Event organiser takes the limelight

Alisha Cassidy has packed a lot into her 18 years and the latest milestone was being named Central Institute of Technology’s 2014 Student of the Year last night.

Alisha, from Quinns Rocks, was presented with the honour by the Hon. Michael Sutherland MLA at Central’s annual award night at the Empyreum in Northbridge.

Since the beginning of high school Alisha has known that she wanted to pursue a career in the Tourism & Events industry.

She began her journey by organising dinner dances, school balls and other school community events.

Now completing a Diploma in Events at Central, Alisha has shown considerable drive and ambition having already completed 20 volunteer jobs in the industry.

With an ultimate goal of working in events for the fashion world, Alisha chose Central because of its hands on teaching style and the fact it ensures graduates have had work experience.

Alisha emerged as the winner of overall leading student of the year after securing top honours as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year for 2014.

Her work as an ITAS tutor to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students is testament to her community minded nature.

Once qualified, Alisha’s dream is to use her skills to showcase Aboriginal artists and designers. She believes people will gain a better appreciation of the rich cultural heritage and the talent here in WA if there is a better platform to foster talent.

Laura Nowlan

Photography student Craig Bush joined Alisha as a winner securing the Vocational Student of the Year (Diploma) category.  Craig has received numerous awards of late, including silver distinction honours at the 2012 Australian Professional Photography Awards

Other winners on the night included Krystal Tobias who won Vocational Student of the Year for those studying at Certificate level.

Krystal tobias for-blog

Krystal is currently completing a Diploma in Events and hopes to go on to work in the stage management field of the events industry.

‘I’ve gained so many skills from the course that I didn’t even know existed, from learning about the different courses of a degustation meal to being able to tie a clove-hitch knot in staging and lighting”, said Krystal.


Trainee of the Year for 2014 is Laura Nowlan.  Aiming to become a secondary school teacher, Laura is another young Central student with an incredibly mature outlook.  For example, she is studying Financial Services at the moment in order to have a niche specialism when ultimately applying for teaching positions.

In addition, she already has over 7 years of voluntary experience working with Fire and Rescue services and is coaching children competing in the junior championships.

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Brazilian born Ivi Oliveira was named International Student of the Year. Ivi is a graduate from Central’s Diploma of International Business program.  A course she is confident will both develop the skills involved in the analysis of international markets, as well as the personal attributes required to successfully engage in international business.

Education Support student Miriam Davids won the Best VET In Schools student category.

Miriam Davids

At just 18 years of age, Miriam, who was also awarded top VET honours at her high school, shows considerable maturity.  She balances study, work, and voluntary work and has even found time to become a qualified swimming instructor.


In the Access and Diversity class, Esther Vazquez Madrid was selected as a winner for the English as a Second Language (ESL) category.  Esther has coped amazingly well with a sudden move from Chile into a brand new country, culture and language.  As if that wasn’t enough of a challenge, she is also embarking on a career change with a move into the nursing profession.


Olivia Dhimitri picked up top honours for Student with a Disability.  An accomplished filmmaker, Olivia has overcome many physical hurdles during her time at Central. ‘I’ve felt my only ever option has been to keep going, and push through it, because it’s worth it and now I have a career”, she said.

Congratulations to all of Central’s winners and nominees.


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