Atwea student wins 2020 Student of the Year Award

Community Colleges Australia (CCA) has announced the winners of the 2020 Community Education Student of the Year Awards that took place on 25 November via Zoom and involved about 120 people at more than 20 locations along the east coast of Australia.

Atwea College student Kristal Barlow won the 2020 Community Education Student of the Year Award having studied a Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability). As a student, Kristal was determined, passionate and eager to learn. With the barriers caused by COVID-19, Kristal found it difficult to continue her studies. She proved herself to be adaptable, flexible and willing to learn new technology to allow her to continue studying. She found herself completing assessments from the Westmead Children’s Hospital while supporting her daughter through multiple heart surgeries.

Kristal, who thought she would never go back to study says the support of her family and friends and Atwea trainer, Deborah Mercer, helped get her to where she is today, and she can’t wait to see where she goes from here. She is currently volunteering for a disability organisation to assist their participants with behaviour support as well as volunteering for Alesco Senior College to assist their students with a disability to prepare for exams.

In recognising her achievements, Ms Rowan Cox, Atwea College Executive Director, said that Kristal’s story is an inspiration and highlights the substantial personal growth that took place during her studies. “Education has the power to break barriers and to positively change the course of someone’s life,” Rowan said.

It is the second year in a row an Atwea College student has won the national award. “We are humbled to be part of our student’s learning journey and to see them unlock their full potential,” Rowan said.

Congratulations to Kristal and we wish her all the success in the future.

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