The former Institute Director of TAFE Western Sydney was acknowledged with a Public Service Medal on Australia Day in 2016.
Susan Hartigan, who worked at the helm of the training provider for eight years, was recognised for her outstanding service to the public in vocational education and training.
Before retiring in 2014, Ms Hartigan led TAFE Western Sydney through a period of considerable growth and change, working with enterprises and communities in the region to link their visions and objectives to the educational services provided by TAFE.
Ms Hartigan said that she was honoured to receive the Medal.
“It was a great and rewarding privilege to serve the public of NSW for forty years and to have it acknowledged in this way is extremely humbling and gratifying.
“We all know that education is the great leveller, the key that unlocks the door to opportunities. Vocational educational and training especially provides all individuals with the opportunity to learn and flourish in a supportive educational environment and through this learning to discover their potential, whether it be a school leaver, a career changer or someone gaining new skills to re-enter the workforce.
“Vocational education's close links to industry also provides opportunities for enterprises to harness the potential of their current workforce and to enhance their skills through workplace learning. A smarter and more effective workforce can only lead to an improvement in productivity and that all important bottom line.
“Vocational education is a great driver for the economy of NSW,” Ms Hartigan said.
TAFE Western Sydney teacher Heather Gwilliam was also recognised in the Australia Day honours in being named Blue Mountains Citizen of the Year. Ms Gwilliam, who works as a Disability Support Teacher was recognised for her voluntary work for Anglicare’s disaster recovery team and her assistance to people with disabilities within the Blue Mountains community.