Becoming a finalist is music to Lien’s ears

29-year old Lien Vanmaele from Inglewood has been short-listed as a finalist for the “WA International Student of the Year” award at this year’s WA Training Awards for her dedication to pursuing a career in the music events industry.

Belgium born Lien moved to Perth two years ago to experience living and studying in another country and says it is the best thing she has ever done.

“Studying and spending time in a different country has had such a huge positive impact on my life,” said Lien. “I have become fluent in English, obtained two qualifications and secured a job that I absolutely love.”

Lien studied a Diploma of Music Business at North Metropolitan TAFE in Leederville whilst participating in an internship at West Australian Music, where she gained experience working on gigs like the State of the Art Festival and the West Australian Music Festival.

Lien went on to obtain a Diploma of Events at North Metro TAFE’s Northbridge campus and now works in a front of house role at the Perth Arena where she has had the opportunity to work on events such as The Prince Concert, The Cure, Disney on Ice and Canada vs USA Ice Hockey.

“My dream was always to work in the music industry, for a big festival or concert venue and now I’m living my dream and I have to pinch myself some days to make sure I’m awake.”

Lien admits that her journey hasn’t always been an easy one, particularly with the language barrier she faced when she arrived in Australia. She knew she had to overcome her fears of not being understood because she wouldn’t only have to speak in English, she’d need to study in English as well.

“The first few weeks were really tough,” she said. “I was translating every single word in my head trying to work out what it meant and on top of that, I had the Australian accent to get used to”.

“After a while, something started to change. I felt myself getting used to it. I was no longer translating every word and actually caught myself thinking in English!” said Lien.

North Metro TAFE Events lecturer Liz Bindon-Bonney said that Lien has transformed into an independent, confident and extremely motivated student during her studies.

“Lien is a hard-working and talented student who has used her strength and enthusiasm to overcome the many challenges faced by an international student,” said Liz. “She will go far in the events industry and I wish her the very best.”

Not resting on her laurels, Lien now studies Leadership and Management at Sterling Business College which she hopes will assist her to gain a management position in the future.

Lien is competing against three other finalists for the “WA International Student of the Year” title which will be awarded at a Presentation Dinner on Friday 23 September at the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Lifetime Award for a Lifetime of Volunteering

Perennial volunteer Hank Koster was celebrated at a gala dinner at the Hyatt Regency on 11 May where he received a Lifetime Contribution to Volunteering Award from Volunteering WA.

If one man could epitomise the spirit of volunteering, you would be hard pressed to find a better candidate than Hank Koster.

‘Mr Hank’ as he is known to the hundreds of people he has helped over the years, has dedicated much of his life, a remarkable 54 years all up, to helping others.

Whether it be a tutor for the Read Write Now (RWN) program, a carer at the Albany Hospice, visiting inmates at the Albany maximum security prison or providing foster care, Hank humbly goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Hank arrived in Albany from Holland as a 23 year old with no English and a speech impediment. This experience formed the foundation for a lifetime of volunteering and a commitment to make a difference to the lives of people in need.

2016 VolWA Hank Awardblog

To complement Hank’s award, Greg Elliot received the Western Australian Volunteer Award for Ethnic Communities for his work with Centacare and RWN, helping people from diverse backgrounds learn, work and prosper in the community.

A RWN volunteer since 2001, most of Greg’s students are refugees who face a myriad of barriers to learn and succeed. Greg teaches his students literacy and numeracy and is directly involved in changing their lives for the better.

Volunteering WA aims to build stronger communities by connecting volunteers to community organisations. It provides a range of resources, services and support so West Australians better understand the nature and scope of volunteering.

North Metro TAFE has proudly hosted the RWN volunteer program since 2006. The program caters to those who fell through the cracks of the school system and need help with literacy and numeracy, as well as refugees and North Metro TAFE students.

Graphic Design Gold

WorldSkills is like the Olympics for skills training and Central Graphic Design Production student Chris Williamson is one step closer to representing Australia following his win at the regional competition.

Earlier this year, Central hosted the 2015 WorldSkills WA Regional Graphic Design Technology competition for Cert III for Printing and Graphic Arts (Graphic Design Production) students.

The results are in and Central has come away with outstanding results proving our students are at the forefront of Graphic Design in WA.

Central students came first, second, third and fourth for at the regional competition.

The results are:

1st Place: Chris Williamson

2nd Place: Cody James Ballantyne

3rd Place: Claudia Donovan – Hicks

4th Place: Thitikorn Phuengkam

Chris Williamson will be presented his gold medal The Grand Ballroom at Crown Perth on the 1 December along with the other successful competitors.

Following his win, Chris will have the opportunity to represent WA and Central when he competes at the national WorldSkills competition next year for a chance to represent Australia internationally.

The high calibre of all Central Graphic Design Production students will be on display at the graduate show located at Building 4, 133 Newcastle Street, Northbridge on 30 November from 6-8pm.

Not only will the work of our graduates be on display, but also pizza from Stuzzico and a letterpress so you can print your own Christmas cards.

If you’re interested in attending the graduate exhibition, please RSVP to the GDP Exhibition Facebook page by the 25 November.

More Information:

Ricky’s Flash Award

Everyone seems to fancy themselves as a photographer these days, but just because you have a camera, doesn’t mean you’re a photographer, it takes talent and hard work.

Proving this point is third year photography student Ricky Gestro who recently won the coveted Australian Institute of Professional Photography’s (AIPP) National Student of the Year Award.

Ricky placed above all the other entries from students in Australia to take out the prestigious prize.

Students are scored alongside professional industry entries and critiqued by the same judges.

To receive an award, the student must submit work of a high professional standard both technically and creatively.

Fellow Central photography students Lisa Anfuso and Melissa Mitchell received gold awards at the AIPP awards, with a number of other Central students receiving silver distinctions and awards

Silver awards and above are considered to be above industry competency and are a testament to the passion of the students and the quality of teaching.

Congratulations to Ricky and all other award winners.

More Information:

Shutter Closes on a Stellar Career

Following his retirement in June this year, photography lecturer Leon Kozyrski, received an Honorary Life Membership from the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers (AIPP).

Leon received the award for his outstanding contribution to the photography industry, with over 38 years teaching and industry experience.

His passion for photography started at an early age. Leon’s father was a professional photographer in Poland and later in Geraldton.

After receiving his award, I caught up with Leon to discuss his career achievements and what the future holds…

When did you start pursuing photography?    

 I was exposed to photography from the age of seven. In 1969 I was awarded a Diploma in Commercial, Industrial and Advertising Photography from Ealing Technical College, UK.

The college provided me with a solid foundation and variety of possibilities that I pursued after graduation. During my career as a professional photographer I also taught the subject in my spare time. Lecturing became more serious when I joined Mt Lawley Technical College as a part time photography lecturer in 1976. By 1978 I was accepted as a full time lecturer and my teaching career had begun. I was also accepted as a full member of Australian Institute of Professional Photography.

How long were you at Central?   

During my teaching career, the college had a number of name changes (Tech, CMC, TAFE and Central) so I can say my total number of years spanned over 38 in total, between the Mt Lawley and Perth campuses. I officially retired in June 2015.

What is your biggest inspiration?          

There were a few, but my biggest inspiration came from end of year graduations, where the third year students showcase their photography to their family, friends and prospective employers.

I watched these students mature and develop skills that many a professional photographer would have to try hard to match. All of our lecturers are very proud of student achievements and as for me, it was great motivator to start again the following year.

Leon kozyrski, Krakowblog

What was your biggest challenge and greatest achievement in your career so far?       

My biggest challenge was moving the Photography Section from the Mt Lawley campus to the Perth campus. The wet processes were the most difficult and costly to move. Together with my team, I had to decide on which processes we had to let go.

My greatest achievement was when I established a lunchtime forum where well-known photographers could show and discuss their work to inspire and motivate students. The events were conducted in my own time and were well attended by students.

35 years and about 120 guest speakers later, this model became embedded in the curriculum of the latest Advanced Diploma of Photography. That was one of my greatest achievements over a long time span. I was also instrumental in setting up and running highly successful short courses for paying candidates. The income generated helped to fund our new digital lab and other modern equipment for the photography section.

How do you feel about receiving your life membership award?

I was surprised and delighted to be nominated for the award. For me, it was the ultimate reward for my efforts as a photographer and a lecturer at Central. My fellow lecturers and I promoted the AIPP to our students as the key organisation that would enhance their working careers.

Leon Kozyrski, NZ South Island

What are your plans for the future?

My wife and I both rally enjoy travel and presently are busy planning a trip to Europe. Photography is still my passion, but family and friends are also very important in my life. In other words, I don’t have any solid plans so, for the time being, I will just go with the flow.

 More information

Solid Gold Career Change

Leandro Martins is a fine example for anyone searching for the courage to follow their dream and switch careers.

At 50 years old he proves its never too late to take a leap of faith do something you love.

A recent Jewellery graduate from Central, Leandro has won the coveted West Australian Graduate of the Year Award (GOTYA), judged by the Design Institute of Australia’s WA branch.

He is now in the running for the top prize in the Australasian Graduate of the Year Awards (AGOTYA).

AGOTYA is the primary program for emerging designers; it is a portfolio based awards program for final year design students and recent graduates.

He will compete with the top state graduates from Australia and New Zealand in Melbourne’s Federation Square later this year.

Although only recently changing career to a full time artist, Leandro has always had a passion for art and creativity.

In his previous occupation as a toolmaker, he relished every opportunity to be creative, but it wasn’t enough, finding himself doing more and more projects to satiate his creativity.

For Leandro the rat race wasn’t for him, he found working in a job he didn’t love and waiting for retirement was like living backwards.

“An individual who centralizes themselves into investing all their efforts into a retirement has, metaphorically, been on a voyage with shades down, and fails to see the beauty of life passing by”, he said.

If you feel like life is passing you by and you want a change of career, but don’t know how to achieve it, Central has a range of courses for whatever you’re interested in, and the experience to help you get there.

For a list of available course at Central click here 

Christian Makes a Stand

It’s that time of year again; where Central and Billy Blue design students prove that they are design industry leaders.

This year, Christian Oshiro won the coveted National Samsung Staron Design Award in the concept category (edition 2) for his Kokoro Stand.

Christian receives award from Fiona Parsons - Specifications Manager, Austaron Surfaces
Christian receives award from Fiona Parsons – Specifications Manager, Austaron Surfaces

The Staron Design Awards is open to any designer, architect, developer or student that has created a project using Staron Solid Surfaces. The awards are designed to create exposure for designers that use Staron in outstanding applications.

As winner of the concept category, Christian created a unique product design using Staron. He designed a mid-floor shoe display in the shape of a heart for shoe boutique Melissa.

Melissa is a Brazilian company, which prides itself on customer care, a value, which translates into heartfelt, pure, honest products.

Kokoro in Japanese means heart, the feelings, spirit or essence of an individual. Christian used this concept to inspire his design to represent the culture and values of Melissa.

Adding to the sentiment of the project, Christian dedicated his heart shaped design to his mother, who recently passed away.

The design that could be created in one continuous surface with no joins using Staron, has received high praise from the judges.

”This design extracts the essence of the Melissa brand – it’s geometric shapes and colours – merges it with an abstracted heart shape and infuses it with emotion and meaning, while understanding the potential of the Staron product to create such a sculptural solution”, said Stephen Varady of Stephen Varady Associates.

Which clearly should be the final word here!

Christian with Central's Design portfolio staff
Christian with Central’s Design portfolio staff


For information on BIlly Blue design courses at Central click here




Display image care of Samsung Staron Solid Surfaces