Yass Valley tourism officer Georgia Patmore is ‘Trainee of the Year’, named at the Illawarra and South East Regional Training Awards.
The awards annually mark the excellence of trainees, teachers and organisations in vocational education and training across the state.
Ms Patmore said she was “over the moon!” with the announcement.
She began her traineeship with the guidance of Yass Valley tourism manager Sean Haylan in 2016, finishing up over summer 2017/18.
The traineeship, combined with vocational support and guidance, “helped me found my career as well as finish my degree,” she said.
Ms Patmore had previously started a uni degree in tourism but, unsure it was the right industry for her, dropped to part-time studies.
Beginning her traineeship with Yass Valley Council in 2016, by 2017 her confidence lifted with a win as the Markus Gibson Huck ‘Young Achiever’ in tourism at the Canberra Region Tourism Awards.
Ms Patmore says her council traineeship taught her how to manage time, and how to work independently. It also confirmed that tourism was the right field for her. She has returned to her degree full-time, but has also stepped up into a supervisory role at the tourism office.
Her traineeship had given her the confidence to do it, she said.
For the awards, “you put your achievements, what you’ve done, and you’re up against other great competitors in the region,” she said.
“I was very open with my experience, leaving school, starting uni, but still not being 100 per cent sure of what I wanted to do.
“I love tourism and travel and wanted that degree behind me, but I also didn’t want to invest the time and find out it wasn’t for me.”
A high school trip to Nepal sparked her interest in “diffferent cultures and life outside Australia,” she said. “A bigger world is out there and to be a part of that world and base a career on that is amazing.
“It’s amazing to bring light to people’s lives, to influence and change their lives for the better, to help others; help them make memories.
“Life can be high stress and I love that you can help people get away and get more out of life.”
Ms Patmore thanked Mr Haylan, “my boss now, and my supervisor during my traineeship.
“TAFE was also amazing to learn from.”
Presented by the Illawarra Vocational Training Committee, the awards hosted representatives of industry, training organisations, apprenticeship support networks and Training Services NSW.
Ms Patmore will now progress to the NSW awards held in Sydney in September, in a bid for the national awards held in November.