Zoë Tolhurst named as 2021 TAFE NSW Trainee of the Year for her passion for ECEC

Zoë Tolhurst named as 2021 TAFE NSW Trainee of the Year for her passion for ECEC

by Freya Lucas

July 16, 2021

Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care graduate Zoë Tolhurst was recently named as the 2021 TAFE NSW Trainee of the Year, recognised for her dedication and passion towards a career in early childhood education and care (ECEC).


Ms Tolhurst, judges said, represents “precisely what the early childcare industry (sic.) needs.” 


“I really didn’t expect to receive the award and I had to get into my head that I deserved it,” she told digital publication News Of The Area, explaining her journey from previous studies in graphic design to early childcare education.


Like many young people she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to do until one day it just fell into place, with the move to ECEC sparked while waiting for a tennis coaching lesson. 


“I was watching him with the kids and I loved the interactions he had and over a period of time, it really inspired me to give it a go,” she explained. 


After looking for traineeships Zoë applied at the preschool she had attended as a child, was given the place and hasn’t looked back.


When asked about her favorite aspect of working with children, Ms Tolhurst noted the friendships the children form with their educators and amongst themselves as being a highlight.


“The benefits of being friends with the kids you’re working with and getting to see their faces light up when you remember a story they told you or know a show they like, you see their face light and nothing beats that,” she said.


To read the original coverage of this story please see here