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A trifecta in training

North Metropolitan TAFE students have proved to be the very best in vocational education and training when they scooped three major awards at the 25th WA Training Awards.

  • Anthony Di Cristofaro (carpentry & joinery) - WA Apprentice of the Year 
  • Tiffany Heelan (sport & recreation) - WA School-based Apprentice of the Year 
  • Dushica Poposki (enrolled nursing) - WA International Student of the Year

The spotlight was on the State’s key skill areas including building and construction, social assistance and allied health and STEM which took out the awards for WA Apprentice of the Year and WA International Student of the Year.

Anthony Di Cristofaro

WATA2019Anthony.jpgAfter ten years in the oil and gas industry, WA Apprentice of the Year Anthony Di Cristofaro was ready for a change. He started a mature age apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery and never looked back. 

“I always take pride in my work and strive to complete everything to a high standard, so it made sense for me to turn this drive and passion into a career. I started this apprenticeship to provide my family with the best life possible,” said Anthony.

A passionate advocate for co-workers’ safety and mental health in the workplace, Anthony now mentors and coaches younger apprentices and believes training is key to producing quality skilled workers who are resilient and confident in their abilities. 

“The fact that they put their trust in me and I was able to make such a positive difference in people’s lives was such a rewarding experience I will always continue to do so.”

Anthony now works for Banhams WA Plumbing Gas & Fire Services working on fire doors, passive fire and various fire protection, a job he specifically wanted.

Anthony will advance to compete against the nation’s best at the Australian Training Awards in Brisbane on 21 November 2019. 

Tiffany Heelan

WATA2019Tiffany.jpgSports have always been a passion for WA School-based Apprentice of the Year Tiffany Heelan so the opportunity to train in sport and recreation felt like a natural pathway. Training has developed her determination – including recovering from injury – and leadership skills. 

“I have gained more confidence and my ability to communicate, teach and learn has been tested time after time,” said Tiffany who works at SEDA Group WA. 

“The training I have undergone has pushed me to be more organised, challenge myself and be more active in the community. All of which I can relate back to the high standards and environment of my training.”


Dushica Poposki 

WATA2019Dushica.jpgEmployed as a nurse in Macedonia, a chance experience as an outpatient while visiting Perth inspired Dushica Poposki to relocate and train in WA. Starting in aged care, she continually challenged herself and trained to work with patients with acquired brain injury. A job promotion gave her the final push to train as an enrolled nurse where she enjoys providing the best nursing care to the community.

“I am looking forward to combining my nursing experience from Macedonia together with the knowledge I’ve gained from my Australian studies, so I can provide the best nursing care to the community,” said Dushica who works at Brightwater Care Group. 

“North Metropolitan TAFE provided me with support and resources to gain confidence, especially as an international student. I learnt to be an open-minded person, ready to face various situations where I have to apply my knowledge and make the right decision to save a life or to provide nursing care in a non-judgemental way based on an individual-centred approach.”

Dushica’s life philosophy is to give emotional and physical support to her patients on their recovery journey, not just to provide them with help and service as a healthcare worker. 
“To become a nurse, you need to have empathy and approach people without stigma and judgement.”

Page last updated September 20, 2019