Scot MacDonald
8th Sep 2017

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast Scot MacDonald MLChas congratulated Darek Figa from Blue Haven for taking out one of the major awards at the 2017 NSW State Training Awards held Thursday evening at Sydney Town Hall.

Darek was named 2017 NSW Vocational Education and Training Trainer/Teacher of the Year in recognition of his work as a teacher of animal studies at TAFE NSW.

Mr MacDonald said Darek is an inspiring TAFE teacher who has also worked on various animal welfare projects across Indonesia, Malaysia and India. He applies behavioural enrichment techniques to improve the lives of animals in captivity including elephants, sun bears, orangutans and endangered sea turtles.

“As a teacher, Darek creates training opportunities that allow students to develop practical skills while assisting the enterprise they’re working for,” Mr MacDonald said.

“Since 2005, he has designed student immersion trips, which have grown to two-week international study tours.

“These life-changing experiences have exposed students to an exciting range of species, modern conservation techniques, and behavioural enrichment to provide animals with an environment that allows them to express natural behaviours.”

Deputy Premier and Minister for Skills John Barilaro said the annual NSW Training Awards showcased the world class vocational education and training (VET) offered in NSW and acknowledges our very best VET students.

“VET training is helping to meet the changing skills needs of our economy and delivering qualifications in fast-growing sectors like information technology, health and aged care, hospitality, fitness and recreation” Mr Barilaro said.

“Darek’s success is typical of the fantastic outcomes that can be achieved through VET and I wish him all the best when he goes on to represent NSW at the Australian Training Awards in Canberra in November,” Mr Barilaro said. 

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Scot MacDonald | 0408 450 032