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AETS Tassie's star student scores award nomination

4 minute read

The life of a student is a constant ebb and flow. Sometimes the motivation is there, sometimes it drifts.

For Chantell Cordwell, her motivation shifted from studying to working by the time she had reached year 12.

"I started my first job when I was 15 while going to school.

"When year 12 came around I didn't want to continue school," she shared.

Flash forward to four years later and Chantell decided the time was right for her to return to study, enrolling in a Certificate III in Early Childcare and Education through Registered Training Organisation, AETS.

With a unique focus on group learning tailored to individual outcomes, Chantell decided AETS was the right fit for her educational needs and commenced her course, run by Tasmanian VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year nominee Emma Ikin."The Certificate III was challenging and allowed me to gain new knowledge and skills.

"I enjoyed the class time, it made me feel more comfortable and allowed me to stay on task.

"The most challenging thing was studying after not being in school for four years - and most of my classmates had experience with children and some knowledge of the industry.

Sticking to her guns made the program even more worthwhile for Chantell, who was inspired by Trainer Emma and drawn to learning and developing herself even further.

"Not only did I make lifelong friendships but the class was taught so well it has given me aspirations to continue to study," Chantell shared.

And as it turned out, her hard work and persistence stood out amongst her peers which led to Trainer Emma nominating Chantell for a Vocational Student of the Year Award, a recognition of outstanding learner dedication which is awarded yearly by Skills Tasmania, Department of State Growth.

"Emma told me about the nomination on my last day of class, I was just finishing up with some of the work.

"I was gobsmacked!

"It has made me feel much more confident within myself and my work. I also felt so grateful that Emma was nominating me for such a great opportunity," Chantell shared.

As part of the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, students are required to participate in a placement at a local Childcare facility which can often lead to employment outcomes.

"I currently work in day care and I secured this job because of my work placement provided to me by AETS," Chantell said.

"Every aspect of working in childcare is my favourite - each day is a fresh start with whole new experiences, not only provided by the educators but also by the children.

"We all learn from each other."

Moving up is the only way to go for Chantell, who is soon to commence a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care with AETS, and has a short-term goal of becoming a room leader within her day care centre.

Her future ambitions are even greater.

"I want to become an advocate for Autism Tasmania or mental health in children.

"I also have long-term aspirations to become a kindergarten teacher or a director of a centre," she said.

And with the passion and drive that she has, Chantell is sure to make her goals a reality.


The 2019 Tasmanian Training Awards are announced on September 6. PeoplePlus and AETS wish Chantell all the best for her award and look forward to seeing her progress in her profession.

To find out more about the awards, visit www.skills.tas.gov.au/trainingawards

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