York District High School and Wundowie Primary School chaplain Leonie Whisson has been awarded the 2017 Vocational Student of the Year award by Central Regional Tafe.
The chaplain has recently completed a Certificate IV in Community Services, supported by YouthCARE.
Mrs Whisson said the recognition was a pleasant surprise.
“Having been a very ‘average’ student at school mostly through lack of interest and application, it was a great surprise and thrill to receive the TAFE award for student of the year,” she said.
“I have been able to use it to encourage some students at my school by explaining how exciting it is to find your passion in life and how learning about it becomes so much more interesting.
“It was a lovely surprise to me as an adult to discover how much I enjoyed learning and to receive this award at the ripe old age of 62.
“I am blessed to have a job I am passionate about and hope to continue learning for many years to come.”
Course facilitator James Paxman said Leonie had grown and was able to use her new-found confidence in her skills through continuing to apply herself as a cluster chaplain in the wheatbelt.
“During her study, Leonie impressed with her natural leadership style, which translated into an easy-going manner with a strong commitment to chaplaincy and upholding the professional standards required of YouthCARE chaplains,” he said.