WA College of Agriculture, Harvey, student Megan McSeveney has been rewarded for her passion for agriculture.
This week Ms McSeveney was awarded the Beazley Medal: Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), based on her performance in vocational education and training (VET) and her achievement in her WACE courses.
The Beazley Medal is one of WA's most prestigious education prizes and is set by the Curriculum Council of WA.
Ms McSeveney's achievements included completing a Certificate II and III in Agriculture; Certificate II in Production Horticulture; and Certificate II in Wool Handling at the Harvey Ag College.
In addition, she showed considerable application of VET in the workplace.
"It was a big surprise to get the award, I was shocked when I got the call, but agriculture is something I love to do," Ms McSeveney said.
"I threw myself at any opportunity I could at school.
"I focused mainly on the dairy industry, because I have a strong interest in that area."
Having come from a background in the dairy industry in South Africa, Ms McSeveney said she is keen to improve her skills further and is looking to move to Victoria to work.
"I would one day love to have my own dairy farm but I have to work in the industry first to get more skills," she said.
"My grandparents owned a dairy in South Africa, and that is where my interest came from.
"They later moved into running goats and small livestock, so I have been interested in all aspects of agriculture from a young age.
"I want to learn more about the dairy industry and it's great that my parents are very supportive of the move to Victoria."
Ms McSeveney said it took a lot of hard work to get to this stage but she was excited for the next chapter.
"I am very interested in learning more about artificial insemination (AI) and I am looking into courses in that field too," she said.
"Learning more about the dairy industry will give me the chance to travel the world, learn and increase my knowledge on how people farm dairy cattle across the globe and to learn of the history of the dairy breeds we milk today.
"I think this will help me gain a greater understanding on how to improve the industry and perhaps change the way we think and do things."
Education Minister Peter Collier congratulated Ms McSeveney on winning the prestigious awards and said the combination of VET, WACE and industry experience provides a strong foundation for employment and further studies.