CDU Alice Springs student wins Prime Minister's Award for Skills Excellence 

Brooke receiving her award from The Hon Julie Bishop MP, The Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training

Alice Springs student Brooke Rainbird has won the Prime Minister’s award for skills excellence.

Eighteen-year-old Brooke, a VTE tourism student on Charles Darwin University’s Alice Springs campus and Centralian Senior Secondary College student, accepted her award at Parliament House today  (December 5) in front of 300 guests.

The award recognises outstanding achievers in Year 12 who completed vocational and technical qualifications. She was the sole Territorian to win, with the award following her recent win in the 2006 NT VET in Schools Student of the Year Award.

Brooke took advantage of an arrangement allowing students at the college to select vocational subjects at CDU as part of their curriculum.

The award completes a positive year for Brooke. Tourism NT’s wholesale arm, Territory Discovery offered her a traineeship earlier this month, commencing in 2007 after Brooke initiated and completed work experience in 2005.

She will complete further vocational studies at CDU in tourism operations as part of her traineeship.

‘I completed work experience in tourism and fell in love with the job,’ she said. ‘They offered me the traineeship earlier this year but I wanted to complete my studies.’

Brooke said vocational studies gave her wide industry exposure, which she complemented with extensive work experience in and around Alice Springs.

Her many hosts have described Brooke as a natural event organiser and all offered her full- or part-time work.

CDU’s Director of Vocational and Technical Education, Aaron Devine said the award was a testament to the achievements of Brooke and commitment of her lecturers and support staff.

‘I congratulate Brooke for winning this significant national award,’ he said. ‘She will be a great ambassador for CDU and the value and quality of our training.’

Her supervisor, Sue Tucker, tourism co-ordinator, Alice Springs, said Brooke had shown considerable initiative and problem solving skills throughout her studies.

‘For some one who has just turned 18, she has remarkable maturity,’ she said.

Brooke has excelled in vocational education, completing a host of certifications covering Hospitality (Supervision), Hospitality (Operations), Meetings and Events, Tourism (Operations) and Business and Retail.

Brooke will continue studying vocational subjects as part of her traineeship with the tourism commission.

‘We can’t wait to see her back’ Sue said.