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Education Training, Government NSW

2024 NSW Training Awards celebrate excellence in Vocational Education and Training

NSW Department of Education 3 mins read

The region's most outstanding people and organisations working and learning in the vocational education and training (VET) sector have been recognised at this year’s Riverina Regional Training Awards. 


The event celebrated the achievements of all category winners including apprentices, trainees, students, businesses, and trainers that champion vocational education.


Two young women, Arlyn Ramirez and Katie Carusi, who took top honours at the 2024 Riverina Training Awards ceremony last night at the Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, were given special recognition.


Arlyn was awarded Apprentice of the Year and is currently working in a prestigious Taiwan restaurant for three months to gain more skills before returning to her chef’s role in Albury.


Arlyn is a passionate young chef who is keenly organised and a perfectionist in everything she does, which are crucial qualities for success in the hospitality industry.


Katie received the Trainee of the Year Award. She began her training journey in the Early Childhood Education and Care field by studying at certificate and diploma levels and is now enrolled in a university degree.


What stands out about Katie is her thirst for knowledge, passion for the profession, and ongoing commitment to sharing fresh ideas and new research with her colleagues.


The finalists and winners at the Riverina regional awards exemplify the world-class VET sector in the region, highlighting the breadth of rewarding career opportunities offered by vocational education and training.  


Presented by Training Services NSW, the awards demonstrate the importance of providing real skills for real careers and highlight the NSW Government’s commitment to building a resilient and highly skilled workforce. 


Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan 


"We know that many jobs created in the next decade will require vocational qualifications. These awards celebrate the young workers, trainers and businesses working to ensure we meet this challenge.” 


"Congratulations to Arlyn and Katie for their remarkable achievements. Their stories exemplify the transformative power of VET and the opportunities it creates for individuals to thrive and make a significant impact in their communities." 


Apprentice of the Year, Arlyn Ramirez, said: 


“I grew up on a small island in the Philippines where my love for cooking started. I moved to Australia, and my passion grew further. I watched television cooking shows and was inspired by the creations I saw, so I secured an apprenticeship."


“Studying at TAFE NSW has had a huge impact on me because I have gained so much confidence through my studies – as both a chef and a person."


“The quality of my training was extremely high and memorable. I started out not knowing anything, and now I have amazed myself with what I have learned.”


Trainee of the Year, Katie Carusi, said:


“I knew I wanted to study childcare as seeing children meet different goals and being such a big part of the journey was so rewarding."


“This traineeship has helped me immensely. I have gained many new skills, confidence, and knowledge, which have improved my education and care practices."


“If it weren't for the course and on-the-job training, I wouldn't be as confident in the role as I am today.”


For more information on VET in NSW visit  


If you would like photos from last night’s event or to organise an interview, please contact:



Award Category


Town/ Suburb

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Tahlia Gilbert


Apprentice of the Year

Arlyn Ramirez


School-based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year

Libby Olrick


Trainee of the Year

Katie Carusi

Lake Wyangan

VET in Schools Student of the Year

Abbey Hartley


VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year

Simon Gaynor

Ariah Park

Vocational Student of the Year

Samantha Peet



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