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Suzy with her Gili Award and certificate.Among the glitz and glamour of the 23rd annual TAFE NSW Gili Awards held recently in the iconic Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, was one of Vision Australia’s own shining stars.

Suzy Trindall-Engert, Indigenous Trainee Community Development Worker based in the Newcastle Vision Australia office, was presented with a prestigious Gili Award as Trainee of the Year.

Gili (pronounced kili) is an Eora word, meaning to shine, with the Gili Awards recognising excellence in achievement in Aboriginal Vocational Education and Training across all TAFE NSW Institutes.

Suzy, a proud Ngemba woman of North West NSW, was born and raised on Dharug country.

In 2012, Suzy completed a Certificate IV in Community Services with Hunter TAFE as part of her traineeship with Vision Australia.

TAFE NSW recognised Suzy for demonstrating excellence in educational achievement in her course and working diligently to realise her academic potential.

TAFE NSW noted that “to complete her Certificate IV in Community Services is testament not only to her commitment and determination to succeed educationally but demonstrates her strength and determination to overcome the challenges posed by having a vision impairment.”

“It was a great honour for me to receive this award,” Suzy said.

“The fact that I am most proud of is that I received a mainstream award. I was recognised above all other trainees – with or without disability.”

“It’s a great honour and shows that being blind or having low vision doesn’t need to hold you back. If I happen to inspire someone else, then that’s even better,” she said.

With encouragement from her mentor, Roslyn Gordon, Suzy plans to enrol in the Diploma of Community Services at TAFE with the intention of progressing to university.

If that wasn’t enough, Suzy was also recently selected as an Ambassador for Aboriginal peoples with disability through NSW Human Services, Family and Community Services.