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Meet our 2023 Ambassadors

On the evening of 9 November, our Ambassador evening recognised and celebrated our most outstanding students and lecturers over the past year.

Some of these recipients have already been acknowledged for their achievements at the recent Western Australian Training Awards, with several vying for honours at next week's AustralianTraining Awards in Hobart.

You can read about our NMTAFE Ambassador Award winners below and watch their videos on our YouTube channel.

NMTAFE Ambassador Awards Past Winners

Ambassadors - Trainers

Natalie Smith - Nursing

As head of program for the nursing portfolio, Natalie is a highly experienced, skilled and committed trainer who has been delivering the Diploma of Nursing for 11 years.

Natalie's commitment to inclusive teaching and assessment practices ensures her students enjoy their learning and are engaged throughout their training.

She has a fun and energetic training style; championing vocational education and training for its practical, hands-on learning experience and the many career pathways it can lead to.

Holly Gudsell - Education

A teaching position in a remote community near Fitzroy Crossing was the catalyst for a change in career direction for Holly, as she discovered an interest in Aboriginal education.

Having previously worked as a teacher, and then abroad teaching English in Kenya and China, it was while lecturing in Education Support that Holly was approached to develop and deliver a new program for the Department of Education to upskill Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officers (AIEOs) across Perth Metropolitan Schools.

Here she delivered a "mixed-mode" course which successfully supported Aboriginal students through the Certificates III and IV in Education Support.

Holly is also a finalist in the Australian Training Awards after winning the WA Trainer of the Year Award.

Watch her video.(opens in a new tab)

Sam Chamberlain - Sport and Fitness

Sam has delivered Certificates III and IV in Fitness and Sport for 12 years and is now the head of program for sport, fitness and legal qualifications. 

Her devotion to sport and fitness, and her desire to see the industry improve, drives her work for continuous improvement and innovation while delivering her training. 

Understanding her students and identifying their preferred learning style has enabled Sam to tailor her teaching style in order for her students to succeed.

She says helping them to build their self-confidence while developing skills, and then going on to have thriving careers of their own, is what she finds most rewarding about her job.

Anthony Georgeff - Languages

Anthony is an Advanced Skills Lecturer in English as a Second Language, and Applied Vocational Study Skills.

He has spent the past 20 years at North Metro TAFE helping thousands of adult migrants, refugees and vocational students advance their English skills.

Anthony designs and develops courses for clients with unique learning needs and challenges, employing effective instructional design with an emphasis on e-learning, educational and literacy support, and social enterprises.

Anthony is also a finalist in the Australian Training Awards

Tam Nguyen - Culinary Arts

A former Certificate III in Commercial Cookery student at North Metropolitan TAFE, Tam has worked at the Crown, Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre, Clarkes of North Beach and overseas before returning to us as a lecturer.

Tam operates in the Practical Kitchens and Theory rooms, teaching students the skills they need to be a successful pastry chef. 

Tam wanted to pass on to the next generation of industry professionals what his lecturers gave him - his time at TAFE has come full circle; as a student he competed in his first culinary competition called Salon Culinaire in Perth to now being on the other side as a lecturer helping and coaching current students to compete in national and international competitions.

Always trying to better himself to be the best possible trainer, Tam has completed a Graduate Diploma of Education and Masters of Education.

Ambassadors - Students

Olga Hurina - Work Health and Safety

In March last year, Olga made the difficult decision to move to WA from Ukraine on a humanitarian visa. Her husband encouraged her to make the journey, even though he could not leave due to the national ban on men emigrating.

Olga chose to study a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety because she had experience in legal compliance in Ukraine and wanted to contribute to safer working environments. 

So determined was she to perfect her English, that she recently moved from living with her sister-in-law to an Australian host family who did not speak her language. Olga says they have been like second parents to her. 

Following her course, she has landed a position at the Perth Mint and was recently the winner of the WA Training Awards Cultural Diversity Training Award.

Amir Musavi - Fitness

After arriving from Afghanistan with hopes of starting a new life, (Amir) Justin's world was upended in 2020 when he was diagnosed with Stargardt disease - a rare genetic condition of the eye - which caused him to lose 60 per cent of his sight.

After feeling hopeless for months, he decided to aim for a new goal. After graduating his English course, he enrolled to study fitness at TAFE, using accessibility aids to complete his course work successfully.

Since discovering this pathway, Justin says his life has been transformed. He has found his passion and fulfilment working as a personal trainer at Chasing Better, assisting people to reach their personal fitness goals – all while supporting his family.

Goodness Omogbadegun - Game Art and Animation

Growing up in Nigeria, pursuing his passion for animation was not an option, so when Goodness was asked by his family what he wanted to do, he answered architecture because he liked drawing. His bachelor's degree in engineering gave him plenty of exposure to CAD - Computer Aided Design, which he loved. From here, Goodness began to teach himself other drawing programs.

When he decided to finally commit to his first love, Goodness looked across Australia for the best courses and landed here in Perth and at North Metro TAFE, where he undertook a Diploma of Screen and Media in Game Art and Animation

Goodness is currently completing his Advanced Diploma and has created a word-based app with the BETA version already proving popular on the App Store. He plans to build on this once completing his course.

Watch his video.(opens in a new tab)

Robert Nicolosi - Sport and Recreation

Robert's love for sport and fitness was the motivation behind him undertaking a traineeship through TAFE with Leisure Employment Australia.

While working at BlueFit – the Belmont Leisure Centre - Robert has gained a range of new skills which he says will set him up well for the future.

Described by his employer as a team player and leader, and the first trainee kids sport coordinator they have ever had. This speaks volumes about Robert's willingness to learn and lead. 

Having won the WA Training Awards School-based Trainee of the Year awards, Robert is well on his way to fulfilling his career aspirations of becoming a physical education teacher.

Sam Beck - Sport and Recreation

While completing a school-based traineeship to gain a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation, Samuel gained a wealth of experience. Aligning with his passion for sport and physical activity, he has gained practical experience in lifeguarding, swim school teaching and basketball coaching, plus other interpersonal skills.

Pursuing an alternative career pathway is key for Sam, as he has been able to learn through hands-on training, which he says complements his style of learning.

It has helped him to develop new skills and confidence, while he says the pathway is intellectually fulfilling, rewarding and an excellent route to success.

Ayo Afolabi - Dental Assisting

Ayo was studying a commerce degree when a close friend suffered trauma to his 
teeth and jaw in a car accident. Thanks to emergency dental treatment, his friend's quality of life was restored, but the impact of this event persuaded Ayo to pursue dentistry.

After applying and receiving university offers, he decided to defer and instead enrol at North Metro TAFE in the Certificate III in Dental Assisting to get a realistic idea of the work and his career path.

The course provided him with a broad range of experiences from radiography to infection control and cemented his ambition to become a dentist, which he is now working towards in a post graduate degree in Melbourne.

Kai Baharthah-King - Cyber Security

In these days of heightened digital security awareness, Kai was an early starter in the industry.  Being home-schooled, he attended cyber security workshops and was able to satisfy his thirst for knowledge by completing multiple online courses and competitions.

First enrolling at TAFE at the age of 15 to complete his Certificate III in Cyber Security, he progressed through to the Advanced Diploma and, at only 16 years old, secured a part time job as a security analyst at Woodside, following a recommendation from his lecturer.

Now full time at Woodside, he is the youngest security analyst on staff and cites winning a Gold Medal in cyber security at the WorldSkills National Competition in Melbourne as a particular highlight.

Watch his video.(opens in a new tab)

Lucas Farrell - Community Services

A switch from construction to community services was a big leap to make, but Lucas had reached the halfway point in his career and felt he did not want to reach the end of his life without making significant contribution to his community.

While never being an academic, Lucas was confident in his determination, enrolling in the Diploma Community Services where he was instrumental in developing a course to bring computer literacy to senior Australians.

Lucas says that alongside the knowledge and practical skills he learned in the community service sector, the self-development and self-awareness he gained from training was an unexpected and added bonus.

Watch his video.(opens in a new tab)

Matthew Martley - Broadcast Radio

Matt, father of four, and working in construction, knew he wasn’t going to physically be able to work forever, so was looking to move to a desk job or management role within that industry.  

After originally planning a career in construction, Matthew's life took an unexpected turn when he attended the orientation day for the Diploma of Screen And Media in Broadcast Radio and Podcasting with his partner, who was enrolling. 

The buzz, state-of-the-art equipment, and a newfound sense of belonging led him to seize this unexpected opportunity. He unenrolled from his Building and Construction course and enrolled in the Diploma of Screen and Media - Broadcast Radio and Podcasting.  

With limited computer skills, Matthew embraced the challenge, mastering administrative and technical skills with unwavering determination.

Studying alongside much younger peers, he exchanged wisdom and expertise, forming strong bonds that he says will last a lifetime. Matt was a passionate and dedicated student and has a big love for TAFE and his lecturers.

Watch his video.(opens in a new tab)

Stefanie Wright - Enrolled Nursing

Working as a medical receptionist, Stefanie witnessed first-hand the positive impact the healthcare industry had on patients' lives. Naturally empathetic and caring in nature, she realised that nursing was her calling and made the decision to retrain at North Metro TAFE with a Diploma of Nursing.

She credits the outstanding quality of training in simulations and on practicums with the amazing experience she has enjoyed to date, and her success in winning a scholarship from the Department of Health.

She later received a job offer from her practical placement in Geraldton but also won a place at St John of God Subiaco where she has started her career.

Makayla Parr - Fashion Design

Makayla originally undertook a fashion course with North Metro TAFE as a Year 11 and 12 student while also studying ATAR. She thrived in the course, winning the Mandurah Wearable Art Competition in 2021.  

Originally unsure what path she would take after finishing school, Makalya discovered her love was in the arts, particularly fashion design, and she elected to continue her studies at North Metro TAFE in the Diploma of Fashion Design and Merchandising

The decision proved to be a good one, this year representing WA in Melbourne at the National WorldSkills Competition.

After completing her Advanced Diploma this year she plans to take a break overseas with a pathway to university on the agenda upon her return.

Watch her video.(opens in a new tab)

Chad Sullivan - Engineering

Chad was one of North Metro TAFE's first Koomba Birdal students who graduated with a Certificate II in Engineering (Heavy Fabrication) in 2022.   

The Koomba Birdal Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is a free, supported training pathway designed to inspire participants to pursue further study and gain employment.

Originally unsure of what he wanted to do in the future, it was through the course that Chad found direction in life, not just helping in his career but also with life skills including his saving and finance skills.

After graduation, Chad gained an apprenticeship with Kardam Construction, an Aboriginal company that has helped several Aboriginal youth, where he remains a valuable team member.

Recently Chad was invited back to share his experience at the 2023 Koomba Birdal graduation where his success inspired the new graduates. 

Evelyn Gould - Conservation and Ecosystems

Mature-aged graduate, Evelyn returned to study a Certificate II in Conservation and Ecosystem Management through North Metro TAFE’s Caring for Country program while raising her two young children.

Despite juggling being a mum with her studies, Evelyn was judged the most outstanding student in her course by her trainers and presented with a special award at her graduation.

Evelyn is an inspiration to other young parents and Aboriginal women.

Pip Taylor - Glass and Glazing

Pip has had a long affiliation with the glazing industry, owning and operating a glazing business for more than 21 years. However, her work focused on the behind-the-scenes operation, having never been on the tools. 

With advancements in technology over the years which took away elements of the heavy lifting previously synonymous with the trade, Pip decided to take on a glazing apprenticeship at NMTAFE in her late 40s where she has excelled as a student and as a role model for her peers.

Her goal is to inspire more women and mature students to enter the trade, and show that perceived physical demands are no longer a barrier.

Watch her video.(opens in a new tab)

Hannah Thompson-Taylor - Signs and Graphics

Hannah is a young female pursuing an apprenticeship in sign writing, undertaking a Certificate III in Signs and Graphics at North Metro TAFE.  

Hannah’s lecturer described her as an exceptionally hard worker in a class dominated by males, she is attentive and a pro-active learner taking on board ideas and then enhancing her skill sets. She will go far in the industry according to that lecturer.

Hannah is currently employed at Scene Signs where she is a valuable member of the team.

Watch her video.(opens in a new tab)

Tate Jansen - Rail Infrastructure

Tate, a year 11 student from Darling Range Sports College, is described by his lecturer as a future supervisor, or even a superintendent in rail if it is the path he chooses. 

Tate’s natural ability and work ethic can be highlighted by a competition which had students undertake a rail task called "8 clips off, 8 clips on". After three months, Tate got his time down to one minute flat, only 1 second slower than his experienced lecturer!

Tate has a great work ethic regardless of whether its theory or practical. His attitude is always positive, and he is keen to learn, asking great questions and always volunteering to go first in a new activity. We watch with excitement on what you do in the future.