At 18, Kelsey Commons already has a well-rounded view of work in the entertainment industry.
The Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College Year 12 student was named the 2019 VET in Schools Student of the Year this week, after a fruitful two years juggling Certificate II and III qualifications in live production and services, media and hospitality.
The award solidifies her role as an advocate for Vocational Education and Training. Kelsey excelled at a regional and state interview process, gaining awards at each to become a finalist and eventual national winner of the category.
“I didn’t believe it at first, I thought it was quite unreal,” she said. “It’s a great honour to be able to say I have that title and to represent VET as an ambassador. Hopefully I can help inspire more people to take on VET in or after school.”
Kelsey said she knew early in her high school career that she wanted to do something practical and creative. Slightly disengaged from the more academic focus at her previous school, at Southern Cross she has gained countless awards from industry bodies and school for her dedication and skill.
With graduation looming, Kelsey has an impressive run of work experience in lighting and production, photography and food and beverage roles including with the Hilton Sydney, Horizon Theatre Company and Southern Cross Vocational Enterprises. She hopes to explore further screen media or entertainment qualifications with the Australian Film Television and Radio School or NIDA after graduation.
“If I could ultimately find a career that combined both of those, I’d love that,” Kelsey said. “I’ve always had a passion for film and photography, and entertainment was another creative outlet at school.
“It can be quite a big decision to come here, to leave what you’ve known for the past four years at your old school and your friends to move, potentially on your own, to a whole new campus.
“There were a lot of in-class tasks that helped me to better my skills at editing, production and pre-production. Whenever the school needs something to be filmed they usually come to me and my twin brother and we get it done to the best of our ability.”