ANU trainee named ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Trainee Research Support Officer, Tylah Saunders, from the ANU Joint Colleges of Science (JCS) has been named ACT Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year at the 2018 ACT Training Awards.

The award recognises Tylah’s achievements in her Certificate III in Business, which she completed through a vocational educational and training (VET) program managed by the Australian Training Company. She is now working towards a Certificate IV, and hopes to pursue a diploma in the future.

Tylah says the awards ceremony was “an opportunity for recognition and reflection” on her studies and her workplace experience with the JCS Research Management team.

“I came to the ANU to start work when I was 18 years old and six months out of school. Now I’m almost 20, and the growth I’ve managed to make here is like no other.”

As an award-winner, Tylah is now an ambassador for VET in the ACT and says she wants to use that role to motivate other people to follow in her footsteps.

“I want to be a touch-point between young Indigenous people in the Canberra community and adults in the industry, and get more people like me into the same kinds of workplaces.

“The award gives me a platform and a voice to let people know that this is something I want to pursue in the future. Through the nomination process and the awards ceremony I’ve already had the opportunity to gain an audience with a lot of people I may not have otherwise been able to meet.”

JCS General Manager, David Akers, says Tylah is “already making a valued contribution to a large and complex operation across the Science, Health and Medicine disciplines and is establishing an ongoing career path for herself.”

David adds that Tylah’s award is “an important personal milestone” and also “a boost for the JCS Indigenous Traineeship program,” which provides an important pathway for young Australians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage to build careers across a range of areas in higher education administration.

Tylah and the other winners from the ACT Training Awards will now travel to Sydney to meet other people in the VET industry.

“It’s an opportunity to have people ask me what I want to do, and who I want to be, and know that I’m serious about my future.”