Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the Metropolitan region. Winners were announced online on 11 September 2020.

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

Regional winner: Jabin Giblett

Qualification: Certificate III in Barbering
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: The Hairport Yamanto

Jabin always had an interest in barbering and was initially self-taught, having cut hair for friends and family. He applied for several apprentice barber positions without success, but was elated when The Hairport Yamanto took him on as their first barbering apprentice. Jabin is now head barber and mentors colleagues in both techniques and theoretical aspects of the job.

In February this year, Jabin was proud to receive the TAFE Queensland R.A. Wearne Memorial Award for Excellence in Vocational Education.

Regional finalists

Douglas Armstrong
Qualification: Certificate III in Carpentry
Training provider: Blue Dog Training
Employer: Fiddlers Green Construction

Nathan Hewlett
Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade
Training provider: Hastings Deering (Australia) Ltd
Employer: Hastings Deering (Australia) Ltd

Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Dayna Drysdale

Qualification: Certificate III in  Business Administration
Training provider: Skills@Top
Employer: VM Family Law

Dayna completed a Certificate III in Business Administration at VM Family Law while concurrently studying a Bachelor of Laws. Dayna is driven by her desire to gain an edge over other law graduates by acquiring hands-on skills and experience in an office environment.

Working in a small team has given Dayna an appreciation of the importance of administrative and support tasks – not just in the legal industry, but in any organisation. Dayna impressed her trainers and her employer with her commitment and eagerness to learn and take on new challenges, and ability to complete work to a high standard.

Regional finalists

Samantha Hanlon
Qualification: Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
Training provider: Australian Institute of Early Childhood Studies
Employer: Queensland Child Care Services (Redbank Plains Early Education Centre)

Walter Murphy
Qualification: Certificate I in Construction
Training provider: Hutchinson Builders (Gold Coast School of Construction)
Group training organisation: MEGT (Australia) Ltd
Host employer: Brisbane Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Housing Authority

Vocational Student of the Year

Regional winner: Christopher Miller

Qualification: Diploma of Nursing
Training provider: Mater Education

Prior to his Diploma of Nursing at Mater Education, Christopher was a member of the Australian Defence Force, completing 12 years' service, including 2 tours of Afghanistan. In 2015, he completed a Combat First Aiders course, which ignited his passion for a career in the healthcare industry.

Christopher gained contemporary theoretical knowledge and best practice clinical skills through his VET qualification. In his first semester of study, Christopher was invited to be the Nursing Student Representative for Mater Education, attending quarterly board meetings as the voice of the students. He has now gained employment as a Disability Support Worker.

Regional finalists

Bridget Behan
Qualification: Diploma of Website Development
Training provider: Australis College

Jamie Hansen-Fehser
Qualification: Certificate II in Automotive Cylinder Head Reconditioning / Certificate II in Furniture Making Pathways
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
School: Brisbane School of Distance Education

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Regional winner: Jabin Giblett

Qualification: Certificate III in Barbering
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: The Hairport Yamanto

Jabin is a proud Aboriginal South Sea Islander, with his grandfather from the Yirrganyi people around Mareeba and grandmother from the South Sea Islands. Jabin grew up in Mackay and participated in Aboriginal dancing, performing for cultural events and schools. He has recently taken up Aboriginal artwork, completing several painting for family.

As a recently qualified barber, Jabin works with disadvantaged youth. Having been incarcerated himself, his interest now lies in sharing with other young people how barbering changed his path and his life. Suicide prevention is also important to Jabin, as he advocated for training to give barbers the skills to have conversations with clients, look for warning signs and recommend the right service providers to help.

Regional finalists

Halle Carn
Qualification: Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
Training provider: Mater Education
Group training organisation: OSMAC Apprenticeships
Host employer: Metro North Hospital and Health Service (The Prince Charles Hospital)
School: Kelvin Grove State College

Keleira Fenton
Qualification: Certificate III in Business Administration
Training provider: The Learning Workshop
Group training organisation: WPC Group
Host employer: Yourtown
School: Glenala State High School

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Jennifer Myers

Qualification: Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance
Training provider: Divtec Training and Further Education
Group training organisation: Australian Training Company
Host employer: Metro North Hospital and Health Service (Redcliffe Hospital)
School: North Lakes State College

Jennifer feels fortunate to undertake a school-based traineeship at the Redcliffe Hospital as an Allied Health Assistant. It has opened her eyes to the diversity of the allied health field and working in the hospital environment. She thoroughly enjoys learning new skills and has been exposed to 5 different allied health professions. She says her traineeship has enhanced her ability to organise, prioritise, problem-solve and communicate effectively with individuals of all ages.

Regional finalists

Fahmi Osman Abdi
Qualification: Certificate III in Sport and Recreation
Training provider: The Learning Collaborative
Employer: City Venue Management
School: Sunnybank State High School

Sarah Balmer
Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering - Mechanical Trade
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Mendham Engineering 
School: Parklands Christian College

Equity VET Student of the Year

Regional winner: Axel Dushime

Qualification: Certificate II in Health Support Services
Training provider: Mater Education
School: St James College

Axel is a remarkable young man who has pent much of his young life focused on survival. Fleeing his war-torn home country of Burundi at 15, he faced family tragedy and imprisonment before arriving in Australia as a refugee in 2018.

Axel has completed a Certificate II in Health Support Services through Mater Education, as well as other VET qualifications through his school, St James College. With English as his 5th language, Axel has overcome language barriers and excelled as a visual and practical learner. Axel currently applies his qualification and skills as a carer for his mum. He is motivated to continue studying to become a nurse and pursue a career in healthcare.

Regional finalists

Mohammad Irfan Faiz Mohammad
Qualification: Certificate III in Business Administration
Training provider: HELP Training Institute
Employer: Kyabra Community Association

Jack McVeigh
Qualification: Certificate III in Carpentry
Training provider: Blue Dog Training
Employer: Top Build Queensland

VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Regional winner: Louise Pope

Employer: St James College

Louise is lead teacher for hospitality and tourism at St James College, Brisbane. Over 50 per cent of Louise's students come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, many suffering trauma or gaps in their learning from life before arriving in Australia.

Louise's VET strategies ensure all students can access content, develop skills and capabilities, and graduate with qualifications with genuine pathways to employment. Louise started the 'J-Cats' (Jimmies Catering) program to mimic real-life catering teams, including 'Head Chef' and the provision of catering for large scale functions and events.

Regional finalists

Gary Smith
Employer: UNE Partnerships Pty Ltd

Darren Verrall
Employer: JBS Australia Pty Ltd

Community Training Initiative of the Year

Regional winner: BABI Youth and Family Service

Program: Get Set for Work
(07) 3393 4176

As the leading youth and family services provider in the Wynnum/Redlands area, BABI has been responding to the needs of young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness since the early 1980s.

BABI have run Get Set for Work programs through Skilling Queenslanders for Work since 2015, providing at-risk youth a chance to gain skills, experience and a nationally recognised qualification towards employment. BABI believes every young person is an individual that deserves to be safe, respected, empowered and given opportunities, so they can access the type of future they deserve.

Not only do BABI have extensive partnerships within community services, they also have their finger on the pulse of local training and employment opportunities and have added hospitality training units and construction site experiences to their program to meet local area skills demand.

Regional finalists

Community Living Association
Program: Community Living Association
(07) 3266 5633

Program: M180 Community Construction
(02) 9672 9200

Large Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited
(07) 3717 2202

In 2020, Hastings Deering are leveraging the strength of their training culture to help navigate the impacts of COVID-19. Five per cent of its total workforce is comprised of apprentices employment in diesel fitting, auto electrical and fabrication roles.

The value of their apprenticeship program is clearly demonstrated with 75 first-year apprentices this year, with an increased focus on female, Indigenous and mature age participants. Hastings have also been offering 96 per cent of fourth-year apprentices ongoing roles in the last year.

Supplementing Hastings' apprenticeship program is an extensive training offering, across 14 nationally accredited training packages, for staff to further their professional development.

Regional finalists

Affinity Education Group
(07) 3513 7700

Collins Foods Limited
(07) 3352 0800

Medium Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Hilton Brisbane
(07) 3234 2000

Hilton Brisbane have been an industry leader and employer of choice for over 30 years. Their training program is constantly evolving to offer the diverse range of qualifications and skills required to develop all team members, regardless of job or level. Every team member engages in Hilton's training, and can access Hilton University for further learning and development.

Hilton Brisbane is proud to support trainees from diverse backgrounds, through partnerships with government and community-based organisations. This year, Hilton Brisbane was inducted into the Queensland Hotels Association Awards Hall of Fame for outstanding achievement in training.

Regional finalists

All About Living Inc
(07) 3269 1915

Mendham Engineering
(07) 3275 3311

Small Employer of the Year

Regional winner: The Hairport Yamanto
(07) 3294 0824

The Hairport Yamanto is a busy Ipswich-based hair salon. Catering to every member of the family, the salon offers ladies hair and beauty services, a barber shop and dedicated kids cutting area.

After her son Cody was diagnosed with a terminal brain disease, owner Debbie Chesterfield became heavily involved with local disability groups and special schools, leading her to open an inclusive salon with wheelchair access and themed areas catering to diverse groups. As part of their employment strategy, The Hairport Yamanto have successfully given opportunities and support to young people with troubled pasts looking to turn their lives around.

Regional finalists

Elysium Hair Brisbane
(07) 3229 0816

Plus Passive Fire
1800 727 748

Last updated 11 September 2020

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