By Bridget Brady
THE four winners of this year’s Herb Thomas Memorial Trust Awards say they are honoured to be recognised for their potential.
The Rotary Club of Berwick hosted the 26th awards presentation at Berwick last Thursday, which celebrated the achievements of graduates and students in the media and printing industry.
Narre Warren South’s Elisa Trevan was nominated by Chisholm Institute as one of the most outstanding final year students in the Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing and Editing) course at the Berwick campus.
Ms Trevan is presently undertaking freelance work with MacMillan publishing, and hopes to combine her two passions of writing and drawing.
Ms Trevan said she was “shocked and completely overwhelmed” to receive the $1200 grant. As a sole parent, she said studying and managing family commitments were a juggle, but said it was a wonderful experience.
Anita Andersen from Somerville hosts her own weekly show on Casey Radio and said she was “stunned” to receive one of the trust awards.
Ms Andersen, who was nominated as the most outstanding final year journalism student at Monash University in Berwick, said she would use her grant money to complete a professional radio course.
“It is with great honour I accept this award,” she said.
Twenty-year-old Nick Sharp from Bairnsdale won his grant after being nominated as one of the most outstanding final year graphic technology students by RMIT University International Centre of Graphic Technology.
“I was overwhelmed to be nominated for such a prestigious award in the first place, but to win it was massive,” he said.
Debbie Rybicki, 28, was nominated by RMIT as one of the most outstanding students in the Graduate Diploma of Journalism course.
After working for six years as a physio, Ms Rybicki said she was keen for a change.
“I have been looking for something a bit more challenging for a while,’’ she said.
She presently works as a producer for Steve Vizard on the new AM radio station MTR. She described her role as a “behind the scenes journo” and joked she was the one that made the announcers sound smart.
Ms Rybicki said she hoped to be on air one day, and would use the award money to undertake voice training to get rid of her “Aussie twang.”
Star News Group director Ian Thomas, son of the late Herb Thomas, said his family was honoured to be part of the presentation.
He wished the award winners well in their futures and acknowledged their sacrifices, dedication and “dogged determination”.
“Congratulations to all of you,” Mr Thomas said.
He thanked the Rotary clubs and trustees for their involvement in the trust, which was established in 1979.
The trustees are Roger Hall from the Rotary Club of Narre Warren, Cardinia Shire Council mayor Graeme Legge, City of Casey chief executive Mike Tyler, Gary Evans from the Rotary Club of Berwick and Gary Board from the Rotary Club of Pakenham.
By Bridget Brady