23 June 2023

A class above: TAFE Student of the Year has a passion for making people feel their best

| Albert McKnight
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woman massaging client at spa

Ellie Weaver has won a Student of the Year award at Moruya TAFE. Photo: Supplied.

A high-achieving TAFE student who loves making people look and feel their best has been handed an award.

Ellie Weaver was recently named the Tourism and Experience Services Student of the Year for the South region at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards.

The Braidwood resident has studied for a Diploma of Beauty Therapy at Moruya TAFE.

Ms Weaver, the first student from her TAFE to have been presented with the award, said she was excited to have received the accolade.

“I was a little bit shocked at first!” she said.

The 20-year-old has always known she wanted to work in the beauty industry, saying as soon as she went to a spa, she knew working at one was something she wanted to do.

“I love making people look and feel their best,” she said.

“I knew straight away, there was nothing else I thought I wanted to do.”

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She said the best part of her job was the positive impact she had on people.

“I can’t even get my head around it, that I can make someone feel how they feel,” she said.

“People walk out and you’ve changed their whole mood or day.”

She thanked her teachers for helping her win the excellence award, which she has dedicated to her mother.

She said her mother was a single mum who raised her and her brother and was a person she had always looked up to.

“My mum motivated me to study beauty at TAFE NSW and she’s a model of who I’d like to be when I’m older,” Ms Weaver said.

“She always wanted us to do our best and to be the happiest people that we can be.”

spa treatment

Ellie Weaver now works at Spa by the Sea at Bannisters Hotel. Photo: Supplied.

Her mother worked as a wool classer and Ms Weaver would work with her at shearing sheds while studying at TAFE.

In fact, she worked three jobs along with studying at TAFE and making the long drive from her home town of Braidwood to Moruya to study.

“There was a lot going on, but it kept me busy, which was nice!” she said.

Ms Weaver has been working at Spa by the Sea at Bannisters Hotel in Ulladulla, a role she says she loves.

“It’s like my dream job,” she said.

She plans to continue working at Bannisters, then will eventually travel to find the location that best suits her before setting up her own day spa.

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Ms Weaver has also been kicking goals at Bannisters, having been named employee of the month in April and becoming a supervisor in her first five months in the job.

“So everything is going to plan!” she said.

“I was thrilled to win the Student of the Year award and my job is awesome – and I know I wouldn’t be here without TAFE NSW.”

Spa manager Carolina Garcia says Ms Weaver’s promotion to a leadership role is a testament to her care for her clients.

“Ellie’s training and demeanour and her attention to detail means she gets incredible feedback from our clients,” Ms Garcia said.

“She always gives 100 per cent and if you want to be cared for and looked after, Ellie is the person to go to.”

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