Elise Stewart Wins Student of the Year - News | Bendigo TAFE

Bendigo TAFE celebrated the achievements of its top students and graduates at its Graduation and Awards Ceremony last night.

Held at the Ulumbarra Theatre, the ceremony recognised students from the Class of 2017 across health and community, professional and creative, food and fibre, automotive, foundations and pathways, construction and industrial, and Indigenous study areas.

Over 120 graduates from Bendigo City, Charleston Rd, Echuca and Castlemaine campuses attended the event.

The top accolade – Student of the Year Award sponsored by the City of Greater Bendigo – was presented to nursing graduate Elise Stewart who transformed her passion for helping others into a career in nursing.

The high achiever describes her Bendigo TAFE teachers as a key factor in her success.

“The teachers were awesome,” Elise said. "Because I’m deaf their teaching in the classroom incorporated interpreters and videos along with the simulated labs and manakins. That gave me good hands-on experience, which is where I learnt a lot.” she said.

“My advice to others is, whatever you put your mind too, you can do it, no matter what your disability or where you come from, just do it!”

Trevor Aicken, Through her studies, Elise was accepted into the St John of God Bendigo Hospital graduate program. Hospital Learning and Development Co-Ordinator, Trevor Aicken says “Elise is able to gain the trust and respect of patients, families and staff. She continues to exhibit a strong work ethic, with a high standard of patient care, being very capable within her scope of practice”.

The annual Bendigo TAFE Graduation and Awards Ceremony highlights the important role of vocational education and training in transforming lives. 

“From young learners seeking an alternative to mainstream schooling to mature students pursuing a career change, Bendigo TAFE has helped thousands of people in creating new futures,” said Bendigo TAFE CEO Trevor Schwenke.

“The achievements we witness at events like graduation highlight the significance of vocational education and training in transforming lives, shaping communities and providing value to industry.”

Other awards for the evening included:

Inspirational Student of the Year – Brandie Strickland
Sponsored by: Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Inspirational Student of the Year (Runner-up) – Celyn Hall
Sponsored by: Mercedes Waratah

Jan Lorimer Trust Award – Elise Stewart
Sponsored by: Bendigo TAFE

Gold Medallion (Professional and Creative Studies) – Michelle Benjamin
Sponsored by: La Trobe University

Gold Medallion (Foundations and Pathways) – Ma Paw
Sponsored by: Mercedes Waratah

Gold Medallion (Food and Fibre) – Brianna Downing
Sponsored by: La Trobe University

Gold Medallion (Health and Community) – Elise Stewart
Sponsored by: Bendigo Health

Gold Medallion (Automotive) – Lee Lumbo
Sponsored by: MAS International

Gold Medallion (Construction and Industrial) – Jake Chandler
Sponsored by:  Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Gold Medallion (Indigenous Education) – Thomas Johnstone
Sponsored by: Be.Bendigo

Further quotes attributable to Elise Stewart, Bendigo TAFE Student of the Year:

Student of the Year: Elise Stewart
Sponsored by: City of Greater Bendigo

Watch to see what else Elise had to say, or read part of the transcript below.

“Having completed my nursing diploma at Bendigo TAFE, I’m looking to do further studies at La Trobe University.”

“When I was in High School I had this dream to become a paramedic, and I’d met paramedics along the way in my life. They’ve all advised me to do nursing first, to have that to fall back onto.”

“When I put that pen down for the last exam, I was gobsmacked I finally completed a Diploma course. To complete that course gave me a real sense of achievement.”

“In the future with my career, I hope to be working in remote rural areas. I have an interest in Indigenous health and communities.”​​​​