From VET student to NT Trainer of the Year finalist
With 15 vocational education and training (VET) certificates under her belt, Charles Darwin University (CDU) VET Lecturer from the Alice Springs Campus, Wendy Blight, is a strong believer in lifelong learning.
So, it comes as no surprise that the much-loved Ms Blight was named a finalist for Trainer of the Year in the Northern Territory Training Awards this year.
Ms Blight’s teaching area spans across accounting, business, entrepreneurship, retail and work health and safety, and she has been teaching from the Alice Springs Campus since 2013.
As a late starter, enrolling into her first VET course in her 30s, Ms Blight believes VET opens numerous possibilities.
Having not finished high school, Ms Blight started her career working in hospitality, making beds and pouring beer. She quickly moved up the ranks and had her own backpacker accommodation business at the age of 30.
From looking after her own finances, she discovered a love for numbers, soon enrolling herself in a bookkeeping VET course at CDU.
“Learning in the VET environment was my happy place. I was like a sponge that just absorbed everything I could learn, and I love to pass it on,” Ms Blight said.
Since then, she has been “all over the place”, going from one VET course to another and eventually obtaining 15 certificates in 14 years.
Now, she is giving back and changing the lives of her students through VET.
“I believe the better the experience is, the better that students learn,” she said.
She is living up to that motto by building a student-friendly learning environment through visual, aural and social learning and her personable approach to training.
She has helped grow the enrolment and completion rates of the VET in Schools courses significantly.
Based in Alice Springs, Ms Blight appreciates the supportive local community.
“The local industries are always there to help out through engagement and consultation,” she said.
“The Northern Territory has a very diverse population of students. It makes me proud to teach students from such a variety of demographics and get them through their education,” she said.
Now a Finalist for the prestigious Northern Territory Training Awards, Ms Blight said she had been “blown away” by this honour.
“I didn’t think I was so special, and now looking back, it just shows I’m doing things right,” she said.
“Whether I win it or not, in my mind I’ve already won. I have an awesome job with great students and colleagues.”
Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 18 September. CDU is a finalist in the Large Training Provider category.
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