Alida van Driel wins Hunter TAFE Barker Maritime Scholarship

FAIR WINDS: Darren Carey (Newcastle Ferries) with Medowie's Alida van Driel and scholarship patron Annette Lynch.
FAIR WINDS: Darren Carey (Newcastle Ferries) with Medowie's Alida van Driel and scholarship patron Annette Lynch.

Medowie resident and Barker Maritime Scholarship recipient Alida van Driel hopes to become the Port of Newcastle’s first female harbour master.

Hunter TAFE Foundation announced 14 scholarships last Wednesday and Ms van Driel was among the top students to be honoured.

“When I achieve a Certificate III, I will be able to take on more responsibilities and gain more confidence on the water,” she said.

“This means I will have a more promising career available to me.”

Her scholarship is sponsored by the late Don Barker and his wife Annette Lynch. Ms van Driel works as a general purpose hand for Newcastle Ferries and was one of the first two females to work for the organisation.

The scholarship will cover the cost of the TAFE NSW Certificate III in Maritime Operations (Master up to 24 metres near coastal).

“Without the scholarship, it would have been years before I could think about further study,” she said.

TAFE NSW head teacher of maritime studies, Glenn Hunter, said Alida’s determination and skill-set would take her a long way in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

“I have been sailing for 30 years and in that time, I’ve worked with less than five women,” he said.

“Alida has wonderful potential and this training will give her the practical industry skills she needs to work either domestically or internationally in the maritime industry.”

Ms van Driel was one of 14 students awarded scholarships by the Hunter TAFE Foundation on Wednesday that recognise outstanding students studying in a range of skills areas including fashion, Aboriginal cultural arts, nursing, early childhood and hospitality.

Hunter TAFE Foundation is a not-for- profit organisation working with Hunter business, education and community leaders.

In other TAFE news, a piece “360-degree” sound editing equipment used by Netflix will soon be available to media students at Tighes Hill. The Avid S6 sound console with satellite workflow, and equipped with Dolby ATMOS 360-degree sound capability, was installed at the campus this week in a first for any Australian training provider.

This story Student’s career sets sail first appeared on Port Stephens Examiner.