A young Eltham man who has battled anxiety and turned his life around through training was recognised in this year's Learn Local Awards where he scooped the prize for Pre-accredited Learner Excellence.
Matthew Agostinelli, 20, has studied at the Diamond Valley Learning Centre in Greensborough for four years. At first, it was hard for Matt to even walk through the door but through hard work, persistence and courage he has progressively won his battle to manage his anxiety, completing a number of courses including VCAL, and going on to volunteer at the centre and even plan a career supporting students with disabilities.
"When I went there, I knew it was the right place for me," explains Matt. "The people gave me belief in myself."
Matt was one of five winners at the awards, which recognise the contribution to training made by Victoria's more than 300 Learn Locals which offer pre-accredited and accredited training.
More than 250 people attended the awards at the Collingwood Town Hall.
Other winners included Keysborough Learning Centre's Marj Sjostrom, who picked up the prize for outstanding practitioner, as well as BA@Wyndham, a program at Wyndham Community and Education Centre which, in partnership with Federation University, is helping students who were previously disengaged from schooling to access higher education at a Learn Local.
Opening the awards, Minister for Training and Skills Steve Herbert, congratulated all finalists and winners on their achievements. "These are great stories of training success, of people lifting themselves up through training, of commitment by teachers and of wonderful programs that transform lives.
"All Victorians, no matter their background, should be able to access training to get the skills they need for the jobs they want. Learn Locals are often the first step on someone's pathway to employment."
ACFE Board Chair Sue Christophers added that the ACFE Board was "proud to support Learn Local organisations to deliver such valuable training and skills for thousands of Victorians each year."
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