For third-year painting & decorating apprentice at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (NMIT), Shareena Sloan, 20, of Eltham, the awards for her acumen and achievements in the industry just keep on coming.
Shareena just beat166 apprentices across several trades to win the Housing Industry Association (HIA) best overall apprentice for 2007 - placing her at the top of the trades.
Last year, Shareena won The Victorian Most Outstanding Achievement Award presented by the HIA. She also won a gold medal in the Victorian Regional Division of the WorldSkills championship and a silver medal in the National WorldSkills championship.
Shareena said she was shocked to win yet another award as she wasn't expecting it and it was exciting and good recognition of her earnest endeavour.
She works on the job for M.S. Paterson, Painting & Decorating in Eltham and collects $300 for her latest award to purchase equipment at Bunnings to enhance her skills. For the past two years, Shareena studied in one week block release every month at NMIT eight times a year as the formal part of her training.
While it took a couple of months for Shareena to adjust to the physical demands of the job when she started in the trade, she said she was now very proud of herself.
'The awards never really sink in,' she said. ' I'm very excited about them, but it doesn't always seem real.'
Shareena works five days a week from 7am-4pm but is now devoting six hours one day of the weekend as well as about two hours after her working day to practise her skills in preparation for the International WorldSkills championship to be held in Japan in November.
She will compete against 18 apprentices from 46 countries around the world in painting & decorating and said she was 'very nervous, but it will be a great experience for me.
'It's pretty scary and there'll be a lot of pressure but I don't think I'll ever get the chance to do this again. '
She added she was practising her techniques in decorative painting such as marbling and graining which were painting styles used overseas more than in Australia.
'These styles are used with paint to create an image like marble and timber and I don't use it at work so I need to practise my skills in them.'
Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or firstname.lastname@example.org
NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on seven campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.
Interview / Photo Opportunity
Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener.