SHE only began studying carpentry last year but Lili Leaney could soon be the poster child for TAFE Queensland.
The Cleveland girl, 17, has been nominated for the 2019 Queensland Training Awards school-based apprentice of the year gong.
Campus business manager Barry Evans said Lili’s professionalism continued to wow her teachers and peers.
She had demonstrated excellence throughout her certificate one in construction studies at Alexandra Hills TAFE campus and had used her own initiative to secure a school-based apprenticeship.
“Lili's work is of such a high standard that I have nominated her for a TAFE Queensland award for school-based apprentices,” Mr Evans said.
Lili began studying at Alexandra Hills TAFE campus in March last year after after setting her sights on becoming a builder.
She had only just started her senior schooling in year eleven at Cleveland District State High School before deciding to fit in trades with her academic studies.
Lili was a late enrolment into the class of 10 boys, but quickly notched up brownie points with her speed, grace and skill.
Attending the Alexandra Hills TAFE campus once every week, Lily learned how to use an electric saw, assemble housing frames, design building plans and work as part of a team.
She also made her own wooden box to store building tools in.
Mr Evans said Lili’s work ethic continued to make her teachers and family proud.
She was the first in her trades class to secure a high school-based apprenticeship over Christmas, helping to pour concrete walls on an industrial site with Clarke Construction once every week.
Lili said she always liked creating pieces and was interested in carpentry.
Her interest in the trade had caught her mother Lizzie Leaney by surprise.
“It did not surprise me that she wanted to do a trade, but that she wanted to do a male trade,” Ms Leaney said.
Lili’s tutor Nick Stewart said Lili had every quality a teacher could hope for in a student, including commitment and curiosity.
“She is motivated, easy to teach, always asking questions and wanting to know more,” he said.
In 2017, Capalaba MP Don Brown and Redlands MP Kim Richards promised to inject $10 million into the Alexandra Hills TAFE campus.
That money would be used to help convert an existing area at the campus into a plumbing centre of excellence, with other projects to boost trades education also in the pipeline.
For more information about TAFE Queensland, visit tafeqld.edu.au or phone 1300 308 233.
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