Rory Smeaton was recognised as the 2010 Australian Training Awards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year for his outstanding achievements in his community services studies and says it was one of the most significant moments of his life.
“When my name was called out as the winner, I was like wow, really me? I never thought in my wildest dreams I’d win. I was competing with people who had amazing stories and had come so far in their lives,” Rory said.
Rory said his mum was particularly proud, and the win echoed throughout his community.
“Winning the award meant so much to my family. For many years we struggled to get by and for me to win this award meant the sacrifices our mum made for us didn’t go to waste.
“My uncles and aunts and my wider Koorie community were also very happy for me, and what I had achieved. They knew my story would encourage the younger generation coming through.”
Rory has had a career that has grown in leaps and bounds since winning the award. At the time he won, Rory was the Koorie Liaison officer at the Kangan Institute, and soon after winning he was offered the position of Indigenous Liaison officer at Swinburne University of Technology. He worked as the Indigenous Recruitment advisor and recently finished a secondment as a Human Resources Advisor - Hotels, Retail and Food & Beverage, for Crown Melbourne – two time winner of the Employer of the Year Award at the Australian Training Awards.
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To invite Rory to share his success story at your event please contact VETAlumni@education.gov.au.