Congratulations to the 11 winners and all the finalists of the Metropolitan region.

Thank you to everyone who attended the regional final held on 21 July 2023 at Brisbane City Hall.

The winners will now represent their region at the State Final on 9 September 2023.

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

Winner: Mitchell Ayling

Qualification: Certificate III in Carpentry
Training provider: Noble Training Group
Employer: Renew Builders

Mitchell Ayling completed a Certificate I in Construction in Year 10 and then tried different paths after school, studying fitness and business before finding a job as a form worker. Dreaming of becoming a builder he signed up as a mature age carpentry apprentice. Working with Renew Builders and studying with Noble Training his experience and initiative has helped him excel. Having led a recent renovation project, he's looking forward to the next steps of his career.

Regional finalists

Chelsea Bowers, Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology

James Brown, Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology

Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

Winner: Darron Eastwell

Qualification: Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking
Training provider: Finance and Related Services Training Academy
Employer: Pave Financial Solutions

After 25 years in the banking industry, Darron Eastwell suffered a serious accident that left him in a coma. Seven years later, after learning how to speak and work again, Darron completed the Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking with the Finance and Related Services Training Academy to help him re-enter the workforce. Now a client service manager at Pave Financial Solutions Darron is an inspiration to others looking to return to employment after challenges.

Regional finalists

Ahanu Dewhirst, Certificate III in Information Technology

Cheyenne Swan, Certificate I in Construction

Vocational Student of the Year

Winner: Jarred Mobbs

Qualification: Diploma of Emergency Health Care
Training provider: Australian Paramedical College

Working on the frontline confirmed Jarred Mobbs' passion for healthcare. He enrolled in the Diploma of Emergency Health Care program at the Australian Paramedical College and completed placements with Axios Medical Solutions and EMT Medical Services. Now working for the same companies, Jarred excels in non-emergency patient transport and serves as a first responder at various events. He is now studying a Bachelor of Paramedicine, hoping to use this to give back to the Aboriginal community.

Regional finalists

Mazn Adam, Certificate III in Fitness

Andre Robson, Certificate I in Construction

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Winner: Jorja Ealson

Qualification: Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care
Training provider: Australian Child Care Career Options (ACCCO)
Employer: Appleberries Early Education Service Kallangur
School: St James College

Jorja Ealson's school-based traineeship in early childhood education and care began with a passion for helping children, supporting families to make a positive start to their children's education and to give back to her Aboriginal community. She chose this industry to make a difference, especially for children with developmental challenges. Jorja's training has equipped her with real-world skills and inspired her to follow her childhood dream to become a teacher, centre manager or teacher aide.

Regional finalists

Tashaun Button-Wright, Certificate II in Sport Coaching

Keiriana Dargin-Clark, Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Winner: Dylan Duncan

Qualification: Certificate III in Plumbing
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: MGF Resources
School: Padua College

Dylan Duncan's interest in the trade sector began early on when he assisted his father with small building projects. He decided to pursue plumbing and gained valuable experience during a 4-week placement at McGrath Frisby. He stayed on with the company and is now a school-based apprentice studying his Certificate III in Plumbing. Dylan's skills and knowledge have improved through mentorship and hands-on work, and he values learning from others and sharing his knowledge.

Regional finalists

Chloe Breingan, Certificate III in Retail

Keiriana Dargin-Clark, Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance

Equity Student of the Year

Winner: Keiriana Dargin-Clark

Qualification: Certificate II in Sport Coaching
Training provider: St James College

Keiriana Dargin-Clark has excelled in her studies thanks to the support of her family, school and the team at the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health. With a busy schedule as a student, school leader and extracurricular activities, including representative sportsperson, she has worked hard to succeed. Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including Elders, in her school-based traineeship has built up her understanding, community network and future career options.

Regional finalists

Lily Ashburner, Diploma of Nursing

Rachel Baxter, Certificate III in Individual Support

VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Winner: Leah Cremen

Employer: Calamvale Community College

With her background in hospitality, event management and education, Leah Cremen's current classroom at Calamvale Community College is a licensed café and function venue run by Year 10 to 12 hospitality students. Leah redesigned their program to reflect current practice and the industry's ongoing changes. She promotes VET beyond the classroom, initiating work experience programs, supporting industry pathways, and encouraging students to pursue further qualifications.

Regional finalists

Liz Millan, Simmonds & Bristow

Andrea Smith, Queensland College of Music

Community Training Initiative of the Year

Winner: Tivoli Social Enterprises Limited

Program: Tivoli Community and Events Centre
(07) 3812 0706

Tivoli Social Enterprises focuses on the needs of the Ipswich community, providing entertainment, food and welfare support. It offers certificate and diploma traineeships to unemployed and disadvantaged job seekers, in collaboration with partner organisations and its preferred training organisation AXIOM College, in hospitality, business, construction, or conservation and ecosystem management. This work supports participants' skills and job prospects and has a positive community impact.

Regional finalists

Apprenticeships Queensland – Building Futures Program

SunnyFutures (Sunnybank SHS P&C) – SunnyFutures—Ready for Work

Large Employer of the Year

Winner: Hungry Jack's
1300 852 326

As a fast-food chain that's been in Australia for over 50 years, Hungry Jack's is proud to employ over 19,000 people and serve over 1.7 million guests each week. It's focused on training and development through initiatives like the Jack's Academy and partnerships with Training Unlimited. The company values career advancement via continuous learning and innovative training methods including their own learning and development department.

Regional finalists

Affinity Education Group

Howard Smith Wharves

Medium Employer of the Year

Winner: The Clarke Services Group
(07) 3256 6116

The Clarke Services Group has over 100 years of experience specialising in 24/7 facilities maintenance, cabinetmaking, and construction. Training is integrated into the business planning to support career development and address skill shortages. Offering internal and external workshops, apprenticeships, and coaching sessions, its commitment to training has led to multiple employee achievements and improved productivity, well-being, and client relationships.

Regional finalists

Hilton Brisbane

Parker Precision

Small Employer of the Year

Winner: AllBrand Caravan Services
(07) 3869 2969

AllBrand Caravan Services is a family-owned business in Sandgate specialising in repairs and servicing. Their 13 full-time employees and 7 offshore staff engage in training and development with various providers to complete certificate III qualifications, occupational health and safety and other competencies such as forklift and IT training. The company champions safety, vitality and teambuilding and their commitment to customer satisfaction results in highly skilled employees.

Regional finalists

Elysium Hair Brisbane


Last updated 22 July 2023

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)