While Neera Sakunthai moved to Australia about four years ago with only a basic understanding of English, her dedication and commitment to her education has been recognised and she is now one of this region's top achievers.
The Sapphire Coast Anglican College student was named the outstanding vocational education and training student of the year co-winner at the 2019 Far South Coast Excellence in Vocational Education and Training Awards.
"I was really surprised at first!" the 18-year-old said.
"But I think I did my best in the interview. It's motivation for me to put even more effort into tourism."
The Year 12 student studies Tourism at her college, as she wants to one day become a flight attendant.
Born in Thailand, she came to the Bega Valley in 2016 and she has thrown herself into tourism, working with 11 cruise ships in the last season at Eden.
College principal Tracey Gray said said Ms Sakunthai's "customer service and genuine care for others is always on display".