As anyone who follows my Twitter or Facebook would know, I was nominated for the Vocational Student of the Year award. The weekend just gone was the award ceremony for the finalists, and eventual winners. The night was amazing, and is completely available on Twitter under the official hashtags #QTACQ and #QTA2018, and all of my coverage is under #MaintainTheRage.
The whole experience started a couple of months ago with a phone call congratulating me on my nomination for the award. I was then told I would need to write what would equate to an essay on myself and why I should be considered. This essay would filter out candidates to narrow the field to three. Following that a phone interview was conducted whereby they asked questions about study, life, extracurricular activities, aspirations and a myriad of other topics. This determined the winner. But it would be many months between the interview and the awards. The local paper wrote an article about my nomination, as did the University where I studied my Diploma and currently study my Bachelor. But before I knew it, the weekend was upon us.
I was accompanied on the night by my Mother and Father who have been a MASSIVE support since my discharge from the Navy, and subsequent training, and difficulties along the way. Not that they haven’t been supportive prior to this moment…. you know what I mean. Anyway there was nibbles, drinks, and networking going on everywhere. There where some 200 people in attendance that varied from 15 year old students to teaching staff to Dept of ESMTSD and the local MP. It was great to have Jay Laga’aia as the MC for the evening, he not only kept the night moving as it should, but gave some much needed comic relief to the room.
The food was pretty good, considering they were catering for the 200 of us, and some of us decided to be fussy and try and eat Keto for the night… It didn’t work, I failed and subsequently gouged myself on Carbs. I regret nothing. The entertainment was amazing, there was a local two piece band that was AMAZING, if you are ever in Mackay Queensland and you get a chance to check out Jessy J and the Ricochets, DO IT!
Now the actual presentation was broken down into two main parts, the naming and awarding of all the finalists by category. This was again broken in half by our main course, and followed by dessert. Then the naming and awarding of the actual winners of each category. Which was unexpectedly nerve racking. I was counting down the categories as they approached mine. I was trying to see if there was something common amongst the other winners to show a glimpse at what might come. Even when my category was up and Helen Huntly, PROVOST of CQUniversity, began her opening dialogue to draw out the suspense, I was convinced I wasn’t the winner. Then she said it. My name. I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream. I looked up at the screen to see my name. I had done it. I had won the Regional Vocational Education Student of the Year Award. I was over the moon. I couldn’t stop shaking with the surge of adrenaline. I walked on stage and excitedly embraced Helen, and then thanked and shook hands with the other dignitaries on stage. Jay made some Darth Vader remarks and asked if I wanted to say a few words. Which I took the opportunity to. Because as you all know I hate speaking to crowds and always shy away from a chance to say something. The video of my announcement and speech is here for those interested.
So now I prepare for State finals. The process is almost exactly the same with the only exception being the night will be held in Brisbane QLD in September. I will try and keep everyone up to date with what is happening with the Award and any cool stuff that comes out it.
This story wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated, understanding, patient, loving people I have around me;
- Deb my Mother and check sum
- Jim my Father and sounding board
- Ashley my Brother
- Bec my Sister-in-Law
- Jess my Kiwi friend
- Jess my Not Kiwi Friend
- Adrian my good friend and Ninja Turtle
- Chris my good friend and Xeno Scum
- Joseph, Darby, and Ethne my children who give me a reason to get up in the morning
- Alinta, my wife, the one person who single handedly holds my world together, catches the pieces that I drop, and ensures that I actually stop and breathe once in a while.
I love you all. You are the reason I can continue to Maintain my Rage. Without any of the above people, and numerous others I haven’t named, I would not have been able to even be nominated for such an award, or even do the things that I do, so Thank You.
Maintain the Rage