Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the Darling Downs South West region.

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

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

Regional winner: Lane Hewett

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

Lane Hewett discovered his passion for heavy machinery repair while helping out on a friend's farm. The idea of maintaining these vehicles, and supporting farmers had Lane hooked from the start. Remaining dedicated to his apprenticeship while juggling family and financial responsibilities was a challenge, but with the support of Hastings Deering he was able to successfully complete his qualification in early 2021.

Regional finalists

Amanda Anderson
Qualification: Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care
Training provider: Venture Education
Employer: Affinity Education Group Limited

Hans van der Merwe
Qualification: Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Oakey Beef Exports


Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Mitchell Pogan

Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: SportsReady Education
Employer: Western Downs Regional Council

Mitchell Pogan wanted to find a career opportunity that would allow him to remain close to his hometown of Miles, while undertaking work that allowed him to give back to this rural community. Through his traineeship with Western Downs Regional Council, Mitchell was able to complete a nationally recognised qualification and has now obtained employment with council as a Community Activations Support Officer.

Regional finalists

Georgia Hansen
Qualification: Certificate III in Business Administration
Training provider: Ballistic Training Solutions
Employer: South Burnett Regional Council

Kasey Hardy
Qualification: Certificate III in Work Health and Safety
Training provider: Harness Energy Services
Employer: Harness Energy Services
Host: Shell QGC


Vocational Student of the Year

Regional winner: Jasmin Maroni

Qualification: Diploma of Agribusiness Management
Training provider: UQ Skills

Jasmin Maroni is passionate about agriculture and found that her Diploma of Agribusiness Management gave her the knowledge she was seeking to manage a sustainable and efficient farm enterprise. The business modules have allowed her to gain numerous transferable management skills, and while the course has been a stepping stone into veterinary studies for Jasmin, she also considers it a launchpad for her future agricultural career.

Regional finalists

Keesha Charles
Qualification: Certificate II in Health Support Services
Training provider: Akadia Training
Employer; Holistic Community Care
School: Oakey State High School

Grace Langridge
Qualification: Diploma of Agribusiness Management
Training provider:
UQ Skills


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Regional winner: Kasey Hardy

Qualification: Certificate III in Work Health and Safety
Training provider: Harness Energy Services
Employer: Harness Energy Services
Host: Shell QGC

For Kasey Hardy, a traineeship offered the perfect opportunity to get a taste of the industry, rather than signing up for an apprenticeship before she knew what to expect. Kasey chose the resources sector to learn more about natural gas extraction, particularly about its impact on the environment. Having now completed her traineeship, she is continuing her workplace health and safety studies through another traineeship.

Regional finalists

Keesha Charles
Qualification: Certificate II in Health Support Services
Training provider: Akadia Training
Employer; Holistic Community Care
School: Oakey State High School

Matthew Washington
Qualification: Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management
Training provider: Axiom College
Employer: Golden West Apprenticeships


School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Sydney Bodkin

Qualification: Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
Training provider: Kath Dickson Institute of Early Childhood Studies
Employer: Charley's Place
School: Oakey State High School

For as long as Sydney Bodkin can remember she has enjoyed caring for younger children. After completing a work experience trial at Charley's Place, Sydney was delighted to be offered a school-based traineeship, which she successfully completed earlier this year. Sydney has now secured an ongoing position with her employer and is currently working towards a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Regional finalists

Keesha Charles
Qualification: Certificate III in Individual Support
Training provider: Akadia Training
Employer; Holistic Community Care
School: Oakey State High School

Kiara McIntyre
Qualification: Certificate II in Drilling Operations
Training provider: Australasian Drilling Institute
Employer: Silverbrook Drilling Services
School: Pittsworth State High School


Equity VET Student of the Year

Regional winner: Tatum Kite

Qualification: Certificate I in Hospitality
Training provider: Axiom College
Employer: Chinchilla Community Centre

Tatum Kite's traineeship at Chinchilla Community Centre has transformed her life, providing her with the skills, support and independence to improve her living situation, mental health and family life. Having now completed her Certificate I in Hospitality, Tatum is thrilled to be a part of an industry she loves. She feels rewarded each day at work by the positive experience she delivers to customers.

Regional finalists

Georgia Hanrahan
Qualification: Certificate I in Hospitality
Training provider: CEDAR Centre
Employer: Base Services

Louie Omar
Qualification: Certificate I in Business
Training provider: CEDAR Centre
Employer: CEDAR Centre


VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Regional winner: Dr Shweta Singh

Employer: UQ Skills

Dr Shweta Singh is a highly-qualified trainer with a wealth of experience to share with her students. In delivering the Diploma of Agribusiness Management, Shweta has drawn on her background in biodiversity and business to develop the program in line with student and industry needs. In response to COVID, Dr Shweta reformed all face-to-face material to online interactive classes, creating a prototype for UQ Skills.

Regional finalists

Robyn Cavanough
Employer: Aurora Training Institute

Ann Nitschke
Employer: Akadia Training


Community Training Initiative of the Year

Regional winner: Golden West Apprenticeships

Program: Bunya Learnscape – Skilling Queenslanders for Work Project
www.goldenwest.org.au
1300 650 775

Golden West Apprenticeships is one of Queensland's largest independent and non-profit group training organisations. The organisation currently employs 220 apprentices and trainees across a range of qualifications, throughout South West and Central Queensland. Golden West Apprenticeships collaborates with the Bunya Peoples' Aboriginal Corporation to provide opportunities to unemployed indigenous jobseekers through Work Skills traineeships. The program provides benefits to the community by developing entry level employment skills.

Regional finalists

Chinchilla Community Centre
Program: Our Community Cooks
www.chinchillacommunitycentre.org
(07) 4662 8528

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


Large Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Western Downs Regional Council

www.wdrc.qld.gov.au
1300 268 624

Responsible for a community spread across 38,000km, Western Downs Regional Council is committed to ensuring their workplace is connected locally and united regionally. This commitment requires an innovative approach to training, that is demonstrated at all levels of the organisation. The council considers the skills and experience their staff gain through training to be essential to the support and management of its diverse workforce.

Regional finalists

Oakey Beef Exports
www.nh-foods.com.au/facilities/oakey-beef-exports

RDO Equipment Pty Ltd trading as Vanderfield
www.vanderfield.com.au
1300 826 337


Medium Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited

www.hastingsdeering.com.au
1300 934 162

Hastings Deering sells, services, rents and supports Caterpillar equipment across Darling Downs and South West Queensland. Hastings believes in its commitment to its local community, and is dedicated to providing employment and developing skills that last a lifetime. The business has been supporting the local community through unique training opportunities including work experience, school-based apprenticeships, traineeships and graduate programs for over 50 years.

Regional finalists

Care Goondiwindi
www.caregoondiwindi.com.au
(07) 4670 0700

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


Small Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Queensland Country Meats

www.qldcountrymeats.com.au
(07) 4622 1317

Queensland Country Meats is a family business and strives to support team members through mentorship and accredited training. The business is committed to identifying the key motivators, both personal and professional, of each team member to ensure that the right training is provided. Understanding and integrating each employee's personal goals into their work life is critical to Queensland Country Meats' retention, workforce development and the business's success.

Regional finalists

Minx Contemporary Hair Boutique
www.minxcontemporaryhairboutique.com.au
(07) 4632 3055

The Murgon Florist
www.facebook.com/themurgonflorist
(07) 4168 1888

Last updated 30 July 2021

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