GippsTAFE student wins Victorian State award

A Latrobe Valley mother of two and GippsTAFE graduate has taken out a prestigious State Training Award and is now in line to represent Victoria at the national level in November.

Stephanie Dalton of Morwell, who achieved a Diploma in Children’s Services at GippsTAFE, was announced the Victorian Koorie Student of the Year at the Victorian Training Awards ceremony held at the Crown Casino.

Ms Dalton was one of 14 award winners announced on the night and she received $10,000 as part of the award. Unfortunately she was unable to attend on the night as one of her children was ill so the award was accepted on her behalf by her mother, Pastor Kathie Dalton.

According to GippsTAFE Chief Executive Dr Peter Whitley, the award was a reward for “Stephanie’s persistence, dedication and a desire to learn.”

“Stephanie is an admirable winner, a young mother whose desire to learn requires her to fit being a mum around extensive study and attendance at GippsTAFE. This would be challenging for many, but Stephanie revelled in these challenges to not only study but to excel at that study,” Dr Whitley said.

A Gunai woman from Morwell, Ms Dalton has two young children and is also a caregiver to her baby niece. Her interest in the development of her own family sparked her desire to embark on further study.

In a nomination form, Ms Dalton said: “I chose child care because of my interest in child development of my own two children, their developmental stages was important to me and this led to my enrolment in childcare studies.

“I thought if I could follow and assist my own children in their development then I could help other young Koorie mum’s and families understand their children development and how they also could follow and assist in their children’s development.”

Ms Dalton was nominated for the State Training Award by Doris Paton, Team Leader Koorie Studies. “To have Stephanie take out the Koorie Student of the Year Award is a credit to Stephanie and to the opportunities that open up through studying at GippsTAFE,” Dr Whitley added.

Ms Dalton intends continuing her study and has enrolled at Deakin University in a Bachelor in Early Childhood Development.

She also has the opportunity to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards held in Brisbane in November.