Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the North Queensland region.

Winners were announced online on 23 July 2021 – watch the announcement here!

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

Regional winner: Bonnie Anderson

Qualification: Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Glencore Mount Isa Mines

After 4 years in real estate, Bonnie Anderson was keen to get out from behind a desk and find a more physical, hands-on career. As the daughter of a dual-tradesperson, Bonnie decided to take the leap and apply for an apprenticeship through Glencore's Queensland Metals Apprenticeships Program. In July 2020, Bonnie completed her Certificate III in Electrotechnology to become a fully-qualified electrician.

Regional finalists

Miles Archer
Qualification: Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Townsville City Council

Abi Winter
Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Townsville City Council


Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Kailu Johnson

Qualification: Certificate III in Concreting
Training provider: Ballinger Training and Consultancy
Employer: PJ Walsh Constructions

With an extensive background in the construction industry, Kailu Johnson's interest in completing an additional traineeship was driven by experience. Kailu sees his Certificate III in Concreting as an opportunity to combat skill shortages in his region, and create long-term avenues of work for himself and his industry. He is a passionate ambassador for training pathways and the benefits of earning while you're learning.

Regional finalists

Connor Crawford
Qualification: Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
Training provider: Axiom College
Employer: Townsville City Council

Kelly Scott
Qualification: Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management
Training provider: TABMA Training
Employer: Envite Environment


Vocational Student of the Year

Regional winner: Benjamin Jones

Qualification: Diploma of Leadership and Management
Training provider: CQUniversity Australia

As a qualified diesel fitter, Benjamin Jones is a strong advocate for the benefits of training and is committed to lifelong learning. After being asked to step into a more senior role, Ben decided the time was right to expand his skills and knowledge and enrolled in a Diploma of Leadership and Management. He plans to continue his studies with a Bachelor of Business.

Regional finalist

Gabriel Steer
Qualification: Diploma of Hospitality Management
Training provider: CTA Training Specialists
Employer: Cowboys Leagues Club


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Regional winner: Kailu Johnson

Qualification: Certificate III in Concreting
Training provider: Ballinger Training and Consultancy
Employer: PJ Walsh Constructions

Kailu Johnson is a passionate advocate for trade pathways, having now completed 3 traineeships. He chose to undertake his latest qualification, a Certificate III in Concreting, after noticing a skills shortage in his region. By expanding his skills and knowledge, Kailu is also providing training and economic opportunities within his local community – as a role model and also with his ability to help upskill future generations of apprentices and trainees.

Regional finalists

William Matters
Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade
Training provider: Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited
Employer: Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited

Tyrona Sonogan
Qualification: Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
Training provider: Connect 'n' Grow
Employer: Mater Health Services North Queensland
School: Kirwan State High School


School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Dylan Woodfield

Qualification: Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade
Training provider: Blue Dog Training
Employer: Magnetic Steel Works
School: Kirwan State High School

Dylan Woodfield is currently completing a school-based boiler making apprenticeship alongside 4 other certificate qualifications. Dylan is passionate about his chosen career path as he loves designing and manufacturing complex structures. He believes that the training and skills he is gaining are essential to the economy, but they also allow him to explore his creative side; creating art sculptures out of scrap material.

Regional finalists

Tyrona Sonogan
Qualification: Certificate III in Health Services Assistance
Training provider: Connect 'n' Grow
Employer: Mater Health Services North Queensland Limited
School: Kirwan State High School

Jaime Wiseman
Qualification: Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Training provider: Tec-NQ
Employer: KP Walsh Electrics
School: Tec-NQ


Equity VET Student of the Year

Regional winner: Alanah Hembrow

Qualification: Certificate III in Hospitality
Training provider: Training Unlimited
Employer: Hungry Jack's Burgers Ross River

Alanah Hembrow started her Certificate III in Hospitality just a few months after beginning her employment at Hungry Jacks. As a home-school student, Alanah hadn't had the opportunity to complete a vocational pathway previously, and was delighted to have a chance to complete a training qualification. Alanah has become such a passionate advocate for VET that she inspired her younger brother to start the same traineeship.

Regional finalists

Charlie Brothers Dolodolotawake
Qualification: Certificate III in Individual Support
Training provider: breakthru College
Employer: Kith & Kin

Glen Jones
Qualification: Certificate III in Individual Support
Training provider: selectability
Employer: Connecting 2 Community Circles


VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Regional winner: Valerio Esposito

Employer: TAFE Queensland

Valerio Esposito's training career began informally, teaching tourists to cook with his wife, and had progressed to TAFE Queensland, where he now delivers a Certificate II in Kitchen Operations, and Certificates III and IV in Commercial Cookery. Valerio's passion for food makes him an engaging trainer and he spends much of his time in the kitchen working with budding young chefs and students with disability.

Regional finalist

Scott Edmonds
Employer: TAFE Queensland


Community Training Initiative of the Year

Regional winner: North Queensland Toyota Cowboys

Program: Cowboys Dream, Believe, Achieve
www.cowboys.com.au
1300 462 692

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys' Dream, Believe, Achieve training and employment program delivers accredited courses to unemployed and disadvantaged people living throughout North Queensland. Established in 2015, the program has supported hundreds of people to gain industry-recognised qualifications and find long-term employment. In the last 2 years, 64 per cent of participants have completed a certificate III, with 70 per cent of those securing employment.

Regional finalists

Access Community Services Limited
Program: Back to Business and Beyond Customer Service
www.accesscommunity.org.au
(07) 3412 8222

Connecting 2 Community Circles
Program: Steps 4 Success in Health
www.connectingcommunities.com.au
(07) 4401 5795


Large Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Wilmar Sugar

www.wilmarsugar-anz.com
(07) 4722 1972

Wilmar Sugar is Australia's leading sugar and renewable energy company. Wilmar has made a significant investment towards designing and developing training that is specifically linked to its business. Wherever possible, programs have either a direct qualification outcome or program content is underpinned by key performance criteria from nationally accredited training packages. In 2020, staff engaged in a total of 68,095 hours of training.

Regional finalist

Townsville City Council
www.townsville.qld.gov.au
13 48 10


Medium Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Mendi Group

www.mendi.com.au
(07) 4774 4175

Mendi Group is a locally owned and operated civil construction business, employing local personnel, labour and operators. It has been building skills through training within the Queensland civil construction industry for more than 60 years. Mendi Group works in collaboration with training organisations to ensure its experienced and diverse workforce have the training and support they need to meet market demands and its clients' needs.

Regional finalist

Cowboys Leagues Club
www.cowboysleagues.com.au
(07) 4724 8000


Small Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Core Developments NQ

www.coredevelopments.com.au
(07) 4772 6026

Core Development NQ is a family run business that places the contributions of its employees at the centre of everything is does. Core Development NQ attributes its strong employee retention and positive team environment to a commitment to training. The business is proud to have 100 per cent of its full-time staff undertaking nationally accredited courses to further their skills and knowledge.

Regional finalists

Boundary Street Automotive
www.boundarystauto.com.au
(07) 4724 3302

No Boundaries Health and Osteopathy
www.noboundarieshealth.com.au
(07) 4413 7723

Last updated 23 July 2021

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