Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the Queensland Training Awards. Winners were announced online on 18 September 2020.

Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the Year

State winner: Braden Hellmuth

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

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.

State finalists

Cameron Boscacci – Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician / Certificate III in Instrumentation and Control, Tropical North Queensland
Obadiah Geia – Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, North Queensland
Riley Stewart – Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade, Central Queensland
Lachlan Miners – Certificate III in Engineering – Fabrication Trade (Boilermaking/Welding), Darling Downs South West
Jabin Giblett – Certificate III in Barbering, Metropolitan
Alex Lees – Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, South East

Bob Marshman Trainee of the Year

State winner: Breanna Cassidy

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

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.

State finalists

Craig Trenberth – Diploma of Aeroskills (Mechanical), Tropical North Queensland
Nicola Caldwell – Certificate III in Work Health and Safety, North Queensland
Esther Olney – Certificate III in Local Government (Regulatory Services), Central Queensland
Abby Kirby – Certificate III in Business, Darling Downs South West
Dayna Drysdale – Certificate III in Business Administration, Metropolitan
Shannon McNamara – Certificate III in Water Industry Operations, South East

Vocational Student of the Year

State winner: Ngaire Trigg

Qualification: Diploma of Community Development
Training provider: TAFE Queensland
Employer: St Benedict's Catholic School
Region: North Queensland

Mother-of-two Ngaire switched her life's focus to tap into her passions for networking and supporting the natural environment. Thanks to studying a Diploma of Community Development, Ngaire has now found her dream job working as an Environmental Support Officer with St Benedict's Catholic School in Townsville.

Ngaire collaborates with teachers, other school staff and community leaders to develop activities that support students' understanding of the outdoors, such as creating a native plant and bush tucker trail with support from local Aboriginal elders.

State finalists

Brittney Cromie – Certificate IV in Leadership and Management, Tropical North Queensland
Tania Paulson – Certificate IV in Education Support, Central Queensland
Olivia Bange – Diploma of Agribusiness Management, Darling Downs South West
Morgan Engstrom – Certificate IV in Medical Practice Assisting, North Coast
Christopher Miller – Diploma of Nursing, Metropolitan
Juan Corredor – Diploma of Environmental Management, South East

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year

State winner: Jabin Giblett

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

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.

State finalists

Liamon Mudd – Certificate III in Sport and Recreation, Tropical North Queensland
Obadiah Geia – Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, North Queensland
Shania Evans – Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety, Central Queensland
Shauna Fisher – Certificate III in Education Support, Darling Downs South West
Taylah Leeson – Certificate III in Business, North Coast
Emilie Bevan – Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance, South East

School-based Apprentice or Trainee of the Year

State 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
Region: Metropolitan

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.

State finalists

Bryce Cummings – Certificate III in Electrotechnology Electrician, Tropical North Queensland
Elisabeth Matters – Certificate III in Carpentry, North Queensland
Sophie James – Certificate III in Business, Central Queensland
Jack Mailman – Certificate III in Automotive Mechanical (Heavy Vehicle Road Transport), Darling Downs South West
Delaney Simpson – Certificate III in Business, North Coast
Jayden Ballinger – Certificate III in Business, South East

Equity VET Student of the Year

State winner: Helena Kidd

Qualification: Certificate III in Business
Training provider: CQUniversity Australia
Region: Central Queensland

Studious, determined, role model, achiever and a can-do attitude are just a few of the terms that have been used to describe Helena.

Taking the road less travelled, Helena commenced her learning journey seven years ago. As a non-verbal young lady with cerebral palsy, she redefined the traditional teacher and student roles. She has imparted her own way of learning, knowledge and experience upon her teachers while forging some wonderful relationships and lifelong friends.

Since completing her Certificate III in Business in 2019, Helena has more confidence and willpower to continue to strive to utilise her learned skills to gain employment within medical administration.

State finalists

Rikki Bruce – Certificate III in Individual Support, Tropical North Queensland
Maxine Warrell – Certificate III in Community Services, North Queensland
Mark Thomas – Certificate III in Community Services, Darling Downs South West
Delaney Simpson – Certificate III in Business, North Coast
Axel Dushime – Certificate II in Health Support Services, Metropolitan
Alex Lees – Certificate III in Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology, South East

VET Teacher or Trainer of the Year

State winner: Michelle Clements

Employer: AustCare Training
Region: North Coast

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.

State finalists

Sue Edwards – TAFE Queensland, Tropical North Queensland
Bjarne Ohlin – Heatley Secondary College, North Queensland
Hardy Manser – The Rockhampton Grammar School, Central Queensland
Robyn Cavanough – Aurora Training Institute, Darling Downs South West
Louise Pope – St James College, Metropolitan
Colin Thompson – Building Industry Training, South East

Large Training Provider of the Year

State winner: Asset College
1300 731 602

Offering a range of qualifications, skill sets and courses, Asset College is committed to supporting students and employers to reach their goals.

Asset College has a commitment to its students, current and past, to help improve their general employability skills and to provide opportunities for graduates to refresh or update their skills.

Asset College is proud of its work with Solider On, a service supporting ex-Australian Defence Force members to thrive post-life in the armed forces. Working with Solider On, Asset College is helping to train and support veterans for new civilian careers.

Asset College also works with different communities in Queensland to use training pathways to achieve community goals. This is highlighted by its recent security training program in Cherbourg.

Asset College is also responding to emerging industry training needs in a range of security fields, including cybersecurity and transport security.

State finalists


Small Training Provider of the Year

State winner: AustCare Training
(07) 5646 5888

Delivering community services training, AustCare Training aims to prepare students to excel in the workplace.

To support manual handling training, students can use a range of additional tools, including specially made suits, to allow students to practice moving and supporting aged care residents before working with the elderly.

AustCare Training are focused on developing regional markets to help meet the sector's growing need for trained and job-ready workers across aged care, disability services and the wider sector.

Staff support students through all aspects of the training process, and the organisation works with staff and employers to understand and respond to industry expectations.

State finalists

Fast Track Training
St James

Community Training Initiative of the Year

State winner: IFYS Ltd

Program: Youth Transition Services
(07) 5438 3000
Region: North Coast

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.

State finalists

National Joblink Cairns – Dreaming Big 2019, Tropical North Queensland
Seed Foundation Australia – First Peoples Health Program, North Queensland
Multicultural Australia – Tucker Time, Central Queensland
Dalby Welcoming Community Inc – SQW – Connecting to work through Dalby's Delicious & DeLIGHTful Festival, Darling Downs South West
BABI Youth and Family Service – Get Set for Work, Metropolitan
Kidz Foodz – Food to Live, South East

Large Employer of the Year

State winner: Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited
(07) 3717 2202
Region: Metropolitan

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.

State finalists

Community Enterprise Queensland, Tropical North Queensland
Glencore Queensland Metals, North Queensland
Mastermyne, Central Queensland
Toowoomba Regional Council, Darling Downs South West
Fraser Coast Regional Council, North Coast
Frizelle Sunshine Automotive, South East

Medium Employer of the Year

State winner: selectability Ltd
(07) 4725 3664
Region: North Queensland

selectability is a not-for-profit mental wellbeing services provider operating in a range of regional communities, with a focus on North Queensland. With its training arm, selectability Training, the business designs training programs for its staff to support their professional development and careers and manage workplace risks.

Carrying out an organisational skills matrix has helped the business understand its current and future workforce needs as demand for its services increases due to COVID-19. Its online learning management system also supports training delivery through its regional offices and the development of its diverse workforce.

State finalists

Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, Tropical North Queensland
NFR Holdings Pty Ltd (McDonald's Northern Beaches, East Mackay and Food Court Canelands), Central Queensland
HBK Holdings P/L (McDonald's Dalby and Chinchilla), Darling Downs South West
Kirami Residential Aged Care, North Coast
Hilton Brisbane, Metropolitan
Goldmakk Pty Ltd, South East

Small Employer of the Year

State winner: Kent Saddlery
1800 651 535
Region: Darling Downs South West

Kent Saddlery was established in 1988 by Lyle and Helen Kent. In what started as a 'one-man show', with Lyle Kent making every saddle, Kent Saddlery is now a large-scale operation employing 14 staff and producing quality, locally made leather products.

Kent Saddlery's commitment to training is evident in their contribution to helping to write and validate assessments for the Certificate III in Leather Production over recent years. In 2019, Leather Production was reinstated as a Queensland apprenticeship, allowing Kent Saddlery and other saddlers to employ and train apprentices.

State finalists

Bama Cape York Services, Tropical North Queensland
R.H.D. Classic Supplies and Services, North Queensland
Jodi's Salon, Central Queensland
Hair Review, North Coast
The Hairport Yamanto, Metropolitan
Thom and Ann's, South East

Premier's Industry Collaboration Award

State winner: TAFE Queensland and Rheinmetall Defence Australia Collaboration

ISO 9606 Fusion Welding Program

The ISO 9606 Fusion Welding Program is fulfilling a vital role to support the building of Australia's newest combat vehicles in Queensland. Helping to maximise local employment and business opportunities, the program provides high-level international-standard training in welding to local workers.

The partnership between TAFE Queensland and Rheinmetall Defence Australia has built a pathway for experienced welders to master advanced welding techniques using augmented reality welding simulators, purchased with support from Weld Australia and the Queensland Government, as well as through skills exchanges between Germany and Australia.

TAFE Queensland has developed the capability of its staff and delivered more than 20 short courses to more than 100 welders so far across its campuses, including Cairns and Townsville.

State finalists

CH VET Network – Drones in Schools Project
Mackay Regional Council – Regional Water Industry Worker Pilot Program

Last updated 18 September 2020

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