Click to Enter Presentation

Latest Newsletter

Old Scholar Katie Waller wins Premier's Award

Back to current newsletter edition

Previous Editions Reader View List View

ANOTHER Gippsland Grammar VCE Furnishing student has made their mark as one of the state’s best.

Katie Waller received a Premier’s VCE Award for excellence in Furnishing this week, which means Katie was the top student in that subject in Victoria in 2022.

Katie is the sixth Gippsland Grammar student to win a Premier’s Award in Furnishing in the past 10 years under the tutelage of longstanding Furnishing and Wood Technology teacher Nick Kuch.

Principal Michele Wakeham joined Mr Kuch to watch Katie receive the award at the prestigious Melbourne ceremony on Thursday July 27 and said she was incredibly excited about, and proud of, Katie’s achievement.

“To be a part of such a grand event that showcases the talent at Gippsland Grammar was such a thrill,” Mrs Wakeham said. “All of our students work so hard and we are proud of all of them, but to have another of our students receive a Premier’s Award is just thrilling for our whole School Community.

“I just loved being in the room to see Katie’s joy and also to see how proud her parents were. It was a perfect example of the pride that students take in our school and their learning.”

Katie is currently studying Aerospace Engineering at UNSW in Sydney and said it was a surreal experience to return to Victoria to receive the award.

“It was really nice to get recognized for all the hours I put in but wasn’t something I expected at all,” she said. “Furnishing was my favourite subject; my other subjects were theoretical but I just loved getting into the classroom and making something with my hands.

“And Mr Kuch is an amazing teacher. He always pushed us to try our best and to take the subject seriously because he wanted everyone to reach their potential. But he was also always up for a good laugh or chat.”

Katie’s parents Frank and Alison Waller, of Lindenow, also both attended the ceremony at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and said they were busting with pride at Katie’s achievements.

“It was just the proudest moment for us,” Alison said. “Katie worked really hard for this. I remember she was thinking about studying Woodwork in Year 9 and way back then Mr Kuch told her about the Premier’s Awards. So he put it out there to her and she just worked really hard.

“All of the students who received awards were just so amazing and for our daughter to be in that room standing alongside the state’s best was pretty special.”

Gippsland Grammar’s six Furnishing Premier’s Award recipients are a proud achievement for Mr Kuch who started teaching Wood Technology at the school in 2011 before introducing the Furnishing subject at VCE level in 2013. Mr Kuch is a carpenter and joiner by trade but in 2008 completed a State Government program called ‘Career Change’ which saw him transition into teaching.

“I feel really proud of Katie and really excited for her family,” Mr Kuch said. “And it is really pleasing for me to see students achieve at the highest level they possibly can for a subject.”

Gippsland Grammar’s previous recipients of the Furnishing Premier’s Awards are Ben Commins (2014), Solomon Jones (2015), Campbell Meade (2016), Robert McNeilly (2019) and Tom Condron (2021).

To view the full Honour Roll and to read more about the Premier’s VCE Awards, visit: