Category: School Based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year
Qualification: Certificate II in Warehousing Operations
Trained by: TAFE NSW
Employed by: Richmond Valley Council
School: St Mary's Catholic College, Casino
“I chose warehousing operations as I wanted to challenge myself. Working as a storekeeper at Richmond Valley Council in a new and unfamiliar industry has made me more open to change. I enjoy the variety this industry offers and the transferrable skills I’m learning. I’ve been able to better understand the workings of my local council as a whole, which has given me a greater connection to my community.”
Due to his motivation and keen organisational and time management skills, Theodore quickly learnt skills essential to the warehousing and logistics industry completing his Certificate II at TAFE NSW in one year instead of two. Theodore also achieved his Certificate II in Public Safety for the NSW Rural Fire Service alongside his year 12 studies.
“Finishing my two-year qualification in one year was an achievement I was proud of,” says Theodore. “I thoroughly enjoyed my TAFE NSW course and learning from competent, industry-based teachers. Completing my school-based traineeship with Richmond Valley Council has hugely increased my confidence. I feel more comfortable working with a wider range of people and tackling tasks knowing that I’ll be able to find a solution to problems that may arise.”
Theodore’s head teacher at St Mary’s Catholic College says he is a student of great integrity.
“Theodore has a strong work ethic, a positive attitude and excellent skills in communication, time management, and problem solving. He plays a significant role in school life as School Vice Captain and is an excellent student role model, leading assemblies and being involved in a range of school committees including the Senior Youth Ministry Team, Youth Mental Health First Aid Team and Social Justice Team.
Theodore also has a number of responsibilities at home including mentoring and supporting two Aboriginal foster brothers.”
Theodore volunteers with the NSW Rural Fire Service as a Brigade Training Officer and Community Engagement Officer, aiding evacuations, leading his fire fighting crew and relaying safety messages to residents. He was instrumental in supporting the community through the recent Busby’s Flat Fire that tore through Rappville.
“That was a difficult time,” says Theodore. “After four days of fighting 12-18-hours a day, we answered a call for urgent property protection three kilometres from my house. I calmly called my family and told them to evacuate. Fire ripped through the back of our property, phone reception went down and I had to wait hours to find out if my family was safe. My work supervisor was supportive and allowed me time off to serve my community.”
Theodore is a worthy recipient of the ADF Long Tan Leadership Award, the Steven Marshall Christian Leadership Award, the Casino Lions Club Youth Of The Year, and the Richmond Valley Council Young Volunteer of the Year Award.
“I have strong community spirit and desire to make a difference. Holding leadership positions at school and in my community enables me to be the change I want to see in the future. It’s important to listen to people and ensure their voice is heard.”