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NMIT Renewable Energy Student has Top Award in Her Sights

16 Jul 2009

Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE Certificate IV in Renewable Energy Graduate, Deborah Porter, has been named as one of four finalists vying for the title of Victorian Vocational Student of the Year.

Deborah has successfully beaten an extremely competitive field to get to the final four. The winner from the four finalists will be announced at the 2009 Victorian Training Awards Presentation Ceremony on Thursday 20 August 2009 at the Palladium at Crown.

The Victorian Vocational Student of the Year Award is one of thirteen Victorian Training Awards presented each year spanning a variety of categories from Apprentice of the Year to Employer of the Year.

The Victorian Vocational Student of the Year Award is presented to a vocational student who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in their studies. The winner is awarded $10,000 and is recognised as the best in Victoria's world-class training system. The four finalists receive $500 cash. The winner may also represent Victoria at the 2009 Australian Training Awards.

Deborah, a former Department of Justice Manager, who had become increasingly concerned about the environment, decided that she wanted to be part of the solution by re-training.

In 2003, after recognising a skills shortage in the renewable energy industry, Deborah secured a mature-age Electrical apprenticeship (with an electrician) at the age of 36.

She completed her apprenticeship with awards for excellence with the National Association of Women in Construction in the category of 'Outstanding Achievement by an Apprentice Tradesperson of the Year' (Victoria and Tasmania) in 2005 and 2006.

She commenced the Certificate IV in Renewable Energy Technology at NMIT Epping Campus in 2008 and completed her studies with distinction. At the NMIT 2009 Graduation Evening she was named Outstanding Student of the Year - Faculty of Engineering as well as overall NMIT 2009 Outstanding Student of the Year.

Deborah researched a number of TAFE courses before deciding on NMIT. “I was aware of NMIT's strong reputation for professional links and industry partnerships but I was won over when I saw the facilities offering practical experience,” recalls Deborah. “I was really pleased with the blend of theory and practical subjects and the supportive teaching environment that NMIT presented.”

While studying full-time at NMIT, Deborah also worked part-time with Energy Matters - a company specialising in wind energy and solar power installation. Since graduating she has gone on to a full-time position with the company and is now the National Services Operations Manager. “I feel totally valued as an employee and so lucky to have a job in an exciting, developing industry. This course has given me the opportunity to make such positive changes in my life,” adds Deborah.


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Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - 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.