Victoria Cooper loves living in the past

Museum collections officer Victoria Cooper is a finalist in the Riverina division of the NSW training awards. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

Museum collections officer Victoria Cooper is a finalist in the Riverina division of the NSW training awards. Picture: JOHN RUSSELL

VICTORIA Cooper loves telling the stories of the people and events that have shaped Albury.

She does that as a museum collections officer with the Albury Council, where she has completed a two-year traineeship.

Her role with the city’s social history museum team has been recognised with her being named a finalist in the Riverina division of the 2014 NSW Training Awards.

Ms Cooper is one of four finalists in the awards’ trainee category, along with Alysia Partridge, also of Albury.

Ms Partridge was nominated for her community services work.

She has a children’s services diploma, majoring in childhood education.

Another Albury finalist is Loughlin Hunter, of Restaurant 579 on Olive, in the category of apprentice of the year.

And Riverina Institute of TAFE Albury’s David O’Dea has been nominated for the vocational education and training teacher or trainer of the year award.

Ms Cooper said being a finalist allowed her to showcase her work with the social history team.

“We look after a variety of paper and material objects and large sturdier items with a social link to Albury,” she said.

“I deal with inquiries about our collection and offers of donation.

“I’ve been with the council for nearly three years, two in a traineeship.”

The traineeship has involved completing a certificate 3 in museum practice.

Ms Cooper said while her role provided a great satisfaction, “eventually it is about moving into a curatorial role”.

As part of achieving that, Ms Cooper is returning to her part-time bachelor of arts degree through Armidale’s University of New England.

Riverina State Training Services manager Garry Whittaker said the awards encouraged those doing vocational training to achieve at the highest level.

“Good skills are built on good training,” he said.

“That will enable the region to continue to thrive and prosper.

“These apprentices, trainees and vocational education students have demonstrated through their training a commitment to gaining the highest levels of knowledge and practical skills.”

The finalists are from right across the Riverina at Albury, Finley, Gundagai, Leeton, Narrandera and Wagga.

Winners will be announced in Wagga on June 12. They will then go on to the state finals later this year.

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