Local student named Vocational Student of the Year
Wednesday, 16 November 2011
Brisbane North Institute of TAFE (BNIT) student Elise Kavanagh has been named Vocational Student of the Year for the Metropolitan Brisbane region in the 2011 Queensland Training Awards (QTA).
One of only 57 state finalists chosen from more than 750 nominations statewide, 30 year old Elise from Rocklea graduated with a Certificate III in Floristry last year.
The Vocational Student of the Year Award acknowledges outstanding achievement by a student who recently completed a vocational education and training qualification in Queensland.
"I originally enrolled because I thought floristry might compliment my cake decorating skills. Little did I know that I would fall completely in love with it," Elise said.
"Enrolling in Floristry at BNIT is the best thing I have ever done both personally and professionally, and it turned out to be much more challenging and rewarding than I ever imagined."
As a student, Elise became determined to make floristry her career, immersing herself in floral demonstrations, competitions and projects. Excelling in the classroom, she also excelled on the national stage receiving top accolades in the 2010 Australian Wildflowers Competition and Toowoomba Carnival of Flower, with her work featured in the Australian Flower Industry magazine.
"I love flowers, I love the floristry industry and I love my job. I have no doubt my future lies in floristry and I just feel it's where I belong. I am extremely proud of what I have achieved over the last year and I owe much of that to the amazing floristry teachers at BNIT," she said.
"Today I sent an enormous floral arrangement to the floristry team at BNIT because I am just so incredibly grateful that they believed I was worthy enough to be nominated for this award in the first place.
"I am also highly appreciative of the skills they have taught me. The floristry team at BNIT is amazing. They are so passionate about the industry and are truly inspiring.
"I included a card with the flowers I sent them this morning and I wrote on it "Thanks for changing my life!"
After graduating from BNIT, Elise secured employment with John Jones, one of Brisbane's most prestigious florists. Already in her short career, Elise has done flowers for the Dalai Lama, Kevin Rudd, Terry Irwin, the Queensland ballet and multiple theatre productions. She plans to continue her work both in Australia and overseas.
"My ultimate goal is to become an internationally recognised floral designer. I have dreams that one day my work will be featured in books and magazines and I might even be invited to give demonstrations.
"I also have a strong desire to get into the training side of floristry, to help keep the industry alive and well and hopefully inspire others the way my BNIT teachers inspired me."
The regional QTA presentation was held at Victoria Park Golf Complex on Friday, 29 July.
Elise now goes on to contest the state titles in Brisbane on Friday, 2 September.
Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2011, the QTA recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of individuals and organisations within the vocational education and training sector who strive for excellence, best practice and innovation as well as showcasing the significant contribution made by this sector to the wider community.
For more information about the awards, visit www.qta.qld.gov.au.
For more information about studying at BNIT, please call 131 248.