Vocational Student of the Year: Nalin Nanayakkara

Diploma of Sport and Recreation Management

Supporting a young family and striving to achieve his personal goals, Nalin knew his passion lay within the sports and recreation industry. He said, “I always wanted to be academically qualified as it is an important milestone to move up the ladder in the industry.”

Choosing the perfect TAFE to study at was important to Nalin. He said, “I did a lot of my own research like visiting Open Days and I made the decision to study at Box Hill Institute as it felt like the right one for me. The depth of the course content, delivery methods and the practical components that were offered really caught my attention and lead to my decision to enrol.

“Studying at Box Hill Institute gave me the opportunity to meet new people with different perspectives. It enhanced my team spirit and equipped me with innovative skills which were beneficial to my own personal development,” he said.

One of Nalin’s highlights while studying at Box Hill Institute was the internship program. He said, “The internship program gave me the chance to work with industry giants and apply my classroom learning. The networking opportunities you gain from industry placements are invaluable.”

Nalin advises future students, “Whatever course you choose to study, perseverance and hard work is the formula for success. There is no easy way or shortcut method to do things. You need to be willing to put in your best efforts.

“I used to work on my assignments till dawn, work a part time job to fund the course expenses, and manage a young family. In between lectures, I would take a power nap in my car. I was able to fulfil my lifelong dream of becoming academically qualified in a field I am passionate about,” he said.

As reward for all his hard work, Nalin was awarded Box Hill Institute’s Vocational Student of the Year 2017. “Being awarded Student of the Year proves that hard work pays off. I never expected it and am grateful to be awarded,” he said.

Nalin is grateful for Box Hill Institute and the many doors it has opened for him. “My teachers were the guiding lights at the end of the tunnel, and my fellow students made it fun to study. And finally, thank you to my family who supported me through one of the toughest years in our lives.”

Armed with a Box Hill Institute qualification, Nalin is currently working at Melbourne Sports Hub, one of the world’s largest sporting and events destinations.