From conserving natural landscapes to caring for the sick and elderly, the winners in the vocational education and training (VET) category are following their dreams by developing job-ready skills for future success. We invited them to share their stories.
Winner: Isadora Inez Alves Koszma from Brazil
Learning to combine academic thinking with practical application
After a study abroad opportunity brought her to Adelaide as part of her degree in environmental engineering from Brazil, Isadora knew she wanted to come back. So, after graduating, she returned to Adelaide, but this time she chose to study in a vocational field, which she says has taught her to think differently.
Why did you come to Adelaide to study?
When I was studying environmental engineering in Brazil, I won a scholarship to study in Adelaide. I studied English for six months, then completed two semesters at the University of South Australia which counted towards my degree back home. I had such a good experience here, so I decided to come back for more study.
How has your vocational education added to your university education?
Studying in a vocational field has given me the opportunity to think in two different, but complementing ways. I can draw on the theoretical and scientific side of things from my environmental engineering degree and combine it with the practical knowledge and skills I am learning at TAFE SA. I’m also getting the opportunity to put what I learn into practice, especially in my volunteer work with local conservation organisations.
What does winning this award mean to you?
I was very surprised. I didn’t expect it at all. I feel happy. It makes me want to do more volunteer work and help my friends in my course.
What’s your favourite thing about living in Adelaide?
I love hiking! I recently went to Black Hill Conservation Park, which was really cool. I also like Belair National Park which is not far from my house. There are so many parks in Adelaide. I wish we could have this in my city in Brazil.
Highly Commended: Clement Chidiogo Ezugobi from Nigeria
Clement had a long-term dream to contribute to the support and care of the sick and elderly as a nurse, and he is working hard to fulfil this dream. When the English language requirements to gain Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registration were updated, Clement set aside one hour a day to study for his test. He was rewarded with excellent marks allowing him to register with AHPRA when he recently graduated as an enrolled nurse.
During his time studying, Clement was grateful to receive the advice and encouragement of the educators and administrators at Equals International. He was able to put his learning into practice through over 450 hours of placements. Clement is currently studying in a community services course and will commence a registered nurse program in 2019. He enjoys the challenges of human health and the ability he has gained to think critically and act quickly.