A DECISION to change courses has paid off for Leela Subramaniam who has been named Apprentice of the Year at the 2023 Victorian Training Awards.
The former Chisholm Institute student was studying a double degree in commerce and law before switching to cooking.
After completing a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery at Chisholm’s Mornington Peninsula campus, Subramaniam now works as a full-time junior sous-chef at Flinders Hotel, Flinders.
As well as the training awards win she was named Apprentice of the Year at the 2023 Chisholm Education Awards and was the Victorian winner and national bronze medallist at the 2022 AUS-TAFE Culinary Trophy event.
The apprentice of the year included $5000 in prize money and Subramaniam goes on to represent Victoria at the Australian Training Awards in Hobart in November.
“I want to acknowledge my late father for making me ambitious and resilient, as well as everyone at Chisholm Institute. Without the dedication of my trainers Carmel Cammarano (Education Manager at Chisholm) and Michael Villani (Hospitality teacher at Chisholm), this would not be possible,” she said. “I also want to thank my family, friends and the Flinders Hotel for their continuous support.
“My training with Chisholm has enabled me to progress into a new role, challenge myself in competitions and build my confidence, while also developing my teamwork and leadership skills.”
Subramaniam said she had faced many challenges, but the death of her father had a significant impact – both personally and professionally.
“Five years ago, I didn’t have a passion or any idea about my future, and I completely lost interest in my commerce and law degree once my dad passed away,” she said. “It was an emotional moment when I was announced as the Apprentice of the Year. While my late father isn’t here to see it, I know in my heart that he’d be proud. He always believed in me and told me I’d amount to something special if I put in the work.”
Chisholm’s CEO Stephen Varty, said supporting students as they overcame adversity and succeeded sat at the heart of the institute’s purpose.
“Having already accomplished so much at such an early stage of her career, we are excited to see what Leela achieves in the future,” Varty said.