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

Winners were announced at the regional final on Friday, 1 July 2022.

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

Regional winner: Jennah Halley

Qualification: Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
Training provider: TAFE Queensland 
Employer: Messina Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Jennah Halley's training journey started when her brother, also a refrigeration technician, asked her to help out a few hours a week.

From there, Jennah grew a keen interest in the industry and, with the completion of her Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration in 2021, she is believed to be the only qualified female refrigeration technician in Cairns – a statistic she's hoping to help change.

Regional finalists

Harry Tass, Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician
Justin Van Dyk, Certificate III in Barbering


Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Natalie Samuel

Qualification: Certificate III in Business Administration
Training provider: Skill360 Australia
Employer: Community Owned Enterprises

Through her traineeship, Natalie Samuel found a sustainable career path for her future.

Completing her Certificate III in Business Administration with Community Owned Enterprises, Natalie learned that the organisation, like her, is passionate about improving employment in remote communities.

She is now employed full time and is thriving in her new role, as she applies the skills and knowledge she gained through her training.

Regional finalists

Phillip Jose, Certificate III in Community Services
Michelle King, Certificate IV in Civil Construction


Vocational Student of the Year

Regional winner: Ellice Hellmuth

Qualification: Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
Training provider: RAM Training Services in partnership with Success Training Academy
Employer: Rio Tinto Weipa

Ellice Hellmuth was surrounded by family members working in the resources sector in Weipa. As a result, she was interested in learning more about the industry and following in their footsteps.

Undertaking a Local Aboriginal Person's Traineeship within the Training and Development team at Rio Tinto, Ellice completed a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and found a fulfilling career path helping others learn in a safe environment.

Regional finalists

Natasha Chapman, Certificate IV in Disability
Rhyan Walters, Certificate III in Agriculture


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

Regional winner: Phillip Jose

Qualification: Certificate III in Community Services
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Group training organisation: Australian Training Works
Host employer: Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy

Phillip Jose is passionate about giving back to his community and making an impact.

He enrolled in a Certificate III in Community Services as an opportunity to not only secure a stable career, but assist people from all walks of life on a day-to-day basis.

Phillip successfully completed his traineeship with the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy in 2022.

Regional finalists

Jennah Halley, Certificate III in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
Jasmine Williams, Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management


School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

Regional winner: Cody Graham

Qualification: Certificate II in Maritime Operations (Coxswain Grade 1 Near Coastal)
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Experience Co
School: Woree State High School – SchoolTech

Year 12 student Cody Graham is currently undertaking a Certificate II in Maritime Operations through the Shoreline Program.

When offered the opportunity to further his studies in a more hands-on environment, Cody knew that a traineeship was the perfect fit.

Through a mix of work, training and study, Cody has gained the experience and skills he needs for a career in the maritime industry.

Regional finalists

Bastien Thompson-McLean, Certificate II in Engineering Pathways
Jasmine Williams, Certificate III in Conservation and Ecosystem Management


Equity VET Student of the Year

Regional winner: Billy Motton

Qualification: Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: Rio Tinto Weipa

Growing up in a remote area, Billy Motton was delighted to find an opportunity to gain a Local Aboriginal Person's Traineeship to work and study within the Cultural Heritage Team at Rio Tinto Weipa.

The traineeship gave Billy the chance to connect to country and build a sustainable career.

He successfully completed his Certificate III in Conservation and Land Management in December 2021.

Regional finalists

Karan Tamang, Certificate III in Individual Support
Dina Uwera, Certificate III in Individual Support


VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

Regional winner: Sven Blanke

Employer: MiHaven Training

Sven Blanke is MiHaven Training's lead hospitality trainer.

With over 25 years' experience in hospitality, Sven's international experience and enthusiasm make him well-respected by his students and local industry.

Sven provides training from Cairns to Innisfail, and inland to Atherton, Mareeba and Malanda, aand his dedication to student-centred learning ensures successful outcomes can be achieved no matter where his trainees are located.

Regional finalists

Ryan Adcock, Civil Safety
Brian Moore, Major Training


Community Training Initiative of the Year

Regional winner: Marlin Coast Neighbourhood Centre

Program: Building Your Future
www.mcnc.org.au
(07) 4055 6440

The Building Your Future program is a flexible, supported VET program for people experiencing significant barriers to employment.

Participants complete a Certificate III in Individual Support and are provided with employment pathways through Marlin Coast's direct links to the aged care and disability support sectors.

The program has so far achieved a 96% completion rate, with 85% of program participants going on to employment.

Regional finalists

Centacare FNQ
Gunggandji-Mandingalbay Yidinji Peoples Prescribed Body Corporate Aboriginal Corporation


Large Employer of the Year

Regional winner: CaPTA Group

www.capta.com.au
07 4035 3555

CaPTA Group is a tourism operator providing a number of attractions and activities across the Cairns area.

Through its dedicated RTO, Careers Training Centre, CaPTA Group provides training opportunities to its employees to support the development of skills and experience that will see them succeed in their career.

Currently, over a quarter of its 219 full-time and part-time employees are engaged in nationally accredited training.


Medium Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Robinson Civil Group

www.robinsoncivil.com.au
07 4096 2399

Robinson Civil Group (RCG) is a leading Far North Queensland civil construction company.

The provision of ongoing training and professional development to staff is a pillar of RCG's business model.

The company works closely with local training providers to ensure staff receive quality external training, are supported and excel within the construction industry.

Currently, RCG employs 79 people and its training expenditure represents 21% of the company's gross wages and salaries.

Regional finalists

Hinterland Aviation
Tableland Veterinary Service


Small Employer of the Year

Regional winner: Clarke Diesel

www.clarkediesel.com.au
07 4031 9000

Clarke Diesel has operated in Cairns for more than 36 years and has developed specialised skill sets in mechanical, auto-electrical and marine trades to facilitate servicing and repairs to passenger, commercial and marine vessels.

All trades are given opportunities to achieve multiple certifications. This structure provides a pathway to three accredited qualifications through employment, ensuring the business continues to develop and invest in a highly qualified and specialised skillset to meet the growing needs of their client base.

Regional finalists

GMH Solutions
Mark Fletcher Solid Plaster and Texture Coatings

Last updated 1 July 2022

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