The Mirror News

Hayden is Gippsland’s Dairy Student of the Year

FOSTER’S Hayden Hanratty was awarded Student of the Year for Gippsland at the National Centre for Dairy Education (NCDE) Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE (GOTAFE) annual graduation ceremony at Lardner Park Exhibition Centre on May 6.

The ceremony celebrated the students’ successful completion of their respective courses as well as acknowledging outstanding achievement.

More than 620 students studied with NCDE GOTAFE in Gippsland in 2014, 75 of them completing their studies during 2014. Forty students were formally recognised at the graduation ceremony, accepting their certificate in front of 170 industry members, students, family members, farm employers and NCDE staff.

Runner-up to Hayden was Jason Riley.

Hayden graduated with a Certificate IV in Agriculture, having previously completed his Certificate II and III. He commenced his studies while he was still at secondary school and has been a valued team member at Kate Bland’s dairy in Foster, where he’s worked for more than 10 years.

In his address to the audience, the master of ceremonies for the evening, Commercial Manager for the NCDE Western District region, David Shutein, congratulated Hayden and Jason on their achievements and commended the NCDE Gippsland team’s passion and dedication to building strong, working relationships with industry and employers in the region.

“Hayden has shown determination to succeed. In addition to his job with Bland’s, he operates a small cattle cartage business and leases a block where he runs a beef herd. This level of commitment and initiative makes him an excellent role model for other students,” said Mr Shutein.

“Hayden clearly articulates the benefits of his training with NCDE – the opportunities to network with other students, trainers and guest speakers and visit other farms. He has even said he would never have learned as much otherwise.”

“Jason is also a fantastic advocate for the dairy industry,” said Mr Shutein. “He did not grow up on a farm, but also began his studies whilst at school and currently works full-time at a dairy farm in Tarwin, has a strong involvement in the local community and is keen to continue learning and wants to complete his Certificate III.

“It is great to have so many students graduate here tonight. It’s a reflection of our students’ achievements, but also demonstrates the Gippsland team’s commitment to working with industry, employers and students to provide relevant and practical training that meets their needs.

“The team’s comprehensive consultation with industry has resulted in a number of collaborative partnerships. In particular the partnership with Dairy Australia has created great opportunities for students and one that the team take great enjoyment from.”

Hayden received a $500 training voucher from NCDE and GOTAFE and a $500 cheque from Dairy Australia. This award was presented by Ian Halliday, Managing Director Dairy Australia.

Retiring NCDE GOTAFE Learning and Quality Manager, Sylvia Vagg was also acknowledged on the night for 32 years of service to Agriculture and Dairy Education in the Gippsland region.

The guest speaker, Natalie Collard, reflected on the purpose of graduations and acknowledged they are more about new beginnings than conclusions. She emphasised the importance for students to receive the practical application of what they learn and encouraged the students to believe in themselves and stay true to their objective.

For further information on studying agriculture or dairy related courses, please contact the NCDE on


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