28 June 2024

Leeton nursing student motivated by making patients smile named apprentice of the year

| Oliver Jacques
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Libby Olrick at work

Libby Olrick wants to be a registered nurse in Leeton. Photo: Supplied.

A Leeton High nursing student who says she loves making patients smile has been named the School-based Apprentice of the Year, a NSW Government award that recognises excellence in vocational education.

Libby Olrick, 18, has been working at Leeton District Hospital one day a week for the past two years as part of her apprenticeship as she works towards achieving a Cert III in Health Services Assistance.

The Year 12 student was handed her award at a ceremony in Wagga earlier this month and will now travel to Sydney in September to represent the Riverina region at the statewide training award finals.

Region caught up with her to find out why she won, the best thing about her hometown, plans for next year and her other love – the Parramatta Eels.

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Why do you think you were deemed the top school-based apprentice in our region?

Probably because I’m passionate about nursing. I always wanted to be a nurse and was positive in my interview.

What is it about nursing you love?

I like being there for people when they need it the most and when they are at their most vulnerable; to be able to put a smile on their face in their time of need is what drives me.

Libby Olrick with patient

Libby loves making patients smile. Photo: Supplied.

Do you have anyone who has inspired you?

Definitely my mum Kerri-ann. She’s a paediatric nurse in the Griffith hospital. She always comes home having loved her days and helps me with my work and study.

Do you have any passions outside of nursing?

I passionately support the Parramatta Eels NRL team.

But they haven’t won a premiership in your lifetime. Why Parra?

I didn’t really have a choice; my Dad supports them.

Is it tough being an Eels supporter?

It can be. But they did get into the grand final a couple years ago. Unfortunately, they went down.

Do you have a favourite player?

Maika Sivo, the winger.

Play any sports yourself?

I’ve played netball ever since I could walk. I love it. I used to try and do every sport the school offered, including football, basketball, tag, soccer, everything.

What do you like most about Leeton?

Being able to connect to my community. Everyone is brought up relatively the same. You can walk down the main street and everyone will say g’day.

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What’s your plan for next year?

To have a gap year and become an assistant in nursing at the hospital, then go to university and become a registered nurse.

Where would you like to work?

I’d like to stick with somewhere local and remote. You know the patients and it connects you with your work. I want to help out my hometown.

About the awards

The NSW Training Awards celebrate the best of vocational education and training (VET) in NSW and are the premier VET awards in the state.

They are conducted annually by Training Services NSW within the NSW Department of Education to recognise outstanding achievement in the vocational education and training sector.

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