Margaret’s major win

Thursday, 07 April 2016

A massage therapist and mother of two has won Challenger Institute of Technology’s prestigious Vocational Student of the Year Award.

Margaret Gibson (54), of Fremantle, received the award at Challenger Institute’s Student Awards Ceremony on 6 April.

The ceremony recognised the achievements of more than 60 students from across the Institute, as well as five major award winners in the categories Aboriginal Student of the Year, Apprentice of the Year, Trainee of the Year, Vocational Student of the Year and Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools Student of the Year.

Margaret, a former registered nurse and midwife, now works as a remedial massage therapist in Fremantle. Passionate about the health industry, Margaret has a particular interest in pain management and preventative health.

“Massage facilitates my ability to promote optimal health amongst work colleagues, friends and family,” Margaret said.

“I see massage as having a key role in health promotion; body awareness, self-management and preventative health – reducing demand on the healthcare system and helping clients’ with their general wellbeing at the same time.

“Challenger’s massage course has enabled me to continue and expand on my chosen career in health, which would not otherwise have been possible. I now also have the potential to start my own business, giving me independence and confidence.”

Margaret completed a Diploma of Remedial Massage last year at Challenger Institute.

Massage lecturer Rebecca Byrne said Margaret was a focused and dedicated student who excelled in hands-on application techniques.

“Coming from a nursing background assisted in Margaret’s knowledge of the anatomy and physiology components of the course, and she shone in these areas,” Ms Byrne said.

“Margaret was proactive regarding her own personal learning and always available to assist others with various massage techniques in practical classes.

“She has since gone on to be very successful in industry, demonstrating a high level of professionalism which is a wonderful reflection of her skills and the training she received at Challenger.”

During Margaret’s studies she developed a genetic optical condition called optic atrophy, which affects the optic nerve and can cause some vision loss. Ms Byrne said Margaret took the diagnosis in her stride. 

“Margaret simply adapted her methods of learning and always remained positive in achieving her goal, which was to complete the course.

“She never considered her condition a barrier to learning or working in the industry.”


The 2015 Vocational Student of the Year Award is proudly sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Applecross and Fremantle.

Photo  – Challenger Institute’s 2015 Vocational Student of the Year Award winner Margaret Gibson. ​   

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