Joshua Togo, pictured centre with Keith Hall and John Lester, was recently recognised as Gili Awards Student of the Year.
Joshua Togo, pictured centre with Keith Hall and John Lester, was recently recognised as Gili Awards Student of the Year. Tweed Daily News

Joshua outshines rivals

CABARITA youth Joshua Togo walked away from the recent Gili Awards in Sydney recognised as the New South Wales vocational education and training Student of the Year.

Gili (pronounced Kili) is an Eora (Sydney) word meaning “to shine”. Mr Togo shone at his construction class to such a degree that his teacher, Warren Belford, nominated him for the award.

The purpose of the awards is to celebrate and recognise the achievements of Aboriginal TAFE students and staff in New South Wales who have contributed to their communities through training and education.

Mr Togo was a hard worker and a great attribute to his class, Mr Belford said.

Mr Togo won his award in the TAFE Vocational Education and Training category (TVET).

TVET courses are undertaken through school to allow students to gain HSC while also completing the first year of an apprenticeship.

The last thing many students would do is give up a holiday, but Mr Togo took two work placements during his school holidays so his school work wouldn't be affected.

And the course proved worthwhile - Mr Togo has finished school and is working as a tiler.

Yesterday he thanked his family for their support, especially aunts Denise and Larissa.

Ross Hand, TVET coordinator for North Coast TAFE, said a TVET course not only allowed students to try a vocation, but gave them a good launching pad into an employment pathway once they leave school.

North Coast TAFE dominated the Gili Awards, with its nominees also winning Apprentice, Staff Member, Student Encouragement, Academic Achievement, and Institute awards, as well as the Bruce Kendall Recognition of Service to Aboriginal Education Award.

Other Gili Awards were made in the categories for Trainee of the Year, Academic Excellence, Staff, and Community/Industry partnerships.



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