Institute news

“Role Model” TAFE SWSi student wins prestigious International Student award

A number of Kenyan babies owe their safe and healthy delivery into the world to TAFE student Immanuel Njoroge. 

Before coming to Australia Immanuel worked as a midwife in his native Kenya where he helped many mothers deliver healthy babies in often hazardous circumstances. And since coming to Australia to study, Immanuel has been an inspiration to his local community.

Immanuel, who is studying for a Diploma of Laboratory Technology at TAFE NSW South Western Sydney Institute (TAFE SWSi) – Granville College – was last night named the winner of the 2014 NSW International VET Student of the Year in a glittering ceremony at the Sydney Opera House. 

Immanuel Njoroge TAFE SWSi Institute Director Peter Roberts said he was extremely proud to have our international student, Immanuel Njoroge, named the award winner at last night’s ceremony

“On behalf of TAFE SWSi, I would like to congratulate Immanuel for his outstanding success and hard work,” he said. “To receive recognition at this level is a great achievement and an inspiration to other students striving for excellence in their field. Furthermore to win such a prestige Award will enhance Immanuel’s professional reputation as a health worker when he returns to Kenya.”

Immanuel came to Australia to study pathology in order to improve his knowledge and skills and further help his native community when he returns to Kenya

In announcing Immanuel as one of the finalists last week, the Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, and the Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Regional Development, John Barilaro said this year’s finalists in the student award categories came from 10 countries and represented a range of educational institutions.

“They have been involved in many initiatives, from mentoring and organising student social and cultural events to volunteering with charities and community groups,” Mr Stoner said.

Since coming to Australia, Immanuel has proved to be an inspirational role model to his fellow TAFE students, local church community and even the United Nations. In May 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees awarded him a Certificate of Appreciation for his “passion and determination” in raising funds for the organisation and thus helping refugees restart their lives.

At TAFE, Immanuel often mentors his peers and inspires pride in their work and study through highlighting the vital role played by health professionals in the community. He has also helped other international students to overcome the inherent loneliness and alienation of being far from home living and studying in a foreign culture.

At his local Blacktown community church he works as a volunteer helping young people at risk to seek healthier life options. One night, Immanuel approached a young homeless man at a railway station and helped him find a place to stay. Immanuel later also helped a “desperate” Nigerian man find work.

​Immanuel’s teacher Kerri Wallwork said Immanuel was an “active team member” who took ownership of his work and was a leader to those in the team.

“Immanuel is a great asset to the TAFE community,” she said. “He always helps those struggling. One example of Immanuel’s dedication was his setting up of a small study group that was open to anyone who needed additional study partners. He was very successful and, as a result, both he and his study partner achieved great results.”

Mr Barilaro, who represented the Deputy Premier at the awards ceremony, said the presence of international students helped to develop and expand the State’s overseas cultural and trade ties.

“The awards are our way of recognising the contribution international students make to our State and thanking them for sharing their ideas and culture with us, “ Mr Barilaro said. “The NSW Government is working with the international education sector to ensure its long-term growth.

“Through Study NSW – a dedicated agency within NSW Trade & Investment – we are working hard to attract more international students to our State for a world-class education.”