THIRTY-TWO students were recognised for their educational efforts at Bendigo TAFE's Industry Excellence Awards Ceremony on Wednesday night.
Bendigo TAFE chief executive Sally Curtain said TAFE's night of nights was a chance to celebrate the students.
"It is broadly important to recognise all the students coming out of TAFE (but) these group of students have excelled out of our 6000 students," she said.
"We have 32 students being recognised across a broad field. They have displayed excellence in their fields and it's exciting to recognise that.
"Often there are extraordinarily amounts of effort and years of work gone in (for each student)."
The annual awards were held at the All Seasons Hotel and showcased students commitment to their chosen vocations.
Among the winners were Brittany Maskell, who was named Vocational Student of the Year; Joel Handcock who won Apprentice of the Year; and Euan Suarez who was named Inspirational Young Achiever of the Year.
Ms Maskell, Mr Handcock and Mr Suarez had each overcome challenges while studying at TAFE.
Ms Maskell was worried about returning to study after experiencing an assault as a student. She found support through Bendigo TAFE and is working as an advanced skin and laser therapist.
"(The teachers') enthusiasm for everything, diversity, knowledge and experience was wonderful," she said.
"I now have a job that I'm very passionate about and I see myself moving very far in this field."
Mr Handcock changed trades and welcomed a daughter during his first year of study. He now has a certificate in electrotechnology electrician and works at Simplot Australia.
"I was a tradesman and I had apprentices under me, so going back to square one... was a big challenge," he said.
"My daughter (was) born within three months of starting my apprenticeship. That was big. Lack of sleep, family life and trying to balance everything... but we got through."
Mr Suarez migrated from the Philippines in 2015 and was bullied in high school. He is now pursuing a career as a teacher.
"At the core of my training at TAFE was my practical placement," he said. "This part of the course made it clear to me that working with children and helping them learn and grow are true passions of mine."
Ms Curtain said the chance to study free TAFE course had encouraged students.
"A lot of students have said they wouldn't have made the decision to study but free TAFE has provided that opportunity," she said."Students talk about that as life changing."
Ms Curtain said many TAFE graduates were finding employment quickly.
"We are producing people who are job ready and that's our point of pride," she said.
"We're (also) growing our offerings and working closely with industry and will evolve further with our new campus revitalisation (this year). It's an exciting time for Bendigo TAFE."