By LEIGH PRITCHARD
THERE was an air of excitement among Grafton North Coast Institute of TAFE students as they contemplated their futures at the Grafton campus' 57th annual graduation and awards presentation on Tuesday night.
Acting team leader and coordinator, Terena Tory, said 150 people attended the awards ceremony at the Grafton District Services Club to recognise the achievements of last year's TAFE students.
She said award recipients will now prepare to further their careers or continue TAFE courses.
Mrs Tory said in 2004 more than 1200 students were enrolled at the Grafton campus, with 70 awards handed out on Tuesday night.
The major award ? the Gold Award ? went to certificate III in food and beverage student, Lorraine Rooke.
Mrs Rooke was nominated by tourism and hospitality teacher Sarah Brophy.
"The Gold Award is given as an acknowledgement of the diligent application and achievement in any course at the Grafton campus," Mrs Tory said.
Special guests at the graduation and awards presentation included North Coast Institute of TAFE director of education programs and services, Geoff Baldry, and area manager Bob Pollack.
"Your hard work throughout the year has again positively reflected the campus and purpose, within the community," Trenayr TAFE campus manager Kayleen Stephenson said.
"Those efforts deserve to be acknowledged."
Live entertainment was provided on the night by eight TAFE contemporary music students and supper was supplied by GDSC and served by three hospitality stu- dents.