Language no barrier to vocational success

A student who arrived in Australia from Afghanistan with limited English five years ago has won two prestigious vocational education awards.

While finishing her HSC at Young High School in 2010, Rahima Haidary completed a Certificate III in Aged Care and gained statements of attainment in allied health assistance, information technology and hairdressing.

Rahima's diligence and enterprise has been rewarded with the Australian Vocational Student Prize and The Prime Minister's Award for Skills Excellence in School. She receives $2000 and a certificate for each of the prizes.

Young High School careers advisor Sue Matthew said Rahima started by working hard to catch up with her peers when she arrived, and also benefited from the tutoring and support of dedicated teachers.

"Rahima attended extra literacy courses at TAFE and had tutoring in English. Within 18 months, all of her hard work had paid off and she had part-time work at a fast food outlet and later in a dental surgery," said Ms Matthews.

"She has a passion for working with and helping people, and now has a permanent position as a dental assistant in Sydney."

About the awards

The Australian Vocational Student Prize promotes vocational education at school and recognises students who choose to pursue a practical training pathway while completing their senior secondary studies.

The Prime Minister's Award for Skills Excellence in School recognises Year 12 students who have demonstrated exceptional skill, commitment and achievement while participating in vocational education and training as part of their senior secondary certificate. 

More information

TAFE Riverina Institute

Australian Vocational Student Prize


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