Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the Darling Downs South West region. Winners were announced online on 11 September 2020.

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

Regional winner: Lachlan Miners

Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (Boilermaking/Welding)
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Lockyer Engineering Pty Ltd

Discovering a passion for metal work in high school, Lachlan approached Lockyer Engineering for work experience that led to part-time work during school holidays and then a full-time apprenticeship. His workplace has provided him with a broad range of skills in sheet metal work, fitting and turning and CAD drawing, which is a skill area he plans to do more formal training on in the future.

Lachlan competed in WorldSkills Australia in 2017 – winning a gold medal and a chance at Nationals, where he placed seventh. As a strong promoter of vocational education and training pathways, Lachlan was recently part of the 'Face of TAFE' campaign, where he proudly spoke on the benefits of undertaking an apprenticeship.

Regional finalists

Samantha Hickling
Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Maintenance – Diesel Fitting)
Training provider: Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited
Employer: Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited

Dann Millewski
Qualification: Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical (Agricultural Mechanical)
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Vanderfield Pty Ltd


Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Abby Kirby

Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: DGT Employment and Training
Employer: Toowoomba Regional Council

Having successfully completed a Certificate II in Business as a school-based trainee in a local bank, Abby found she enjoyed being part of an office team and knew that office-based work was the career direction she wanted to take.

Her business traineeship with the Toowoomba Regional Council was the next important step in her career. At the end of her traineeship, Abby successfully secured a key administrative position supporting a senior executive at the council. Her traineeship helped Abby map-out a career pathway – and now she hopes to work her way to executive and senior assistance positions in the future.

Regional finalists

Jodie Adams
Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: Sportsready Education Pty Ltd
Employer: Western Downs Regional Council

Avril Gray
Qualification: Certificate I in Hospitality
Training provider: SkillCentred Queensland Inc
Employer: SkillCentred Queensland Inc


Vocational Student of the Year

Regional winner: Olivia Bange

Qualification: Diploma of Agribusiness Management
Training provider: UQ Skills

Olivia's interest in agriculture grew after a visit to America where she completed an internship with the United States Department of Agriculture.

Olivia said completing the Diploma of Agribusiness Management paved the way for her to undertake a Bachelor of Agriculture Science – putting her on track to reach her goal of becoming an agronomist. She is currently working as a consultant on a mixed enterprise farm – applying her knowledge of budgeting, best land management and legislative compliance.

Regional finalists

Daniel Judge
Qualification: Diploma of Agribusiness Management
Training provider:
UQ Skills

Jason Quattromani
Qualification: Certificate III in Individual Support
Training provider: CEDAR Centre Ltd


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Regional winner: Shauna Fisher

Qualification: Certificate III in Education Support
Training provider: CEDAR Centre Ltd
Employer: Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools
School: St John's Catholic School (Roma)

Having always loved working with children, Shauna was delighted to be offered a traineeship at St John's Catholic School in Roma, where she has completed a Certificate III in Education Support. From seeing the students in her Prep class learn and grow each day, Shauna knows that a career as a primary school teacher is the right choice for her future.

Shauna recently received the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Young Indigenous Leader Award, which encouraged her to join her school's Indigenous program where she can share her experiences and express the importance of culture to younger students.

Regional finalists

Avril Gray
Qualification: Certificate I in Hospitality
Training provider: SkillCentred Queensland Inc
Employer: SkillCentred Queensland Inc

Abby Kirby
Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: DGT Employment and Training
Employer: Toowoomba Regional Council


School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Jack Mailman

Qualification: Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical (Heavy Vehicle Road Transport)
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Martins Stock Haulage Pty Ltd
School: Oakey State High School

With a genuine interest and passion for cattle and working on heavy vehicles, Jack jumped at the chance to do work experience at Martins Stock Haulage. That opportunity then led to a school-based apprenticeship in Automotive Mechanical (Heavy Vehicle Road Transport).

Jack is looking forward to going full-time at the end of Year 12 and believes his school-based apprenticeship has set him up for a bright future and a smoother transition from school to work. Jack is also the cattle captain at Oakey State High School where he takes the opportunity to share his journey and the benefits of vocational education and training.

Regional finalists

Jacinta Rockemer
Qualification: Certificate III in Agriculture
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: DG & T Rockemer
School: Brisbane School of Distance Education

Daniel Schmaling
Qualification: Certificate III in Education Support
Training provider: CEDAR Centre Ltd
Employer: Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools
School: Downlands Sacred Heart College (Toowoomba)


Equity VET Student of the Year

Regional winner: Mark Thomas

Qualification: Certificate III in Community Services
Training provider: CEDAR Centre Ltd

As a direct result of undertaking vocational placement as part of his Certificate III in Community Services with CEDAR Centre, Mark gained employment as an Independent Disability Support Worker. He says he is privileged to assist people with disability to live a healthy and fulfilling live.

Having overcome his own personal challenges, Mark is determined to make a difference and has taken on further study in a Bachelor of Human Services (Counselling). He hopes to become an Alcohol and Other Drugs Counsellor.

Regional finalists

Sharon Bengtsson-Meehan
Qualification: Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)
Training provider: Impact Community Services Limited

Elise Gransden
Qualification: Certificate III in Hospitality
Training provider: Aurora Training Institute
Employer: Campus Catering People


VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Regional winner: Robyn Cavanough

Employer: Aurora Training Institute

At the age of 14, Robyn started her first job in the hospitality industry. Over the next 44 years she has continually built up a wealth of invaluable industry knowledge and experience. Robyn has owned a hospitality business as well as taken on management roles in other establishments. It was during these times when mentoring and training younger staff that she discovered her true passion as a trainer.

Now a Hospitality Trainer and Assessor for Aurora Training Institute, Robyn also works in remote communities. She prides herself on developing close relationships with local employers, who she sees as partners in developing the next generation of hospitality workers in South West Queensland.

Regional finalists

Tony Morgan
Employer: Axial Training

Dr Shweta Singh
Employer: UQ Skills


Community Training Initiative of the Year

Regional winner: Dalby Welcoming Community Inc

Program: SQW – Connecting to work through Dalby's Delicious & DeLIGHTful Festival
www.facebook.com/deliciousanddelightful
0419 645 671

Dalby Welcoming Community is a small but passionate volunteer community group that focuses on building pride in the community of Dalby. It encourages people of all backgrounds and demographics to be involved in a range of community activities that showcase Dalby and its people.

For the past 3 years, the Dalby Welcoming Community has received funding under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative to support 15 participants each year through a Certificate II in Work and Vocational Pathways. Participants' skills are on show as part of their involvement in the Dalby Delicious & DeLIGHTful Festival that attracts around 7,000 visitors each year. Last year 100 per cent of the participants went onto employment.

Regional finalists

BASE Services Inc
Program: BASE Services Traineeships
www.baseservices.com.au
(07) 4638 2399

SkillCentred Queensland Inc
Program: Cherbourg Community Initiatives
www.skillcentred.com
1800 786 300


Large Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Toowoomba Regional Council

www.tr.qld.gov.au
13 18 72

Toowoomba Regional Council is proud to be considered an employer of choice within its local community. To ensure this continues, the council is committed to the development of a highly-skilled and flexible workforce.

Council employees are provided with access to nationally accredited training programs to increase their skills, broaden their experience, enhance their future career opportunities, and maintain a safe and supportive working environment and culture. With a workforce of 1,542, plus an additional 64 apprentices and trainees across 15 different fields, Toowoomba Regional Council are highly committed to their staff and training.

Regional finalists

South Burnett Regional Council
www.southburnett.qld.gov.au
(07) 4189 9100

Western Downs Regional Council
www.wdrc.qld.gov.au
1300 268 624


Medium Employer of the Year

Regional winner: HBK Holdings P/L

Trading as McDonald's Dalby and Chinchilla
www.mcdonalds.com.au
(07) 4662 5366 (Dalby)
(07) 4662 7801 (Chinchilla)

HBK Holdings' vision is to be the best place in Dalby and Chinchilla to work and eat. Licensee Kym Munro grew up in remote Western Australia and has a passion for developing country towns. Kym and her husband Hamish are focused on training and skilling staff from their first day on the job, with qualifications offered from Certificate II to Diploma level.

This year, instead of holding off on training and development of their keen staff, HBK quickly adapted with COVID training modules and increased their traineeship numbers from 5 to 17.

Regional finalists

AMB Geotech SQS Pty Ltd
www.sqs.net.au
(07) 4668 9716

Joe Wagner Group
www.joewagnergroup.com.au
(07) 4630 1855


Small Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Kent Saddlery

www.kentsaddlery.com.au
1800 651 535

Kent Saddlery was established in 1988 by Lyle and Helen Kent. In what started as a 'one-man show', with Lyle Kent making every saddle, Kent Saddlery is now a large-scale operation employing 14 staff and producing quality, locally made leather products.

Kent Saddlery's commitment to training is evident in their contribution to helping to write and validate assessments for the Certificate III in Leather Production over recent years. In 2019, Leather Production was reinstated as a Queensland apprenticeship, allowing Kent Saddlery and other saddlers to employ and train apprentices.

Regional finalists

FBI - Favier Building Industries
www.favierbuilding.com.au
0434 561 118

Queensland Country Meats
www.qldcountrymeats.com.au
(07) 4622 1317

Last updated 11 September 2020

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)