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Lucinda overcomes challenges to win string of awards


She couldn’t read or write until she started her tertiary studies, but East Maitland woman Lucinda Shilcock did not let that stop her from achieving her goals. 

This week the young Newcastle TAFE NSW graduate won several academic accolades at the learning hub’s annual awards ceremonies. 

Despite being diagnosed with dyslexia from a young age, Lucinda has proven hard work pays off, graduating with a Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician. 

At the 2023 TAFE NSW Gili Awards at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney last month, Lucinda was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, Trainee of the Year and Infrastructure, Energy and Construction Student of the Year. 

She also took home a trio of honours at The TAFE NSW Student Excellence Awards in Port Macquarie, winning Student of the Year, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year and Apprentice of the Year. 

Lucinda has since gained valuable experience working in high-rise, residential and commercial construction, as well as home automation, automatic doors, lifts and building switchboards in mines.  

She is now qualified and working for Kone Cranes Australia. 

Not being able to read or write before she signed up for the TAFE course, she says, initially filled her with fear.  

But, thanks to hard work and the support of teaching staff, she soon fell in love with learning. 

“Electrotechnology is heavily math based and given I am dyslexic and struggled at school, there were people who told me I couldn’t do it,” she said. 

“But, I was determined and worked incredibly hard.  

“TAFE’s training was very industry specific and taught me the essential skills that I actively use in my job each day.  

“It was such a positive learning experience that I was able to gain my confidence and work in some really incredible jobs.” 

Lucinda credits the patience of teaching staff for her success. 

“My teacher Mr Bailey truly changed my life,” she said.  

“If I didn’t understand the concepts he would keep trying different angles to explain it to me.  

“He never made me feel insecure [and] spent countless hours helping me.  

“He is truly a great person, amazing educator and friend.” 

TAFE NSW teacher Derek Bailey says Lucinda consistently displayed determination, drive, and dedication to achieve her goals. 

“Lucinda embraced learning with passion and has been generous with her time, helping fellow students when they struggle on difficult concepts,” he said. 

“She is a shining light for women in non-traditional trades, for people with learning disabilities, for young indigenous women, and for anyone struggling to find the inspiration they need to make the most of themselves and their lives.” 

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