Katherine is tops and she has the award to prove it



NORTH Rockhampton teenager Katherine Van der Meer returned to Rockhampton on Thursday with the Prime Minister's Award for Skills Excellence as well as life experiences.

Katherine, 18, received the award at a presentation in Canberra on Wednesday after taking her first flight on an aircraft.

"It was only a small plane so I was very nervous, but on the way home I was more relaxed,'' she said.

Visiting Canberra was also another first for Katherine who had never travelled out of Queensland.

"Besides winning the award, the highlight of my trip was meeting the other award recipients and talking to them about where they are heading in life.''

Katherine was one of 17 students nationwide that were selected from a group of 500 Vocational Education students to receive the prestigious awards.

"The trip was really good, it was really well organised.

"We had the award ceremony, a discussion forum on Wednesday and we went on a tour of Canberra on Thursday,'' Miss Van der Meer said.

Katherine was selected for the award after being named the highest achiever in high school tourism training in 2005.

Katherine has completed a Certificate III in Tourism (Guiding), a Certificate II in Business Communication and Technology and also specialises in Japanese language.

In recognition of her efforts, she received a framed certificate and $2000, but had no plans of spending up big.

"I think I will just save it for now,'' she said.

After graduating from high school last year, Katherine is now hoping to get a traineeship in the tourism or business industry.



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