A WOMAN who overcame deafness to study and then go on to deliver training to others, has been named the 2014 Sue Haylock Memorial Award winner at this year’s regional training awards in Tamworth.
Maria-Jane Tilt from Tamworth was recognised for her outstanding contribution.
The award is named after a long- serving employment industry executive and jobless advocate who went on to become a volunteer co-ordinator and workplace champion, especially as a board member with the Joblink Plus organisation in Tamworth.
Ms Tilt was presented with her award at Friday night’s regional presentations in Tamworth, where about 400 industry people gathered to salute the current crop of training students and workers.
The judges said Maria-Jane had completed a diploma of community services (case management), diploma of disability, certificate III in aged care and certificate III in home and commercial care through Tamworth TAFE.
“While being legally profoundly deaf at the age of three she received a cochlear ear implant in 2003 and undertook two of her qualifications online through Adobe connect,” the judges said.
“Maria-Jane attended on line sessions and used a mixture of lip-reading and hearing supported by the trainer speaking very clearly and slightly slower than normal.
“She utilised transcribed texts of the sessions to review and fill in any gaps that she may have missed.
“In 2013 Maria-Jane gained fulltime employment at Uniting Care as a support/field worker and continued to study, work and manage her family.
“She has buddied with other employees who are undertaking studies and provides mentoring and leadership to support their learning and transition of skills into the workplace.
“Maria-Jane hopes her story of overcoming childhood deafness will help inspire other people with a disability to realise that they can also undertake training.
“Maria-Jane has a desire to become a case manager to assist individuals, promote awareness and respond to the needs of the community with respect and dignity.”