Congrats to Tony Hewett – nominated for Vocational Student of the Year in the 2020 Victorian Training Awards

Monday, 27 July 2020

Congratulations to Tony Hewett! Tony has been nominated for Vocational Student of the Year in this year’s Victorian Training Awards, and completed Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance with Wodonga TAFE in 2019. He was also awarded as a ‘2019 Student of the Year’ at our Celebration of Achievement Awards held in November last year.

Tony said completing the Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance has given him the skills and knowledge he needs and uses every day in his new career as an Allied Health Assistant, working in healthcare and helping people as part of a team with other health professionals.

“I'm currently employed with Albury Wodonga Health, as a wardsperson in the Albury Base Hospital. Although it's not a role as an allied health assistant, this has given me a start to working in a health environment and as part of a health team. My qualification and training in allied health assistance is important to my role as I’m able to use what I've learned every day, as I help people who are in hospital for various reasons, and facilitate their transport between appointments and wards around the hospital campus.”

Tony came to this study having been employed as an electrician for many years, and said he was excited to learn the scope of the course and the opportunities within allied health assistance.

“While I had enjoyed the opportunities my trade had afforded me, and never been short of work, I wanted to have a complete career change to something where I could add value to people's lives and make a real difference. The 'Free TAFE' courses were a new initiative being promoted at the time when I was thinking of making a career change, so I took the opportunity to apply for the Allied Health Assistance course.”

TAFE has been a big part of Tony’s life, from when he first left high school and started his electrician's apprenticeship, and then short courses after that such as cabling and electrical skills updates, and now with this qualification in Allied Health Assistance. Tony said he was the first to admit that he’s always talking about TAFE to anyone who will listen - that getting people excited about TAFE is a good thing!

“I share my story and tell them what a fantastic journey it has been. When talking to others about my training experience I've been able to say it's never too late to go back to study, and I am able to share my own success as a mature age person returning to study as an example of what's possible. I can also use my own experience of coming from a trade background, to where I am now, having completely changed careers successfully.”

Tony acknowledged that the use of technology was a big thing for him when returning to study.

“I knew this was going to be one of my challenges. I found great support at Wodonga TAFE so there was no excuse to not use a computer or print out a document. We just needed to be proactive and make the most of every support that was available. Even something simple like returning to handwriting and re-learning how to take notes and fill in forms legibly was a challenge for me, from being a tradesperson and taking rough notes on the side of a box. Being able to access the academic support at TAFE was a good help with this.”

“This course has opened up lots of opportunities for me. I'm already looking forward to continuing into the Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance as my next challenge.”

We are very proud of Tony’s achievements, and wish him all the best with his VTA nomination!

 

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