Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the Central Queensland region.

Winners were announced online on 30 July 2021 – watch the announcement here!

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

Regional winner: Jack Page

Qualification: Certificate III in Electronics and Communications
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Ergon Energy Queensland Limited

Jack Page was working in a fly-in-fly-out role that was not sustainable for his young family, and wanted to find a career that would allow him to be closer to home. His prior experience, and an ongoing interest in electronics and technology, made an apprenticeship with Ergon Energy the ideal fit. As of July 2020, Jack completed his training and is now a fully-qualified electrician.

Regional finalists

Riley Cruickshanks
Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade
Training provider: Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited
Employer: Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited

Jack Mitchell
Qualification: Certificate III in Mechanical Engineering – Fitter and Turner
Training provider: CQUniversity Australia
Employer: Jennmar Australia

Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Lachlan Overend

Qualification: Certificate III in Warehousing Operations
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Group training organisation: Apprentices and Trainees Queensland
Host employer: NRG Gladstone Power Station

Lachlan Overend found his interest in material management while working at Woolworths during high school. Now, with the successful completion of a Certificate III in Warehousing Operations under his belt, Lachlan is applying his knowledge and skills at NRG Gladstone Power Station. Being part of a critical infrastructure operation in his hometown of Gladstone makes Lachlan proud of his job and the industry he works in – and it's this pride that drives him to keep growing in his career.

Regional finalists

Cleo Barraclough
Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: Skills@Top
Employer: Central Highlands Regional Council

Kobe Shaw
Qualification: Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety
Training provider: Site Skills Training
Group training organisation: Programmed Training Services
Host employer: Kaefer Integrated Services

Vocational Student of the Year

Regional winner: Harry Atterbury

Qualification: Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot – Visual Line of Sight)
Training provider: UAVAIR
School: Marist College Emerald

Harry Atterbury has a keen interest in science and technology. When the opportunity to participate in a Drones in Schools project came along, Harry was quick to put his hand up. The project focuses on the real-life application of drone technology, and Harry gained valuable industry experience and skills through his training. Having completed this Certificate III in Aviation and securing his Remote Pilots CASA Drone Licence, Harry is now taking his career to the next level - having been selected to undertake Advanced Drone Training.

Regional finalists

Jodie Connolly
Qualification: Certificate IV in New Small Business
Training provider: My Pathways

Sherrie Larsen
Qualification: Diploma in Human Resource Management
Training provider: Outsource Institute
Employer: Taylored Automotive

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Regional winner: Litia Pitt

Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: CQUniversity Australia
Employer: Isaac Regional Council

Litia Pitt wanted to find a career path that would offer her opportunities to grow and forge her future. After finishing high school, Litia applied for a traineeship with Isaac Regional Council. The traineeship gave her the opportunity to gain new skills, knowledge and a nationally recognised qualification. She completed her Certificate III in Business in 2020 and is now juggling a job at council and further studies at university.

Regional finalists

Latitia Briggs
Qualification: Certificate II in Engineering – Production Technology
Training provider: CQUniversity Australia
Employer: BHP Operations Services

Joanna Harvey
Qualification: Certificate IV in Travel and Tourism
Training provider: Careers Training Centre
Employer: Mackay Regional Council

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Paris Robinson

Qualification: Certificate III in Dental Assisting
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: DentalCareXtra
School: Moranbah State High School

Paris Robinson's passion for the healthcare industry stemmed from her first after school job as a dispensary assistant at the local pharmacy, where she followed in the footsteps of her older sister. Propelled by her interest in dentistry, Paris sought out an opportunity to learn more and landed a school-based traineeship. Nearing completion of her Certificate III in Dental Assisting, Paris is eager to continue her studies after graduating this year.

Regional finalists

Breanna Clough
Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: Australian Trade Training College
Group training organisation: MRAEL Group
Host employer: Moranbah Community Workers Club
School: Moranbah State High School

Bethany Harth
Qualification: Certificate III in Sport and Recreation
Training provider: Youth Development and Training
Group training organisation: Leisure Employment Australia
Host employer: Bluefit
School: Rockhampton Girls Grammar School

Equity VET Student of the Year

Regional winner: Liticha McMullen

Qualification: Certificate IV in Human Resources
Training provider: CQUniversity Australia
Employer: Mackay Regional Council

Coming from a background in law, Liticha McMullen saw human resources as a good pairing with her previous qualification and jumped at the opportunity to complete a traineeship with Mackay Regional Council. Liticha considered Mackay Regional Council to be an employer of choice, as they offer career progression alongside the work-life balance. Liticha is now happily employed as an Employee Services Officer and enjoys putting all her knowledge, skills and experience into action.

Regional finalists

Nena Getaruelas Suclan
Qualification: Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)
Training provider: AustCare Training
Employer: Multicap Limited

Tomika Saunders
Qualification: Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)
Training provider: AustCare Training
Employer: Multicap Limited

VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Regional winner: Margaret Haynes

Employer: Morrissey Group

With a long background in nursing and caring, Margaret Haynes has developed a wealth of skills to share with her students. She consults with a range of health professionals and key stakeholders to identify gaps in training and current industry needs. This allows Margaret to target her training to ensure her students have the best opportunities for vocational placement, resulting in high employment outcomes.

Regional finalists

Katie Frize
Employer: Longreach State High School

Hazel Kuveya
Employer: Tec-NQ

Community Training Initiative of the Year

Regional winner: Central Queensland Multicultural Association Inc.

Program: Community Work Skills
0438 751 974

The Central Queensland Multicultural Association recognises the needs of migrant people and are dedicated to supporting them as they build their lives in a new community. Funded under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, the organisation's Community Work Skills project provides participants with tailored support and access to training so they can achieve their work goals. Through the project, participants undertake a Certificate III in Individual Support. It has been so successful that in 2020 it achieved a 93 per cent success rate for employment outcomes for its 31 trainees in Biloela.

Regional finalist

Multicap Limited
Program: Disability/Aged Care Skill Development in an NDIS Environment
1300 135 886

Large Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Queensland Alumina Limited
(07) 4976 2211

Queensland Alumina Limited's Gladstone refinery is the fourth largest alumina refinery in the world. This world-leading facility is committed to the development of its employees – providing them with the training needed to perform their jobs competently, safely and to a high standard. Training is managed by a dedicated team of trainer assessors and is supported by team mentors. Individual training profiles are also created to assess training needs. These factors and more combine to deliver a strong training program, where every employee has access to the right training, skills and qualifications required to succeed.

Regional finalists

Isaac Regional Council
1300 472 227

Mackay Regional Council
1300 622 529

Medium Employer of the Year

Regional winner: NFR Holdings Pty Ltd (McDonald's Mackay East, Northern Beaches, and Canelands Central)
(07) 4953 5533

NFR Holdings Pty Ltd are proud members of the local Mackay community, with 3 McDonald's restaurants – at Rural View, East Mackay and Canelands. NFR Holdings' number one priority is training its crew to ensure everyone is working and dining in a safe, clean and friendly environment. The organisation is highly focused on supporting its employees, and prides itself on being a learning organisation that nurtures talent, develops leaders and rewards achievements.

Regional finalist

Taylored Automotive
(Taylored Automotive Services)
(07) 4958 2290

Small Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Intuition The Art of Hair
(07) 4942 2177

Equipped with the latest industry skills, knowledge and experience, the team at Intuition The Art of Hair specialise in all aspects of hairdressing. Since purchasing the salon in 2017, owner Victoria Rushby has implemented a strong focus on training and education, ensuring growth opportunities are available to all staff. Victoria believes the approach is essential to the future development of her employees and business.

Regional finalist

GDP Metal Worx
0466 547 384

Last updated 30 July 2021

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