For more than 10 years the Rotary Club of Shepparton South has been helping Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE students achieve their vocational study goals.
Each year the club awards up to six TAFE vocational scholarship to support students who are enrolled in TAFE courses in Shepparton.
Last Wednesday night, four TAFE students were awarded scholarships of $500 each and a certificate of recognition of their achievements.
The students — Bahati (Grace) Nyangela, Michelle Rhodes, Louise Nuttall and Jason Miller — were awarded the scholarships to help buy their books, tools of the trade, fees and any other expenses they encounter during their studies.
Rotarian and GOTAFE electrical teacher Jo O’Mahony said the project was initiated in 2004 through the club’s president Nigel Liggins.
‘‘The idea of the awards is to support vocational students at GOTAFE to achieve their dreams by getting their qualification and landing themselves a job,’’ she said.
‘‘We want to give students who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity an added incentive to finish their studies and help them with their fees.’’
After discussions with GOTAFE staff and several Rotarians, the criteria for the awards were established, and in 2006 the first scholarships were awarded.
Across the years the club has supported the continuation of the project and has given between $2000 and $3000 each year to up to six applicants, totalling over $30 000 in scholarships since they began.
Along with these awards, an honorary award will be presented for the first time tonight to a GOTAFE student.
The Kevin Jordan Bursary Award was established following the recent death of the long-time Rotary Club of Shepparton South member.
The award will be presented to a student who is excelling in their studies, at a Rotary Club changeover meeting tonight at Shepparton’s Overlander Hotel from 6.30 pm.
Bahati (Grace) Nyangela
Grace is a refugee from the Congo and spent many years in a refugee camp in Africa.
When she arrived in Australia she went to school at the English Language Centre followed by McGuire College, Shepparton.
Grace is studying a Certificate III in Individual Support, which she will use as a pathway to a career in Nursing at La Trobe University in Shepparton.
Her parents Gideon and Sophia are proud of her achievement.
Michelle is a mother of four and after many years of looking after her family, she decided to look after herself and gain a qualification.
She is doing a Diploma of Community Services and has only six months of the course to complete.
Michelle hopes to become a family, children’s or youth support worker or a mental health worker.
Louise is a mother of three young children and is following her dream to become a nurse.
She is studying a Diploma of Nursing and has recently gained employment working casually with Tarcoola Villages.
On completion of her course, Louise is hoping to go on to study a Bachelor of Nursing at La Trobe University.
She has a keen interest in midwifery and bush nursing in remote areas.
Jason is studying a Certificate III in Individual Support and hopes to make a career move into aged care.
He is very much a people person and enjoys talking to his Nan and next-door neighbour.
Jason hopes to further his studies with a Diploma of Nursing in years to come.
His parents Russell and Sue Miller were pleased to witness their son receiving the award.