Mildura’s Tyler Ayars was recently the recipient of the 2020 SuniTAFE ‘Student of the Year’ and ‘Board Excellence’ awards for her astounding work in her Diploma of Nursing.

Described by SuniTAFE as a “mature, caring and intuitive nursing student, who proactively involves patients in their care-building, trusting, patient-centred relationships”, Tyler was recognised during the recent SuniTAFE graduation and awards celebration for the 2020 academic year.

“It feels amazing to graduate, the two years have absolutely flown by as there was so much to learn. It’s all a bit surreal now,” Tyler said.

“Winning Student of the Year was so surprising and I’m absolutely honoured and chuffed.
“I was blown away just to be nominated so to win was just brilliant.
“Then with the Board Excellence Award I didn’t even know I was nominated for, so it was a great surprise.”

The 35-year-old graduate has also been working at Jacaranda Village Aged Care in Red Cliffs and had to juggle study, work and raising a family.

“I have three kids and my youngest was just one when I started studying, with my middle child starting prep, so it was a big transition for my family to fit in with my schedule, but we adjusted well and it all worked out,” Tyler said.

It has been an impressive journey for Tyler, as just before beginning her studies she was working closing shifts at The Gateway Hotel.

“I always thought there was more out there for me than what I was doing and it actually took a bit of motivation from my mother to take that initial step and apply, and it’s just steamrolled into where I am today,” she said.

“I’ve got a long history of nurses in my family and I’ve always been that sort of caring person.
“I love everything about it. The feeling you’re making a difference is amazing and also in aged care being able to support people, give them company, listen to them, just help them − it’s great.”

As far as what’s in store for the budding nurse in the future, she plans to continue her work for Jacaranda while completing more studies through the University of South Australia.

From there she hopes to one day become a paramedic.

“I’m comfortable where I’m at right now but eventually becoming a paramedic, that’s my dream, so we’ll see.”