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

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

Regional winner: Braden Hellmuth

Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade
Training provider: Axial Training
Employer: Greensill & Co

Having developed an interest in agriculture as a 14-year-old picking for Greensill & Co during his school holiday, Braden was drawn back to his love of agriculture after completing science studies at university.

With a limited knowledge of mechanics and hydraulics, Braden made the decision to accept a diesel mechanic apprenticeship, learning an array of skills which enabled him to secure the role of Engineering and IT Manager. With significant changes occurring in the agriculture industry due to engineering technology and automation, Braden finds his work exciting and rewarding. He regularly travels to Europe and America to attend trade shows and to evaluate and purchase new specialised equipment for his employer.

Regional finalists

Patrick Brennan
Qualification: Certificate III in Air-conditioning and Refrigeration
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Tony Stephens Refrigeration Pty Ltd

Ebony Kozlovic
Qualification: Certificate III in Hairdressing
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Uptown Hair Studio

Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Breanna Cassidy

Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: Australian College of Commerce and Management
Employer: Zip Print Australia

Breanna quickly realised the benefits of a traineeship and how it could kick start her career. Completing a nationally recognised qualification was an important goal as she did not achieve a high school certificate.

With an interest in graphic design and business, she commenced a traineeship and completed a Certificate III in Business. Her self-confidence and ability grew with each completed competency. As a valued team member, she is able to solve complex problems in a fast-paced and demanding workplace. She is continuing her learning journey with her employer and has now commenced an apprenticeship in graphic pre-press.

Regional finalists

Brock Gowling-Hammond
Qualification: Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
Training provider: Ballistic Training Solutions
Employer: ECOllaboration Ltd

Georgiana Rutherford
Qualification: Certificate III in Business Administration (Legal)
Training provider: Business Success Group Pty Ltd
Employer: Finemore, Walters & Story

Vocational Student of the Year

Regional winner: Morgan Engstrom

Qualification: Certificate IV in Medical Practice Assisting
Training provider: UNE Partnerships
Branyan Clinic

Having worked in mining for 3 years, Morgan craved a career where she could help others. She was offered a casual medical receptionist role at Branyan Clinic and this is where her passion for healthcare took off and she was quickly promoted to 2IC assistant practice manager.

Morgan has gained more than a qualification – as a young woman she experiences a level of personal accomplishment and reward in helping others. This feeling of accomplishment has improved her self-worth and quality of work life – achieved by consulting with a diverse range of clients and making a difference in her community. Morgan will continue her learning journey next year, when she starts her registered nursing degree.

Regional finalists

Mackenar Bradfield
Qualification: Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)
Training provider: Australian Trade Training College
Employer: Anderson Plumbing and Roofing

Jade Burrows
Qualification: Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
Training provider: Connect'n'Grow

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Regional winner: Taylah Leeson

Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: Look Now Training
Employer: Five Bridges

A proud Kamilaroi and Kanolu woman, Taylah explored training and employment opportunities in beauty and production work prior to undertaking a traineeship, showing Taylah a pathway she never knew existed. Working in a fast-paced RTO environment, she gained confidence, a willingness to learn and became adaptable and resilient.

Taylah aims to continue learning and pass her knowledge on to others. She believes that the hands-on learning of a traineeship is an excellent way for those who learn differently and struggle with a formal, structured learning style. She hopes to inspire young Indigenous people to take on a traineeship and believe in themselves.

Regional finalists

Summer Knight
Qualification: Certificate III in Community Services
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
School: Maryborough State High School

Ellyse Moore
Qualification: Certificate III in Retail
Training provider: McDonald's Australia Ltd
Employer: McDonald's Glasshouse

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Delaney Simpson

Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: Look Now Training
Employer: Wealth21
School: Chancellor State College

Having moved from Sydney to Queensland, Delaney was surprised to learn how many opportunities were available in VET. Growing up without a role model to demonstrate financial literacy, Delaney was motivated to learn about finance. She commenced a school-based traineeship with financial planning business, Wealth21.

Completing her school-based traineeship has empowered Delaney to take charge of her future. She has learned and grown personally and professionally and is inspired to continue her education through VET. Having now commenced a Diploma of Business, Delaney plans to broaden her learning pathway to include business leadership and management.

Regional finalists

Sara Briers
Qualification: Certificate III in Hairdressing
Training provider: Matters In Gray
Employer: JPS Hair & Beauty
School: St Columban's College

Rabeca Deng
Qualification: Certificate III in Hairdressing
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Sion Salon
School: St Columban's College

Equity VET Student of the Year

Regional winner: Delaney Simpson

Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: Look Now Training
Employer: Wealth21
School: Chancellor State College

Delaney faced numerous challenges accessing education, including an unstable home environment which saw her having to look after her younger siblings and deal with homelessness at a young age. Despite this adversity, Delaney was determined that nothing would stop her from pursuing her dreams and aspirations.

After learning of the opportunities available in VET, Delaney undertook a school-based traineeship. Delaney's VET experience has made her more motivated than ever to reach her goals and make a better life for herself. Now continuing her studies with a Diploma of Business, Delaney aspires to one day own her own business to give someone else the opportunity of undertaking a school-based traineeship.

Regional finalists

Christopher Campbell
Qualification: Certificate II in Retail Services
Training provider: Designer Life
Employer: Connor

Jordahna Shaw
Qualification: Certificate III in Hospitality
Training provider: Regional Training Services Qld
Employer: Cafe at the Museum

Delaney Simpson

VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Regional winner: Michelle Clements

Employer: AustCare Training

Michelle is a dedicated trainer who began her career as a graphic artist before transitioning to her rewarding career in healthcare. Michelle was inspired by her father who experienced Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease and wanted to extend her love and care to vulnerable people.

Michelle found her true calling teaching with AustCare Training and takes great pride in being able to inspire people to care for others with empathy. Devising innovative training methods to provide interactive learning experiences, Michelle prides herself in helping all students to succeed, reach their goals and gain employment.

Regional finalists

Bianca Frankling
Employer: Look Now Training

Susan Young
Employer: TAFE Queensland

Community Training Initiative of the Year

Regional winner: IFYS Ltd

Program: Youth Transition Services
(07) 5438 3000

IFYS Ltd was established as a youth shelter in 1980 and employs approximately 400 staff and a further 300 volunteer foster carers. IFYS delivers more than 30 programs across Queensland, including the North Coast, supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged children, young people, families and people with disability.

Through their Youth Transition Services, IFYS supports young people who are at risk of disengaging or disengaged from education, family or community. With 7 different program areas, the primary focus is to provide support and advocacy to young people while helping them remain or re-engage in education, access training opportunities, and gain skills and confidence to obtain employment.

Regional finalists

Noosa Community Training Centre
Program: Get Set for Work – Get Set for Your Future
(07) 5449 7700

SkillCentred Queensland Inc
Program: Gympie Community Construction
1800 786 300

Large Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Fraser Coast Regional Council
1300 794 929

As one of the largest employers in the region, Fraser Coast Regional Council employs approximately 1,000 employees, with staff committed to making their customers the focus of everything they do. In 2018, a dedicated Learning and Organisational Development team was created with the purpose to recognise the needs of employees and invest in their development and the organisation's future.

Employees receive mandatory and job-specific training, as well as learning opportunities for individual development. Training is being provided from certificate II through to post-graduate level, with employees undertaking qualifications in civil construction, engineering, project management, plumbing, construction, business administration and horticulture.

Regional finalists

Bundaberg Regional Council
1300 883 699

(07) 5458 3300

Medium Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Kirami Residential Aged Care
(07) 4191 2888

Kirami Residential Aged Care has a philosophy focused on recognising each person in care as an individual. They are committed to excellence in contemporary practice and care models.

By establishing partnerships with RTOs, high schools and other partners across the region, students and staff are provided with onsite industry experience across a range of health industry qualifications. These partnerships enable Kirami Residential Aged Care to play a pivotal role in training of the next generation of aged care staff on the Fraser Coast and in helping to address the challenges of an ageing workforce.

Regional finalists

Acorn East
(07) 4153 0333

Community Solutions Apprentices and Trainees
1300 621 499

Small Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Hair Review
0428 020 759

Since purchasing Hair Review in Gympie in 1993, Carolann Verity grew the salon from 4 to 23 staff by 2020 – including 7 apprentices, 1 school-based apprentice and 2 salon assistants.

Sharing her years of industry knowledge, Carolann seeks to continue to nurture and grow the region's youth through apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities.

Staff training has been fundamental to business success. With staff staying with the business for an average of 8 years, having a strong focus on staff development has also contributed to a high level of staff satisfaction at Hair Review.

Regional finalists

(07) 3025 3236

Uptown Hair Studio
(07) 5441 2420

Last updated 11 September 2020

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