Recently Sharon Smith, Cassandra Gibbens and Breda Diamond—three hardworking women—won the Industry Collaboration Award at the NSW Training Awards.

Sharon, who is the CEO of the Hunter Valley Training Company [HVTC], collaborated on a traineeship program with Cassandra and Breda of Service NSW. The 12-month traineeship participants receive a nationally recognised qualification in customer service, as well as a multitude of other skills only learned through real situations and experiences.

The result was that 76 per cent of trainees secured permanent employment with Service NSW. This kind of work is invaluable to regional and rural areas as it creates job opportunities for our precious young people.

I am so proud that young people and young women from the Hunter Valley are making such a huge difference in training opportunities for school leavers and job seekers, continuing the wonderful legacy of the founding chair and former patron of HVTC, the former member for Maitland, the Hon. Milton Morris, AO; and the former director, Kay Sharpe, AM.

I congratulate also Robert Cameron, AO, and Richards Owens, AM.

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