their education at this year’s Industry Excellence Awards.

The awards recognised 76 outstanding individuals across all areas of study at Kangan Institute, with a female auto mechanic, a sustainable fashion designer and an inspirational young woman among the major award winners.

Automotive apprentice, Madison Giordano, was awarded Apprentice of the Year 2021 for her achievements whilst undertaking a Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology.

After starting her education in nursing, Ms Giordano found it wasn’t for her and decided to take a trip around Australia. It was during that trip, when her car broke down, that she found her passion for the mechanical trade.

“I was stuck west of Alice Springs for a couple of months, so I stayed at a truck company, and I just helped out around the place,” Ms Giordano said.

It was there that she got to see the heavy mechanical industry firsthand, and when she arrived home, she made the choice to start her career in the industry as a first-year apprentice and undertaking her certificate with Kangan Institute.

“The facilities are really good, they had everything and multiples of everything. There’s always something for you to use, have a look at, pull apart, put back together.”

As a female in a male dominated field, Ms Giordano has found her team incredibly supportive but acknowledges that at times she does get treated differently by others.

“It can be daunting, there’s not many girls in this trade,” she said. “It’s just not very common.”

“You have to rely on people taking a chance and you kind of have to prove yourself a bit more and prove to people you can actually do it. But once you do that, and you get started, it’s really good,” she said.

Her employer, Craig Mee of mee’s, considers Ms Giordano as an asset to their workplace. “She always went the extra yard, and you don’t always get that,” he said.

Kangan Institute 2022 Apprentice of the Year Madison Giordano

Inspirational Student of the Year, Maryam Safdari was celebrated for her ability to overcome challenges both in her past and as she re-settled in a new country.

As a budding photographer whilst living in Pakistan, Ms Safdari taught herself how to utilise her skills to document the life around her and began teaching herself English through watching movies. Through her photography, she was accepted as a journalist in her hometown of Pakistan.

“We were just living in a small town, and we were not allowed to go out for education. So, I just tried learning it all myself,” she said. “I was accepted as a journalist in my hometown and basically I was the first girl who stepped out in my hometown on the streets to capture men, women, or anyone.”

In 2010, Ms Safdari’s father moved to Australia to escape the ongoing conflict and targeting of her community in Pakistan. In July 2019, her father called the family and shared that they had secured a visa and they would be joining him in Australia.

“It was the biggest blessing that I’ve had in my life. I was like, finally we are out of danger. We will be in this country, and we will be able to do the things we always wanted to,” she said.

When Ms Safdari arrived, she was committed to furthering her English language skills and enrolled in a Certificate IV in Spoken and Written English with Kangan Institute. Ms Safdari also continued to excel in her studies as they moved online due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“I brought my dreams to Australia in order to fulfil them,” she said.

“All the things that I faced in Pakistan just made me believe in myself. If I believe in myself, I can do anything.”

Ms Safdari is now enrolled in a Certificate III in Education Support with Kangan Institute and aims to undertake a Certificate IV in Photography in the near future.

Kangan Institute 2022 Inspirational Student of the Year Maryam Safdari

Certificate IV in Disability student Joel Stibbard also won Kangan Institute’s 2022 Inspirational Student of the Year Award

Student of the year, Michaela Eddington, always wanted a career in fashion but prior to enrolling in Kangan Institute’s Advanced Diploma of Fashion Design and Merchandising she didn’t know if it was possible for her.

“Through studying this course many doors opened up. Not only did I discover my passion and true calling to be a fashion designer, but I managed to get two jobs in fashion which I am ecstatic about,” she said.

“The units I studied covered all areas of the fashion industry from the business side to creative side which gave me valuable industry knowledge and confidence to step out into the fashion industry.”

Mrs Eddington is passionate about sustainability and promotes this passion through her study and work.

“I remember learning about natural dying and using blueberries to dye a garment,” she said. “I also learned about using zero waste techniques and upcycling as well which definitely helped me become a better sustainable fashion designer.”

Mrs Eddington said she feels grateful to have the time to experiment with sustainable fashion practices under the guidance of her Kagan Institute teachers.

“I’m really grateful for everything I’ve learned and for having teachers with a wealth of industry experience,” she said.

“I felt that they were very happy to help, and helpful during lockdown especially when times were tough.”

In the future, Mrs Eddington aims to launch her own sustainable fashion brand, focusing on slow fashion, ethical production and reducing waste as best she can.

Kangan Institute 2022 Student of the Year, Michaela Eddington, with CEO Sally Curtain

Kangan Institute CEO Sally Curtain congratulated all award winners and highlighted the roles played by educators, industry and the Victorian Government in the students’ success.

“Congratulations to all award winners and nominees. It has been an incredible year for students, and I’m proud to celebrate their commitment to education in the face of many challenges.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the role of Kangan Institute’s teachers and staff, who have gone above and beyond to support our award winners to overcome these challenges and arrive at this milestone.

“I also acknowledge the role of our industry partners and the Victorian Government. Their support enables Kangan Institute to focus on providing high quality training that is aligned to industry, economic and community needs. Free TAFE has also enabled thousands of students access to training, some of whom are here tonight.”

Kangan Institute CEO Sally Curtain at the 2022 Industry Excellence Awards.

 

The full list of Kangan Institute Industry Award winners is:

Student of the YearMichaela Eddington
Apprentice of the YearMadison Giordano
Uncle Norm Hunter Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Student of the YearTamara Purcell
Guide Dogs Victoria Inclusivity and Accessibility AwardConnor Lunson
Inspirational Student AwardJoel Stibbard
Inspirational Student AwardMaryam Safdair
Runner up - Inspirational Student AwardAndrea Blanthorn
Runner up - Inspirational Student AwardDylan Kelly
Trainee of the YearTaylah Barnes
School-based Apprentice and Trainee of the YearJack Lloyd
Automotive Pre-Apprentice of the Year AwardSebastian Van Houte
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: School BasedChristian Barasso
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: AgriculturalLiam Millhouse
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Heavy Vehicle (Bus)Tyler Barton
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Heavy VehicleWyatt Lenffer
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Outdoor Power EquipmentDaniel Padula
A.R. (Dick) Jackson AwardMaung Lone
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: MotorcycleLee Chhor
Automotive Electrical Achievement AwardNoah Farrugia
Automotive Student of the Year: MotorsportJack Santa Maria
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Automotive ElectricalNathan Mosely
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Automotive Body RepairHayden Vincent
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Automotive Parts InterpretingAdam Wood
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Heavy Vehicle (Key Client)Harnley Tay
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Light Vehicle (Key Client)Caleb McLaughlin
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Automotive Refinishing TechnologyJing He
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Marine TechnologyLuke Taig
The Lindsay Fox Heavy Vehicle Technician Excellence AwardRhys Garner
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Light VehicleTim Nguyen
Automotive Inspirational Student of the YearDylan Kelly
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Automotive Body Repair (Key Client)Paul Rubino
Automotive Apprentice of the Year: Automotive Refinishing Technology (Key Client)Mark Reining
Sir Henry Royce Foundation Award for ExcellenceJoshua Chessum
Apprentice of the Year: Automotive / Lionel Gell School of Instruction Award in Automotive*Caleb McLaughlin
Student of the Year: Construction and IndustrialJonathan Wolodymyr Sheppard
Apprentice of the Year: Construction & IndustrialJames Angeloni
Apprentice of the Year: ElectricalHakan Gunsay
Apprentice of the Year: Engineering (Fabrication)James Angeloni
Apprentice of the Year: Engineering (Mechanical)Barry Collins
Apprentice of the Year: Construction On CampusLachlan Johnston
Apprentice of the Year: Construction On SiteBen Patrick
Apprentice of the Year: Bricklaying/BlocklayingDylan Beecham
Pre Apprentice of the Year: CarpentryPaolo Rapisarda
Pre Apprentice of the Year: PlumbingJohn Origizovic
Pre Apprentice of the Year: ElectricalJared Knowesly
Oustanding Certificate IV in Construction StudentDarryn Savage
Oustanding Workplace Based StudentKurt Fear
Outstanding Certificate III in Construction WaterproofingPaul Didham
VETDSSS Student of the Year: CarpentryJake Cuschieri
VETDSSS Student of the Year: PlumbingJay Maota
VETDSSS Student of the Year: ElectricalSelim Rakipi
VETDSSS Student of the Year: EngineeringAnas Babawi
Australian Steel Institute Key Client Student of the YearPhilippe Noel
Student of the Year: Diploma of ConstructionKaitlyn Rafferty
Inspirational Student of the Year: Construction and IndustrialJonathan Sheppard
Student of the Year: CommunityHannah Holec
Student of the Year - HorticultureBelinda Burtt
Student of the Year: Animal StudiesBelinda Lancaster
Student of the Year - Laboratory SciencesLee Peterson
Student of the Year - Food ProcessingSean Kanhai
Apprentice of the Year - Parks and GardensBen Barr
Apprentice of the Year: Landscape ConstructionTrent Cook
Student of the year - Veterinary NursingTaylor Tobacco
Student of the Year: HealthSarah Tomarchio
Apprentice of the Year: HairdressingCrystal McKinnon
Apprentice of the Year: Commercial CookeryJoshua Sreater
Apprentice of the Year: BarberingShelby Reeves
Student of the Year: Beauty Therapy (Diploma of Beauty Therapy)Christine Le
Outstanding Certificate III in BarberingFrederick Howe
Outstanding Computer Systems Technology (Open to all levels)Daniel Denkha
Apprentice of the Year: BakeryJamie Martin
Student of the Year: HospitalitySelena Licastro
Student of the Year: BakeryJayasuriya Sheron Silva
Student of the Year: Fashion (Diploma of Fashion)Olivia Barca
Student of the Year: Fashion (Advanced Diploma of Fashion)Michaela Eddington
Student of the Year: MillineryDebra McDonald

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