More than 600 guests attended a gala presentation dinner on May 18 at Flemington to celebrate the achievements of all young nominees across the state.
Former South West TAFE community service student Cody Chatfield was named a finalist in the Regional Achiever Award and was so surprised to be nominated and make it to the final three.
“My work nominated me for the work that I do with helping vulnerable families. I love what I do and I’m getting so much experience,” she said.
Cody, 22, works at the Gunditjmara Aboriginal Co-operative in Warrnambool providing support to vulnerable families in local and Aboriginal communities.
Cody’s nomination stated that through her work she strives to reduce the number of Aboriginal children in child protection and out-of-home care.
She has had experience as an acting team leader at Gunditjmara and has now completed her postgraduate certificate in family therapy.
South West TAFE finance team member Luke Bartlett was also presented on the night as a semi-finalist in the Inspirational TAFE Student Award.
Luke’s nomination stated that despite enduring his own health issues, he was committed to completing his degree in commerce.
Since 2017 Luke has been a Senior Advisory Committee Member of Holiday Actors and has been involved in musical theatre with the company from 2015.
He said he was extremely honoured to have been nominated and make it to the semi-finals.
“My nomination came completely out of the blue. It was such an honour to be nominated but to be named a semi-finalist was a big shock,” he said.